Russo Brothers Exit Netflix's 'Magic: The Gathering' Series, Jeff Kline to Lead New Creative Team
Joe and Anthony Russo and head writers Henry Gilroy and Jose Molina left the animated project over creative differences
Joe and Anthony Russo have exited Netflix’s “Magic: The Gathering” series over creative differences regarding the animated adaptation, TheWrap has learned. Jeff Kline (“Transformers: Prime”) has replaced them as head of the creative team for the animated show.
Henry Gilroy and Jose Molina — who were set as the head writers for the show centered on the Planeswalker characters from Wizards of the Coast’s “Magic: The Gathering” card game, which was ordered to series at Netflix in 2019 — have also left the project.
The Russo Brothers’ split from the Netflix show, which came in the early stages of the series, is said to be an amicable one, an individual with knowledge tells TheWrap, and they were involved with the transition in leadership to Kline as their replacement.
“I’m grateful to the Russos for bringing me into the world of ‘Magic: The Gathering’ – specifically, over dinner at one of their go-to Cleveland restaurants,” Kline said in a statement Friday. “’Magic’ is one of those rare intellectual properties with such a wellspring of mythology that “picking and choosing” is half the battle. Every single person working on the series understands how beloved this universe is – and feels both the exhilaration and tremendous pressure that comes with translating Magic across mediums.”
Wizards of the Coast, Netflix and Entertainment One, which is producing the “Magic: The Gathering” series for Wizards of the Coast parent company Hasbro, said in a joint statement: “While the Russo Brothers are no longer part of the animated series, their passion for the game combined with their early creative perspective and input helped us to shape the project to a place where we believe fans of the game and those new to the ‘Gathering Universe’ will enjoy the series and discover what millions of fans around the globe have known for the past 25 years.”
Kline’s creative team includes Steve Melching (“Star Wars: The Clone Wars”) as co-executive producer and story editor, Audu Paden as supervising director, Izzy Medrano as art director and Nicole Dubuc, Russell Sommer, Dan Frey and Taneka Stotts as writers.
Deadline first reported the news that Kline had taken over the series following the exits of the Russos, Gilroy and Molina.
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