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General D&D Movie Moves Forward With Deal With Former Marvel Exec Jeremy Latcham

bedir than

Adventurer
Marvel picked Iron Man because the rights to most of their known characters were gone. They had to put up the rights to their remaining characters as collateral to even get the funding. To this day, the Hollywood trades write articles full of awe and wonder that Marvel was able to launch their franchise with a character that was so little known.

The reason? It was a crazy gamble. Movie studios don't take gambles like that.
Paramount took that gamble
 

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Iron Man wasn't well known before his movie came out. This is true for many MCU heroes. This could apply to D&D characters, as there are around 15 million D&D players in the US. I don't know how many of them would understand an Elminster or Minsc and Boo reference, but I think it would be rewarding if they put it in.
The thing is, Iron Man was an interesting character in his own right, regardless of how well known he was. Minsc and Boo are interesting characters in their own right. Elminster is a setting-breaking cliché.
 

He could fit in if it was an epic fate-of-the-multiverse type movie where for some reason he had to team up with his equivalents from other crystal spheres (ie. Mordenkainen, Raistlin Majere, etc.)
Trouble is there'd be absolutely no audience for that. 9/10 "Elminister-types" are pompous, self-regarding, smug, rude, disagreeable old men with bad beards, most of whom are sociopaths, and all of whom have terrible dress sense. Then you've Raistlin I guess standing next to them looking all emo and grimacing a lot.

It could work as a comedy, I guess, like a really broad comedy where they were clearly all idiots.

Minsc and Boo are interesting characters in their own right.
Oh come on, now you're just being silly.

Minsc is not an "interesting character". He doesn't have a personality. He's basically Magnitude from Community, there solely to say his catchphrase at appropriate moments. Instead of "Pop pop!" it's "Go for the eyes Boo!". Boo isn't a character at all. He's a pet. Who doesn't do anything. I love him but he's not someone you could tell a story about, because there's nothing to him (which is, ironically, part of why he's popular - most other BG characters have kind of annoying backstories/personalities).

But, but, but BUT! I would watch ten Minsc + Boo movies before I watched one Elminister movie, so I agree there. We can I think thank our lucky stars that Sean Connery is now way too old for the part or Greenwood would probably be basically camped outside WotC HQ trying to convince them to make that happen (there's like a clear moment in late 2E or early 3E when Elminister suddenly shifts to obviously being played by Sean Connery).

The FR doesn't really have a lot of workable characters who are also popular with the readers/players.

Drizzt would be an obvious choice (starting AFTER he left the Underdark and was well clear of the BDSM/slavery/etc.) but I just dunno if WotC wants to engage with something that, on-screen, will be as "problematic" as Drow. In animated feature, sure, you can make them very dark grey (an inhuman colour) and with inhuman features, but with actual human actors? Hmmmmmm. Maybe you could manage it but you're teetering on the edge of blackface (I know some people just don't get this "That's what Drow look like!", and bless their hearts, but they have no useful input if they don't get it), and for what gain? So I think he'll stay in games (and/or animated stuff). Especially with Jarlaxle who makes the whole "blackface" angle so much worse by insisting on literally dressing like a pimp.

I mean, people like Alias (inc. Dragonbait and so on) or Shandril (the spellfire lady) could work too, but does anyone even remember or care about them (I mean, I do re: Alias but I suspect very few people do).
 
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Trouble is there'd be absolutely no audience for that. 9/10 "Elminister-types" are pompous, self-regarding, smug, rude, disagreeable old men with bad beards, most of whom are sociopaths, and all of whom have terrible dress sense.
Basically "Elminster types" = Rick Sanchez.
Minsc is not an "interesting character". He doesn't have a personality. He's basically Magnitude from Community, there solely to say his catchphrase at appropriate moments. Instead of "Pop pop!" it's "Go for the eyes Boo!". Boo isn't a character at all. He's a pet. Who doesn't do anything. I love him but he's not someone you could tell a story about, because there's nothing to him (which is, ironically, part of why he's popular - most other BG characters have kind of annoying backstories/personalities).
Minsc is certainly a stock character, and no one would ever consider him as the protagonist, but he is a fun type of stock character. He is basically Drax with a hamster.

Boo though - Boo is awesome. You think he is a regular hamster and Minsc is a fruitcake? Have you noticed the BG trilogy takes place over several years? Do you know the lifespan of a normal hamster?
 
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Minsc is certainly a stock character, and no one would ever consider him as the protagonist, but he is a fun type of stock character. He is basically Drax with a hamster.
Yes. I mean Drax and he are definitely the same character, they even have a very similar appearance. I definitely wouldn't mind him being in a movie.

I'm well-aware that Boo is a very special being. He just isn't a character though, not even to the degree of say, Groot.

Guardians of the Galaxy might not be a terrible model for a Baldur's Gate movie now you point this out though!

Basically "Elminster types" = Rick Sanchez.
Ouch, yeah.
 

If you want a bit of semi-serious comment, the original Baldur's Gate game didn't have the budget or disk space for much dialogue, so the companion characters, in order to make them memorable with only a few lines and a stock portrait, where all quite extreme archetypes. Superheroes, being based on comic books (limited text and sometimes basic art) also tend to be extreme characters. GotG took that and dialled it up to 11.

I do find companion characters in modern CRPGs, with elaborate backstories and gigabytes of fully voiced dialogue, are rather boring.

