One of the most pleasant surprises on television in the past year has been Syfy’s “The Magicians,” a series of visionary books often described as “Harry Potter in College.” In the wrong hands, a TV series adaptation could have been every bit as disastrous as that four-word summary suggests; thankfully, a great young cast and solid showrunners turned it into a triumphant hit.
This week, that group has re-assembled in Vancouver to begin filming the eagerly-anticipated Season 2. Thankfully, when you have a show with such a social media-friendly cast, details begin to leak — if you’re looking in the right places.
“The Magicians” doesn’t return to Syfy until 2017 — but read on for some juicy, magical tidbits to whet your appetite.
The gang’s all there
Need proof that your favorite character is coming back for Season 2? At the end of the Season 1 cliffhanger, things weren’t looking so good for many of the Brakebills students. But as you can see in this cute selfie, the band is back together.
Season 2 is Lev-approved
Using the lazy “Harry Potter” comparison above — for the last time, we promise! — it could be said that author Lev Grossman is the JK Rowling of the New York Times bestselling trilogy. Syfy was smart to embrace Grossman from the get-go, and his input into the writing on Season 1 gave the series a link to its source material that is unfortunately all-too-rare in Hollywood.
As depicted by series star Arjun Gupta, Grossman is once again on set, giving his official blessing to the new season. And clearly, the actors love having him around — even if he does look a bit scared.
There’s a new library set
“By my count this is the second magic library they’ve had to build for this show,” Grossman tweeted Wednesday (June 29) to the fans. “And counting.”
Check out his pictures below to get a glimpse at the under-construction set that will be featured in the new season.
They are eating well
Jason Ralph, who has a dry sense of humor nearly as powerful as his effect on swooning fans, is both funny and forthright on Twitter (“I forget that people read this,” he recently tweeted). On Monday, after the gang had completed their first day of shooting, Ralph clued in fans about his on-set meal.
Penny gets a sword
Typically a props department trailer is like a toy store for grown-ups, filled with detailed weaponry and other imagination-amplifying goodies. But isn’t it interesting that Gupta chose to pose with a sword while hashtagging himself #badasspenny?
Even more noticeable, perhaps, is what’s holding the swords. In the bloody Season 1 finale, Penny took the worst of the attacks while having his hands sliced off. If he’s wielding a sword in Season 2, we’re thinking the character won’t be wounded for long.
More magic books
Brakebills and books are forever intertwined, and one of the funniest moments of Season 1 had Jason Ralph’s Quentin and Hale Appleman’s Eliot attempting to unite two tomes who were eager to get it on.
We’re not sure if this particular book is also looking for a booty call. But as Grossman shows us with the cool prop, one thing is certain: If you’re reading it, you won’t need a night light.
They’re bigger stars now
Gupta posted a funny video from his first day on set, giving fans a walk-through of his new trailer. It seems like the show might have an expanded budget (which will hopefully result in even more ambitious special effects), as the stars now have upgraded digs — and recliner chairs! So get ready, because Season 2 looks to be bigger and further.
There will be horses
Writer/producer Sera Gamble has posted some of the most revealing fan glimpses, perhaps because she’s the boss and can’t get screamed at by anyone for leaking secrets. Keep a close eye on her Instagram for cool shots revealing horses, fields and much more from Fillory and beyond.