Russo Bros’ ‘Magic: The Gathering’ Series Will ‘Be True’ to Card Game’s Story – But Carve Out Its Own Continuity

Comic-Con: So dead parents will stay dead, for example, executive producer Nic Kelman tells TheWrap

Magic the Gathering

Ever since Netflix revealed last month that “Avengers: Endgame” directors Joe and Anthony Russo are executive producing an animated “Magic: The Gathering” series for the streaming service, fans of the popular card game have been theorizing about just how closely the show’s all-new narrative, focused on the Planeswalkers, will align with the franchise’s current story.

TheWrap has your answer, courtesy of Nic Kelman, head of story and entertainment for Wizards of the Coast and executive producer on the Netflix series.

“So what we plan to do is, the story and the characters are going to be true to the spirit of the story and the characters that are preexisting,” Kelman told TheWrap at San Diego Comic-Con Thursday. “We’re going to be true to that and the world and also true to the core values of those worlds and characters. But we’re definitely going to try to carve out our own continuity space in a very similar way to other franchises that have done that with adventures in a new medium from preexisting stories.”

For example, Kelman told us that “if somebody’s parents have died and that’s a crucial part of who their character is, that’s gonna be true no matter what medium that story takes place in, but the exact details of whether they were six or eight when that happened may shift.”

So it’s “that kind of thing” when it comes to changes, “but [the show is] absolutely going to be true to the characters and the world that everybody knows and loves, but it’s not going to pick up exactly from the current continuity of the fiction.”

Kelman couldn’t tell us much else about the show, though he promised he, Netflix and the Russos will have more to share in “a few months.” But he did reveal how they plan to bring in viewers who aren’t already fans of MTG.

“I mean, look, that’s the problem that every franchise faces that is fantasy or science fiction or based on a comic,” he said. “And our characters, when you boil it down, are superheroes with magic. And I think that’s something that anybody can get into and relate to. And certainly we have a love of fantastic characters with a lot of great backstories and drama between them as characters, and amazing worlds to visit.”

“So I think while some of the deep lore from the ’90s might be inaccessible to a lot of people, the core of what makes Magic characters is the same as what makes any characters popular,” Kelman added. “So I think it’s just a question of focusing on the things that really make these characters appealing to everybody, including our fans. And I don’t see it as being anymore of an issue for Magic than any other similar franchise.”

TheWrap is in San Diego all week long for Comic-Con 2019 — check out all of our ongoing coverage here.