Simon Kinberg and Fox deal themselves in for ‘Magic: The Gathering’ movies

Simon Kinberg has asked me not to reveal his greatest secret, but at this point, I feel it is my duty so that young writers who look at how many things he’s juggling at one time understand how he’s able to pull it off.

Clones. Dozens of them.

That’s the only way it could possibly work at this point. Think of everything he’s got his name on right now. He’s one of the producers of “Star Wars: Rebels,” the next major piece of “Star Wars” canon to be introduced on Disney XD this year, and he’s involved in the new “Star Wars” films as well. He’s part of “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” and its follow-up, “X-Men: Apocalypse.” He’s producing a remake of “Murder On The Orient Express” with Ridley Scott and Mark Gordon. He’s in charge of getting “Fantastic Four” back up and running, and he’s also working on Neill Blomkamp’s next film “Chappie.”

It’s getting to the point where I’m going to have to keep a pre-written paragraph running down the full list of the 37 development projects Kinberg sets up every week. It’s going to take a full page front and back at this rate. And the list just added one more entry with the news that Kinberg is working with 20th Century Fox to turn the collectble trading-card game “Magic: The Gathering” into a film series.

I have no idea what that film series is. This is one more Hasbro property that they’ve now got set up as a movie, and it really wouldn’t surprise me to see Hasbro become one of the big players in family blockbusters for the next decade or so. They’ve become very active partners in their own fate, and I think this is a good example of just how far-reaching Marvel’s success continues to be. Marvel has shown that they know how to turn their properties into successful films, and Hasbro has been able to leverage the success of the “Transformers” movies into more and more deals for things they own.

“Magic: The Gathering” was originally released by Wizards of the Coast, a big role-playing game company that was bought out by Hasbro about a decade ago, and I know it’s got a lot of active, fervent fans. I’m not familiar enough with it to have any idea what sort of narrative or mythology the game has in place and how much will have to be invented, but I assume it’s not just a straight translation from game to film. If they’re just setting this up, don’t expect anything onscreen before 2016 or 2017, and if they’re willing to develop this, they must be optimistic that there’s plenty more life left in the game and the fandom around it.

For more on Kinberg’s work load, check out this piece we ran last month about him.

“X-Men: Days Of Future Past” is in theaters May 23, 2014.