Even though it’s hard to find people who out and out love The Hobbit movies as much as they do The Lord of the Rings films, there’s also no denying that The Desolation of Smaug has made over $800 Million worldwide, and has provided a healthy return on investment. There’s a hunger for fantasy films, which Hollywood wants to make but also wants to have name recognition while they do it. So it’s no surprise that Fox now wants to turn a card game into the next LotR.

The Hollywood Reporter broke the story that Fox has bought the rights to Magic: The Gathering, and will have the exceptionally busy Simon Kinberg to oversee the production. Kinberg is also working on all the upcoming X-Men films (Days of Future Past and Apocalypse) and the Fantastic Four reboot on top of supposedly working on a future Star Wars sequel or spin-off.

Fox has bought a brand name, as there’s no story here, so they can go any way they want with it. That’s both the best thing and worst thing about the project. Kinberg must be seen as a wizard by Fox and others as he’s attached to a lot of projects, though his track record as a credited screenwriter is spotty as his name is attached to stinkers like This Means War, Jumper, and X -Men: The Last Stand. The good news is it’s based on a card game, so as long as it delivers big action, it could be fun. But part of the way these films work is having an interesting mythos, which is going to take a lot of work to build. Expect a Magic: The Gathering film in 2017 at the earliest.

Did you ever play Magic: The Gathering?