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Magic: The Gathering movie in the works

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I tap popcorn. (Credit: Wizards of the Coast)

The name that launched a billion collectible card games is headed to a theater near you.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, 20th Century Fox has acquired the big-screen rights to Magic: The Gathering with the intention of turning the long-running fantasy game into a massive, multi-film franchise.

Fox has picked in-house writer-producer Simon Kinberg (“X-Men,” “Fantastic Four”) to produce the project alongside execs from Hasbro and Magic creator Wizards of the Coast.

Arguably the most influential card game of the past two decades, Magic: The Gathering has maintained a steady presence since its debut in 1993. Players collect cards and pit decks filled with creatures, spells, weapons, and lands against one another, a design that has turned some of the rarer cards into true treasures. Despite its consistent popularity, however, Magic hasn’t been franchised in quite the same way as fellow collectible card hit Pokemon, which has enjoyed immensely successful film, television and video game adaptations.

This one’s a bit of a head-scratcher, though. Magic is less about cohesive storytelling and more about deep strategy. Will the film just be a bunch of geeks crowded around a table tapping mana for 2 hours? (Note: I would probably watch this.)

Given, this sort of creative dissonance hasn’t dissuaded filmmakers from scooping up odd game licenses lately. Candyland? Check. Asteroids? Check. And of course there was that 2012 Battleship disaster, which no one should bother checking.

Fox has yet to announce any sort of release window for Magic: The Film. Probably too busy building decks.

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