The classic seventies Lord of the Rings animated movie will be the star of Magic: The Gathering’s next limited-edition Secret Lair drop.
The More Adventures in Middle-earth Secret Lair will draw from the 1978 film (simply titled The Lord of the Rings) directed by Ralph Bakshi, which starred - among others - the voices of John Hurt as Aragorn and Anthony Daniels as Legolas. The movie is notable for its combination of rotoscoping alongside traditional cel animation, giving its animation a very distinctive (and of-the-time) look and feel.
Bakshi’s film was a financial success, but received criticism for its lack of a complete ending, as it covers most of the events of Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers but ends before the plot of The Return of the King. Ironically, a sequel featuring the remainder of Tolkien’s story was planned but later cancelled due to audience reception. Nevertheless, it has since been cited by Peter Jackson as an influence on his hugely successful live-action trilogy of movies.
Magic: The Gathering’s own tribute to Bakshi’s Lord of the Rings will take the form of a series of limited-edition cards offered via the trading card game’s limited-run Secret Lair programme. Secret Lair offers variants of Magic: The Gathering cards that do not introduce new gameplay elements, but apply fresh artwork and presentation to existing cards.
Previous Secret Lair drops have included cards based on video games Fortnite and Street Fighter, TV shows The Walking Dead and Stranger Things, Dungeons & Dragons movie Honor Among Thieves, guest artists including horror mangaka Junji Ito, and even musician Post Malone.
The Lord of the Rings Secret Lair will follow hot on the heels of next month’s Tales of Middle-earth, a complete Magic: The Gathering set based on Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy releasing on June 23rd. The set draws directly from the original books, rather than Jackson’s films, and introduces a number of new gameplay mechanics inspired by its characters and the world of Middle-earth.
More Adventures in Middle-earth will drop on June 26th at 9am Pacific time. Like other Secret Lair releases, the cards will be exclusive to the drop.