Hollywood has long been interested in adapting works from the young adult book genre, often in an attempt to appeal to the novels’ fans as well as casual viewers. In recent years, with the diminished success of YA adaptations like the Divergent franchise, properties have begun moving to TV where there is less risk of financial failure. This trend has included Freeform’s Shadowhunters (based on the same YA property as the box office flop The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), The CW’s The 100, MTV’s The Shannara Chronicles, and Syfy’s The Magicians.
Based on the novel of the same name by Lev Grossman, The Magicians season 1 followed a group of teenagers who learned about the existence of magic, studied the practice of it at a magical academy called Brakebills, and used their knowledge to travel to the land of Fillory – which they believed to be a fictional world from a series of children’s books. Following in the vein of Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia, The Magicians explored the darker aspects of a reality in which magic exists, balanced with the coming-of-age tales of the characters.
While attending New York Comic Con, Screen Rant spoke to the cast of The Magicians about season 2 of the series – which is expected to premiere in early 2017. Hale Appleman, who plays Eliot on the show, teased a bigger presence of Fillory in season 2:
We’re working really hard this year to bring you guys a really epic show with a bit more scope. We’re including Fillory in the mix this year and that’s a huge character in the show that is going to really take this show to a bit more of an expensive, epic feeling.
The season 1 finale of The Magicians left the main characters stranded in Fillory – including Quentin (Jason Ralph), Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley), Margo (Summer Bishil), and Eliot – after an attack by The Beast and his departure with Julia (Stella Maeve). At NYCC, Bishil spoke about the differences in the setting from season 1 to 2, shifting from Brakebills to Fillory:
It introduces a lot of interesting characters and more of the magical creature universe. Whereas Brakebills was much more real world kids that discover magic is real and studying, Fillory is this enchanting place that has its own mind and takes its own shape and is mercurial and constantly surprising you.
That said, Brakebills will still be a part of The Magicians, since the young characters are still technically students. As a result, Dean Fogg (Rick Worthy) will still be a major player in season 2, but as teased by Worthy at NYCC, what happens in Fillory will affect Brakebills:
At the end of season 1 it looks like everything has just gone to hell, and in season 2 the notch is turned up even more. So many things are related to what happens in Fillory and whatever happens in Fillory affects all of us, including [Dean Fogg].
Although the cast members of The Magicians weren’t able to give away too much about what will specifically happen in season 2, knowing that the show will dive deeper into Fillory while still exploring the main characters is sure to excite fans. Certainly, as a series that started off by slowly introducing viewers to the world of magic, it seems season 2 will become fully ingratiated in fantasy – though still balancing the show in the realistic drama of its characters.
The Magicians season 2 is expected to premiere on Syfy in early 2017.