Lev Grossman’s ‘The Magicians’ Heads to the Small Screen

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The Magicians, Lev Grossman’s novel about a young man who discovers that the magical world of his childhood fantasies actually exists, will be adapted into a drama series on Fox.

The book, described as “Harry Potter for adults,” centers around Quentin Coldwater, a young collegiate who is majoring in magical studies. Bored with his life in the mostly non-magical New York City, Quentin retreats into the world of Fillory, the setting of his favorite series of fantasy books from his childhood. Quentin soon discovers that Fillory and its residents actually exist, and he can easily pass between both the real world and the parallel universe. Mixing the intriguing elements of children’s literature with the heavy themes of adulthood, Grossman’s book was a major hit which recently sparked a sequel.

The show, to be written by X-Men: First Class and Thor writers Ashley Miller & Zack Stentz, fits into the recent trend of novels being turned into television series. Following the successful runs of True Blood and Game of Thrones, HBO has recently picked up The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen’s stab at the Great American Novel, to be a four-season series. Television adaptions seem to make a bit more sense than film these days, particularly when the source material is already a multi-part series. Rather than squeezing plot into a two-hour span of time, a television adaptation can actually involve things like character development in subtle ways. Do you think those behind Thor can manage all of that responsibility?