What's The Latest On The D&D Movie?
  • What's The Latest On The D&D Movie?


    Last we heard about the D&D movie was that it was coming on July 23rd, 2021. That was back in December. Various outlets are now reporting that Chris McKay, who is currently working on the Nightwing movie, will be directing. Also, separately on 14th February, Dragonlance authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman posted a photo of themselves on a "secret mission" with actor Joe Manganellio, who at one point tweeted a photo of a Dragonlance script (Manganellio tweeted the same photo saying "With two of the architects of my childhood, the authors of the Dragonlance novels Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman").





    We've heard so many little rumours over the past few years. Repeating from a previous article I wrote: in the past we heard that the movie would be produced by the Lego Movie's Roy Lee, that it would be directed by Rob Letterman (Goosebumps, Monsters vs. Aliens, Shark Tale). Originally scripted by David Leslie Johnson (Wrath of the Titans), it's now being written by Joe Manganellio, might be Dragonlance and then again might feature the Yawning Portal, and will adopt a Guardians of the Galaxy tone. Oh, and that we should take everything I just said with a pinch of salt as the movie appears have jumped from WB to Paramount at some point in the process!

    I think it's safe to say we know nothing at all. But we can have fun connecting the dots to see if we can make a picture!
    Comments 71 Comments
    1. neuronphaser's Avatar
      neuronphaser -
      Bias: I live and work in Hollywood, but I'm not directly in the movie making biz, though many (most?) of my closest friends are.

      So...I get the feeling that most everything (outside of the Sweetpea legal battle) that has come out up to this point has been people jumping the gun with sharing. In other words, the movie was in the most preliminary of development stages and people were already yelling to the world that they were involved. The projects weren't even technically greenlit beyond the exploratory phase, most likely.

      I hope I'm wrong though, because I'd rather see this sooner than later (though I'd rather it take longer and be good than they rush something out that sucks, so...shrug).
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by neuronphaser View Post

      So...I get the feeling that most everything (outside of the Sweetpea legal battle) that has come out up to this point has been people jumping the gun with sharing. In other words, the movie was in the most preliminary of development stages and people were already yelling to the world that they were involved. The projects weren't even technically greenlit beyond the exploratory phase, most likely.
      Quite possibly. But on the other hand we, here on this little D&D webforum, enjoy discussing and speculating about it.
    1. Jacob Lewis's Avatar
      Jacob Lewis -
      D&D in one movie. Can it be done? Not to any extent of worthy or good as we might hope for. It's like getting a one-shot adventure to get someone hooked. Make it count! But it's gonna need a good story, good characters, and for gods-sake, a good effort! None of that is going to come out of a single adventure or location, or at least not from an adventure designed for characters level 1-3. Wouldn't a series be much better for presenting the original Dragonlance Chronicles, exploring the scope and breadth of such a well-developed world and storyline with outstanding characters and intrigue? If you want to present the true spirit of epic D&D campaigns, adventuring, and dragons, what better than Dragonlance? Just do it right, for Peter Jackson's sake!
    1. Enevhar Aldarion's Avatar
      Enevhar Aldarion -
      I am not surprised at all by the change from WB to Paramount for this movie, and future movies, as Paramount has had a production deal with Hasbro since 2011 for the "Hasbro movie universe". It is just too bad that Paramount sold off Dreamworks a year or two ago, or another, higher quality, D&D animated movie could have been in the works.

      And all this could still morph into a TV show instead, since the Viacom-owned Spike TV cable channel was rebranded as the Paramount Network last month.
    1. Rygar's Avatar
      Rygar -
      We now have some solid information. Garth at DarkHorizions is rarely wrong. I don't think there's any doubt it's moving forward.

      http://www.darkhorizons.com/nightwin...geons-dragons/
    1. MechaPilot's Avatar
      MechaPilot -
      I really want this movie to be good. I have no faith at all that it will be good, but I want it to be.
    1. Kronides's Avatar
      Kronides -
      The most important lesson that should have been learnt from the last Dragonlance movie is that Autumn Twilight needs a season, not a session, to do it justice.
    1. neuronphaser's Avatar
      neuronphaser -
      Quote Originally Posted by Morrus View Post
      Quite possibly. But on the other hand we, here on this little D&D webforum, enjoy discussing and speculating about it.
      Oh, heck yeah! Didn't mean to come off negative towards that portion of it!

      My hope is that they take Drizzt or (a young) Elminster and pull an MCU in the sense that they don't repeat the stories from the books, but use them as inspiration to tell new stories. I feel like those two characters have the biggest body of works to draw from and by extension keep the whole Realms setting in the limelight (meeting a business goal of WOTC's, as opposed to something I actually care much about), and they speak to character types that are already popular in general fantasy mainstream media.

      I worry that Drizzt might be too much of an Elric clone and cause confusion, though, plus the whole worry about them "accidentally" doing blackface. Elminster has less troublesome issues there.

      If they go Dragonlance or Ravenloft, I feel like they risk being seen as either too generic (the former) after the legacy of the Tolkien movies and the reception of the World of Warcraft movie, or too emo (the latter) which could be problematic since the Twilight movies remain the most recent big budget vampire-related thing. FR, despite being a bit generic, has enough of a kitchen sink to highlight the more "epic" things (airships, neat organizations, visiting gods and the Chosen, Underdark). It also has that slightly Star Wars-y feel by being able to feature a great deal of characters who are not "generic" fantasy races since they could go crazy with dragonborn, drow, tieflings, etc.

