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When it comes to high fantasy, it's an easy assumption that Game of Thrones is the trendsetter for the latest bout of swords, sorcery, and high language that's been brewing in Hollywood. Then again, show me a film or tv show that has action, nudity, and good writing behind it that doesn't accrue enough of a following to keep itself afloat, and I'll show you one of those HBO shows hardly anyone else talks about. (Maybe if Deadwood didn't terminate its run so hastily, we'd still be talking about A Million Ways To Die In The West). Already, Warcraft is in production, Dungeons and Dragons has been mentioned in the not too distant past as a candidate for the reboot treatment, and now Magic: The Gathering is shuffling its deck to tell its story on the big screen – and a writer has been drawn into action.
Deadline reports that writer Bryan Cogman is the writer 20th Century Fox has brought on for Magic: The Gathering – Subtitle To Be Determined. If that name sounds familiar to you, then you've already made the connection between Cogman's new gig for Magic and his other gig on Game Of Thrones. Cogman is not only a co-producer on the show, he was a story editor for Seasons 2 and 3, and has written four episodes of the show himself. Most recently, he was the pen behind the episode The Laws Of Gods And Men, the episode which featured everyone's favorite Lannister on trial for his life. Yes, it's the episode with Tyrion's famous speech.
With high medieval fantasy making itself popular again, studios are clearly trying to cash in on the limited niche that's presenting itself. While it's not quite at the level where anything remotely similar to Game Of Thrones will automatically open to $200 million worldwide, the opportunity that Warcraft and now Magic: The Gathering have at their hands is one that could start the next trend. HBO isn't going to keep Game Of Thrones on the air forever, and the medieval fantasy revolution it's started is going to require some fuel for the fire. If both of these films can match the thrill of Thrones, albeit with a PG-13 rating in play, then be prepared to see a lot of swords, shaggy hair, and chain mail.
Of course, should Magic: The Gathering lose its game of chance, then the results could be worse than the last time medieval fantasy went wrong: Your Highness. For now, the fate of Universal Pictures' Warcraft movie, due out in March 2016, will probably be the greatest indicator of whether this film will even move ahead or not. Bryan Cogman will probably be working the script on his hiatus from producing, and possibly writing future episodes, of Game Of Thrones, so clearly 20th Century Fox isn't rushing to jump into a market that might not even be there by time it's first tapped. There's currently no projected release date, so we probably won't hear much about this project until Warcraft starts ramping up its marketing/production efforts.