Magic: The Gathering is the latest game to get the movie adaptation treatment, with 20th Century Fox acquiring the film rights to the hit fantasy card game from Hasbro, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Fox has Lord of the Rings-size franchise dreams for Magic, which was created in 1993 by Wizards of the Coast and rose to prominence as the premiere collectible-trading-card game (Hasbro bought Wizards of the Coast in 1999). The studio has tapped writer-producer Simon Kinberg to act as franchise engineer, developing a series of films alongside executives from Hasbro. Kinberg was behind the X-Men and Fantastic Four adaptations at Fox.
The movie version will likely draw from the basic premise of Magic, in which players do battle with cards bearing wizards, monsters, spells and weapons, all with varying degrees of strength. The game’s rarest cards soon became valuable collectors’ items, and Magic‘s massive popularity helped give rise to similar games featuring characters from Pokémon and Star Wars.
The movie version of Magic will certainly have its work cut out: Hollywood has scored big at the box office with a few of its recent toy-to-big-screen projects, including the G.I. Joe and Transformers franchises, though neither have gotten much love from critics. The same goes for Battleship, which earned the number one spot on Peter Travers’ list of 2012’s worst movies and was a flop at the North American box office – though it nevertheless earned big numbers in the international markets.