      Second favorite option would be timing the movie with an Eberron Campaign Setting release and setting the movie in Eberron. Really go hog-wild with Warforged, Shifters, and all that jazz. I'm not a big Eberron fan, but if there's one setting that screams "THIS IS WHAT MAKES D&D DIFFERENT THAN OTHER FANTASY" in the modern era, it's Eberron. Hands down. (Or maybe Planescape, but that's way too high concept to start with.)
    1. Enevhar Aldarion's Avatar
      Enevhar Aldarion -
      Quote Originally Posted by neuronphaser View Post
      Second favorite option would be timing the movie with an Eberron Campaign Setting release and setting the movie in Eberron. Really go hog-wild with Warforged, Shifters, and all that jazz. I'm not a big Eberron fan, but if there's one setting that screams "THIS IS WHAT MAKES D&D DIFFERENT THAN OTHER FANTASY" in the modern era, it's Eberron. Hands down. (Or maybe Planescape, but that's way too high concept to start with.)
      And then they sell a million movie tickets, maybe, to the people who care enough/know enough about Eberron to go see a movie set there at $12-15 per ticket, grossing maybe a tenth of what the movie will probably cost to make. The more game-focused and niche the film gets, the more of a failure it will be.

      Nothing about the movie that actually gets made will be niche. They will go with whatever has the broadest appeal to the casual, gaming-playing, movie-going public. If they are smart, they will not even include the words Dungeons and Dragons anywhere in the title, so that it can appeal to casual fans of fantasy who do not game at all and maybe only recognize the words from their use in some TV show like Big Bang Theory. This is why I do not think the story should even be set in the Realms. If the scriptwriters invent a whole new world for the film, I am fine with that.
    1. jgsugden's Avatar
      jgsugden -
      WhenDisney buys Hasbro we'll have all of the D&D shows and movies we want....
    1. Henry's Avatar
      Henry -
      Though it would be a very good story (the whole Drizzt Do’urden arc), There’s waaay too much unintentional subtext involving a story about a race of black- or dark blue/violet-skinned humanoids who are evil underground demon-worshippers to ever leave a pitch meeting - not even to mention the focus of the story being on the sole drow, who is a good person, who hangs around good and noble caucasian-looking people who live on the surface in the light.
    1. MechaPilot's Avatar
      MechaPilot -
      Quote Originally Posted by jgsugden View Post
      WhenDisney buys Hasbro we'll have all of the D&D shows and movies we want....
      When Disney buys Hasbro we'll have Elminster joining the Avengers, or Doctor Strange showing up in FR.

      Since they'll own Fox as well, we'll get to see Xenomorphs and Predators officially part of monster manuals.

      And when they eventually buy Universal, Strahd will be Dracula, and Mordenheim will be Frankenstein, in name as well as likeness.
    1. Sunseeker's Avatar
      Sunseeker -
      I'm still kinda curious what they're even going to do for a movie. I don't think that fundamentally any individual piece of the established lore has enough traction to draw in movie-goers, but the fundamental concept of an adventuring party might, but then you're basically doing LOTR with some hijinks.
    1. FrogReaver's Avatar
      FrogReaver -
      I have high hopes for a D&D movie this go around. Why? Because they have a lot of very good fantasy movies and series they can learn from.
    1. Enevhar Aldarion's Avatar
      Enevhar Aldarion -
      Quote Originally Posted by MechaPilot View Post
      When Disney buys Hasbro we'll have Elminster joining the Avengers, or Doctor Strange showing up in FR.

      Since they'll own Fox as well, we'll get to see Xenomorphs and Predators officially part of monster manuals.

      And when they eventually buy Universal, Strahd will be Dracula, and Mordenheim will be Frankenstein, in name as well as likeness.
      Still better than what you could have for crossovers while owned by Hasbro. Discord and Megatron could be the big bads at the end of the movie. lol
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      The Dragonlance Chronicles would be a fantastic choice to turn into a Movie but you would need Peter Jackson to do it right.
    1. Ricochet's Avatar
      Ricochet -
      Nevermind - Chris McKay was right there in the news! :-D
    1. kikazzi's Avatar
      kikazzi -
      As much as I love DragonLance, I don't think they could pull off a good movie unless they gave Hobbit treatment to each of the books. A 9+ part movie for just Chronicles is probably not in the cards, which is why I lean towards a GoT type show. At the same time, though, Chronicles might lack the other points of view for that.
      If they rumor of them trying to pull a Guardians of the Galaxy with this movie is true, well I'll hope for the best but expect the opposite. You can mock tropes for comedy gold without a solid backlog of tropes, and I feels like reaching to go after LotR and GoT at this point. There just doesn't feel like enough movie material in the public conscious. Maybe I'm wrong. I hope I'm wrong. Maybe they've got a script that will blow all our minds.
    1. MechaTarrasque's Avatar
      MechaTarrasque -
      I am pretty sure this movie will be the love child of LOTR and Jumanji/the D&D cartoon with added Drizzt and Elminster (filling in for the Dungeon Master role).
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      I think it's safe to say we know nothing at all. But we can have fun connecting the dots to see if we can make a picture!
      You, sir, win the internets today.

      My unsolicited 2 cents: They need to position D&D as medium that has several franchises in it. As Marvel has done with it's separate heroes. Though at this point, saying the different movie franchises are unrelated maybe good way to avoid metaplot burn out. Start with a Waterdeep focused heist film in the Forgotten Realms, do a romance/rom-com in Dragonlance and then an action-adventure film in Eberron.

      Then surprise the Holloween crowd with a one-night reveal and release of a Ravenloft horror flick.
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