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It's been more than two years since Netflix first announced it would be developing an animated series based on the fantasy world of tabletop trading-card game Magic: The Gathering, but now we have a major update.
During Wizards of the Coast's Magic Showcase 2021, a livestream event for players held on Tuesday, it was revealed that Brandon Routh will star in the show as warrior-mage Gideon, a popular character from Magic canon.
The actor, who played the Man of Steel in Superman Returns and Atom in Legends of Tomorrow, will occupy a central role in the new story.
Gideon is described as "fiercely loyal, unyielding, just, and charismatic" in the official Wizards of the Coast character bio. The Planeswalker, a term for this world's magic users, hales from the plane Theros and maintains the ability to make himself invulnerable.
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images; Wizards of the Coast Brandon Routh to voice Gideon in Netflix's 'Magic: The Gathering' series
"For those of you who don't know, Gideon is known for being the strong guy who always stands up for what's right, just, and isn't afraid to fight... Now I understand why they hired me for this. It makes sense," Routh joked in a video message recorded for fans.
"I am really excited about this show and really proud and honored to be a part of it," he continued. "I'm a huge Magic fan. I've been playing since I was 16. I played many drafts over the years and have too many cards, more than I should, and also got to do a voice in a Magic MTG Arena as a different character. So, I love this world and I'm very excited to be a part of this animated series. Hope you all will enjoy it in 2022."
The Magic TV series will have its own canon within the franchise. There will be familiar characters alongside Gideon with familiar story beats, but there will be fresh faces, situations, and a brand-new story.
All of the show's roles have been cast and all voiceover performances have been completed, though no casting beyond Routh's involvement was revealed at this time. Though, a sculpt of the actor's Gideon was revealed.
Wizards of the Coast A sculpt of Brandon Routh's Gideon for Netflix's 'Magic: The Gathering' series
Wizards of the Coast also announced that fantasy author Django Wexler (The Shadow Campaigns, Burningblade & Silvereye) will write a novel about Gideon that will serve as a prequel to the Netflix series. The book, to be released alongside the show next year, will follow Gideon and another popular Magic character, Jace Beleren, as they right wrongs across the multiverse. It's unclear at this point if Jace will be a part of the TV series.
Routh left his role on Legends of Tomorrow on the CW after five seasons with his last episode airing in March 2020. He went on to work on The Rookie.
"I just think that with my journey with the show and the time I spent in the Arrowverse, and what I've received from fans as the positive messaging and role model and spirit and energy that Ray Palmer has been able to share with the world, everybody wants that back, everybody feels they deserve communication and deserves to be a partner. And when you're not made a partner, when you give that much time to relationship, it hurts," he said at the time.
In less exciting news, Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who were tapped in 2019 to produce the series, have dropped off the project with head writers Henry Gilroy and Jose Molina due to differences in vision.
"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," read a previously released joint statement by Netflix, Wizards of the Coast, and eOne.
Netflix has since tapped Jeff Kline (Transformers Prime) to steer the ship, while Steve Melching (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) is also involved as a co-executive producer and story editor.
"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. "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."