Joe Russo Offers Updates on Battle of the Planets, Magic: The Gathering & Grimjack
According to Collider, filmmaker Joe Russo (Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame) offered a few updates on upcoming projects he and brother Anthony have in development at their AGBO production company, including the live-action adaptation of Battle of the Planets, Netflix’s animated series Magic: The Gathering, and Amazon’s series adaptation of Grimjack.
Speaking on Battle of the Planets, Russo said, “It’s not going to be a direct adaptation of the series. It’s going to be our own story that we tell surrounding a group of genetically altered kids who are involved in a space war… That could take months of gestating, and trying to figure out what the new mythology is. And then we commit that to a bible, and then from that bible we do some artwork as exploration, and once we have artwork that we’re inspired by we then commit that to a script. So we’re in the bible phase for Battle of the Planets at the moment.”
As far as Magic: The Gathering, Russo revealed that the project is currently in the script phase, though the animation will have a much longer prep period than any of the live-action projects. Meaning, fans should not expect the series to hit Netflix anytime soon.
Finally, Russo says that Grimjack is also in the script phase and the filmmaker called the script “fantastic,” implying that the script has been submitted to Amazon so the company can offer notes.
Originally based on the 1972 Japanese anime series Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, the American adaptation Battle of the Planets was made by Sandy Frank Entertainment and follows a group of five young people known as G-Force who protect the Earth from the planet Spectra and any other extraterrestrial foes. No writer or director is currently set for the Russos-produced adaptation.
The Russo Brothers will executive produce Magic: The Gathering for Netflix, which will focus on an all-new storyline that centers around the heroes and villains within the magic-wielding clan of the Planeswalkers. Along with the Russos, Henry Gilroy (Star Wars: Rebels) and Jose Molina (Agent Carter) will serve as lead writers and co-exec producers, as will Mike Larocca and Isaac Krauss. Yoriaki Mochizuki (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) will serve as supervising director and co-executive producer, while Bardel Studio (Rick and Morty, Angry Birds) will handle the animation.
Grimjack, created by John Ostrander and Timothy Truman, followed John Gaunt, a sword-for-hire war veteran and his crew as they dig through their pasts after the titular mercenary’s teenage daughter comes to them for help in the pan-dimensional city entitled Cynosure. An adaptation was originally slated for the material back in 1996 with Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski set to write and direct, but plans fell through given his work on the sci-fi series. Defiance creator Kevin Murphy is currently attached to script the adaptation for Amazon while the Russos will produce through their banner AGBO.