In a presentation at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo let slip the first details of their upcoming Magic: The Gathering animated series, coming soon to Netflix.
“If you love Jace and Chandra,” said Joe Russo, “get excited.”
Jace Beleren and Chandra Nalaar are two of the most popular figures from Wizards of the Coast’s 26-year-old franchise. Both are Planeswalkers, powerful spell-slinging characters with a long and sordid history together. Chandra is a master of flame, and the face of Magic’s latest set of cards, called Core Set 2020. Meanwhile, Jace prefers mental magic. One of his most powerful cards, called Jace, the Mind Sculptor, can sell for north of $130 on the secondary market. Both characters were recently featured in the culmination of a yearslong story line, one that concluded only recently with a novel and a set of cards called War of the Spark.
But what part of Jace and Chandra’s years long storyline will the Russo brothers get to use? Jeremy Jarvis, franchise team creative director for Magic: The Gathering, told Polygon that there’s an awful lot to choose from.
“[Magic] is very character centric,” Jarvis said during our June interview, “and we talked about some of the places that we believe would be best brought to life by animation, about the characters we believe that would be best served by animation. Because there is the potential that when someone says, ‘Yeah, I’m an enormous Magic fan,’ that they’re kind of frozen in 1998 or 1993 or whenever they entered the game, which is not where we are now and certainly not where we’re moving towards.”
The Russo brothers themselves are not staying idle either. At Comic-Con they revealed they have two other ongoing projects.
The first is an animated series based on the old Grimjack series of comics. It’s a wild setting, featuring a main character who spent his childhood as a gladiator only to go on to become a soldier in a pan-dimensional city, rubbing elbows with magic users and aliens alike.
Their other project is a live-action adaptation of Battle of the Planets, a cartoon from the late 1970s and early 1980s that ran some 85 episode. In that setting, a band of superpowered teenagers called the G-Force goes up against a baddy named Zoltar. Exactly where and how that series will come to life is unknown at this time.
For more from San Diego Comic-Con, check out Polygon’s coverage all weekend long.