Friday, March 31, 2023

Jeff Kline to Lead ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Animated Series at Netflix, Replacing Russo Brothers

Following the departure of Joe and Anthony Russo from the “Magic: The Gathering” project, Netflix has tapped Jeff Kline (“Transformers: Prime”) to executive produce and lead a new creative team for the CG-animated adaptation of the collectible fantasy trading card game.

The show was first announced in June 2019. The Russos — known for their work on the Marvel Cinematic Universe entries “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Captain America: Civil War,” “Avengers: Infinity Wars,” and “Avengers: Endgame”–  were slated to executive produce the series and oversee the development of an all-new storyline that expands on the stories of the Planeswalkers, which are the game’s magic-wielding heroes and villains. Henry Gilroy and Jose Molina were to serve as writers and co-executive producers. Reportedly, the Russos and their creative team left the series over creative differences in handling the intellectual property. The Russo brothers were involved in passing the baton to Kline, and the streaming platform confirmed that the transition was amicable. 

Now, the creative team under Kline’s direction will include Steve Melching, who will co-executive produce and serve as story editor, supervising director Audu Paden and writers Nicole Dubuc, Russell Sommer, Dan Frey and Taneka Stotts. Izzy Medrano will serve as art director, and the animation will be done by Snowball Studios (“Disney Star Darlings”), replacing Bardel Entertainment.

The Magic: The Gathering tabletop card game was created by Richard Garfield and was released in 1993. It is credited as the first trading card game, ever.  Since then, the game has inspired a digital version of itself, an esports league, a comic book series, and a best-selling novel. It has been published in 11 languages in over 70 countries, and the game has over 35 million active players worldwide.

Deadline first reported the news.


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