The Hollywood Reporter has announced in an exclusive that a film adaptation of the grandfather of trading card games, Magic: The Gathering, is in the works by 20th Century Fox. The movie will be produced by Simon Kinsberg, who is also working on the X-Men and Fantastic Four universes, and it will lead the way for what’s hoped to be an enormous franchise.
Over the last decade, the folks at Wizards of the Coast and Hasbro have created a deep backstory to go along with the card game, a story that’s played out in novels and comics. The setting is mostly high fantasy, with monsters and menaces based on the thousands and thousands of cards released through the years, but it isn’t as popular as many other franchises currently being built.
The game’s popularity may drive additional interest from some of the public, but game adaptations haven’t fared well recently – just ask the cast of Battleship. Expect to hear a lot of “they’re making a movie about a card game? That’ll work.”, followed by an eye roll or the like. This could hurt the first film’s box office, but if they’re careful with their budget, maybe hire a bunch of nobodies and has-beens hungry to be somebodies and are-agains, it could end up being a franchise with legs.
We’ll just have to wait and see.