Netflix Magic: The Gathering animated series Joe Russo pre-production writing

Joe Russo Says Magic: The Gathering Animated Series Is Being Written Right Now

The Russo Brothers’ production company, AGBO, is in the middle of taking over a ton of nerdy IP right now, including an animated series based on the Magic: The Gathering card game that will be coming to Netflix. Since its announcement almost a year ago we’ve heard very little about the series, but Joe Russo, while speaking to Collider, has given an update.

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The Magic: The Gathering show is currently in the scripting phase — Russo refers to the work as “IP incubation” — and being worked on despite the shutdown occurring across the industry. Russo reminds us it could be a long time before we see it, however, as animation has a much longer pre-production time period than live action does.

When the show was announced, it was the first attempt to adapt the series since Fox failed to bring it to movie theaters after securing the rights back in 2014. AGBO and Netflix have brought in Octopie, Hasbro’s Allspark Animation, and Bardel Studio to animate the series once it’s at that stage. Octopie and Allspark have worked on a plethora of adaptations between them and collaborated with Netflix previously as well. It’s said to be a dramatic series more in line with live-action fantasy than most animated series.

Russo also gave updates on two other adaptations that AGBO is working on. Their live-action take on Battle of the Planets, an Americanized anime, is currently in the very early stages of their IP incubation. It won’t be a direct adaptation and they’re currently mapping out “what the new mythology is.” Finally, they’ve completed the first pass at their adaptation of Grimjack for Amazon and have passed the scripts over to the streamer for notes. While none of the three have release dates, it sounds like Grimjack is the furthest along.


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Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is a News Writer and film aficionado at Escapist. He has been writing for Escapist for nearly five years and has nearly 20 years of experience reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and video games for both print and online outlets. He has a degree in Film from Vassar College and a degree in gaming from growing up in the '80s and '90s. He runs the website Flixist.com and has written for The Washington Post, Destructoid, MTV, and more. He will gladly talk your ear off about horror, Marvel, Stallone, James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.