Lev Grossman's bestselling Magicians trilogy is being adapted into a television series by Syfy, and its first trailer, published yesterday by BuzzFeed, makes it seem like the books' long road to the small screen will be worth it.
The minute-and-a-half-long trailer offers a look into the world of Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph), a gifted student who discovers that he can perform magic, and that Fillory — the fantasy world of his favorite childhood novels — is real. Quentin is admitted to a secret magic school in upstate New York, Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, and he and his close-knit group of friends move to New York City after graduation.
Featured along with Quentin in the trailer are his high-school friend Julia (Stella Maeve), as well as his Brakebills cohorts Eliot (Hale Appleman), Penny (Arjun Gupta) and Margo (Summer Bishil). For reasons that are unclear at this point, the Janet character from Grossman's books has been renamed Margo in the TV series. The trailer brings life to key scenes from the novels such as Quentin's first trip to Brakebills and his entrance exam for the school, and the special effects are pretty good for basic cable.
Grossman's trilogy consists of The Magicians (2009), The Magician King (2011) and The Magician's Land (2014). A television adaptation had been in development at Fox in 2011, but the network declined to greenlight the series in early 2012. Groundswell Productions, which initially optioned the books, then reworked the project with new writers, John McNamara and Sera Gamble, and brought the show to Syfy. The cable network greenlit a pilot last July, and announced earlier this month that it will produce a 12-episode first season that is set to premiere in 2016.