Monday, January 13, 2014
Magic: The Gathering Movie confirmed. Is D&D Next?
Hollywood Reporter has an article (Link) about Hasbro inking a deal with 20th Century Fox for a Magic: The Gathering movie franchise. They've signed writer-producer Simon Kinberg (Fox's X-Men and Fantastic Four franchises) to lead the development.
I noticed the article said Hasbro, which means it's the head office making the movie decisions, not Wizards of the Coast. Makes sense as these are expensive efforts and they need the big shots calling all the shots. The potential benefits reach into the billion dollar range if they launch a successful movie franchise (and sell more Magic cards, novels, merchandise) and that's not even talking about LotR or Harry Potter numbers. I'm sure Hasbro is hoping for Transformer numbers or even GI Joe numbers (and not Battleship numbers).
The relevance to the D&D? Well it gives extra urgency to the lawsuit Hasbro has with the previous (current) D&D movie producer and the studio he's signed with, since Hasbro wants to launch its own D&D movie effort. It seems the Hasbro giant has awoken and is hungry for more big movie franchises made from its IP.
It's D&D's 40th Anniversary this year, and MtG's 20th Anniversary. Despite the card game doing better business, it's D&D that holds more cultural significance.
If Hasbro cannot get a generic D&D movie off the ground, do you think they would resort to using one of the settings to launch a movie instead, such as Dragonlance or Forgotten Realms?
I think if the holdup for D&D drags on and Hasbro sees good numbers for Magic, then they will certainly do everything in their power to cinematize more IP. If the numbers are good enough, they might even settle to expedite the release of rights for D&D.