NB Dave Bautista was one of the names they where looking to attach to the D&D movie - I think that was the previous iteration though.
 
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It's hard to remember a time before the MCU, but Iron Man was absolutely a gamble. Casting RDJ, a gamble. Heck, even The Avengers was a risk. Marvel's heaviest hitters at the time had been licensed out in the 90s when the company was on the ropes (looks at old longboxes with scads of hologram, glow-in-the-dark, and foil alt covers).

Marvel picked Iron Man because the rights to most of their known characters were gone. They had to put up the rights to their remaining characters as collateral to even get the funding. To this day, the Hollywood trades write articles full of awe and wonder that Marvel was able to launch their franchise with a character that was so little known.

The reason? It was a crazy gamble. Movie studios don't take gambles like that.
Minsc and Boo are like nails on a chalkboard for me. Maybe it's because I never got into the main Baldur's Gate series (Dark Alliance is another story, though). I think we could see him appear as cameo (and I think existing characters will mostly appear as such), but the idea of a whole movie staring Minsc would...not be my thing.

The problem with using existing characters more heavily than that is that they just don't have the same cultural penetration as comic book heroes. Most people, even before the MCU, could identify The Hulk and Captain America, for example. Most people wouldn't know Minsc, Elminster, Drizzt, and the like.

Minsc is not an "interesting character". He doesn't have a personality. He's basically Magnitude from Community, there solely to say his catchphrase at appropriate moments. Instead of "Pop pop!" it's "Go for the eyes Boo!". Boo isn't a character at all. He's a pet. Who doesn't do anything. I love him but he's not someone you could tell a story about, because there's nothing to him (which is, ironically, part of why he's popular - most other BG characters have kind of annoying backstories/personalities).
 

Traycor

Explorer
Paramount took that gamble
Yes they did, because they were guaranteed the rights to the characters if the movie flopped. And they were only distributing. It's a far different situation from this D&D movie. If it flops, everyone loses, so they are going to do everything they can to make it a winner (known characters, big actors, whatever).
 

Traycor

Explorer
The problem with using existing characters more heavily than that is that they just don't have the same cultural penetration as comic book heroes. Most people, even before the MCU, could identify The Hulk and Captain America, for example. Most people wouldn't know Minsc, Elminster, Drizzt, and the like.
If studios only cared about characters that were known throughout the culture, they would license the film rights to almost nothing. They want some kind of fanbase, preferably a very loyal fanbase that will get excited and spread the word. In the example of Minsc, he has lots of fans from the games that don't care about D&D one way or another, but they'll talk about a movie he is in. He also has fans from the comics. Fans of Forgotten Realms will promote the film whether he is in it or not, and fans of D&D will promote it if he is in it or not. Minsc fits everything they want/need. Similar situation with Drizzt.
 

Any D&D movie will be a gamble. Technically, any movie is a gamble between success and failure. A D&D movie can be done well, like nearly any type of movie. They could try to make it more risky with more characters to appeal to fans, when they could take the safe route with a generic plot.
 

Traycor

Explorer
Any D&D movie will be a gamble. Technically, any movie is a gamble between success and failure. A D&D movie can be done well, like nearly any type of movie. They could try to make it more risky with more characters to appeal to fans, when they could take the safe route with a generic plot.
Movies are basically a gambling game. Hence studios check off as many boxes as they can to mitigate the risk.

License a known property that has a fanbase: check. Use known/popular characters: check. Pick known actor that has fans: check. And on and on and on. That's why lots of movies are formulaic and boring. Movies are designed and conceived to mitigate risk.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Guys, you all know Elminster will be in the movie. It's gonna happen. There is almost 0% chance of no Elminster.

And Minsc is one of the most popular FR characters. They gave him a comic book, and put in Neverwinter Online, and use him to promote stuff, for a reason.

Either it will be new characters given a quest by Elminster, or it will be Minsc and some other dudes, or it will be a retelling of some FR book involving Drizzt.
 

Guys, you all know Elminster will be in the movie. It's gonna happen. There is almost 0% chance of no Elminster.
Based on what evidence? It's likely, but I wouldn't say certain.
And Minsc is one of the most popular FR characters. They gave him a comic book, and put in Neverwinter Online, and use him to promote stuff, for a reason.
Yes, he is well known, but not as well known as a few other characters, like Elminster, Drizzt, and possibly one of the Silverhands.
Either it will be new characters given a quest by Elminster, or it will be Minsc and some other dudes, or it will be a retelling of some FR book involving Drizzt.
Still, I don't think anything is guaranteed. There's not much we know about the plot.
 

Traycor

Explorer
Guys, you all know Elminster will be in the movie. It's gonna happen. There is almost 0% chance of no Elminster.

And Minsc is one of the most popular FR characters. They gave him a comic book, and put in Neverwinter Online, and use him to promote stuff, for a reason.

Either it will be new characters given a quest by Elminster, or it will be Minsc and some other dudes, or it will be a retelling of some FR book involving Drizzt.
These scenarios are all likely. However, I don't think it's a given. The directors/producer may be able to push back if their vision is strong enough, and the paymasters agree. The point is, the creators will have to fight to avoid the scenarios mentioned above.
 

Traycor

Explorer
If you want a bit of semi-serious comment, the original Baldur's Gate game didn't have the budget or disk space for much dialogue, so the companion characters, in order to make them memorable with only a few lines and a stock portrait, where all quite extreme archetypes. Superheroes, being based on comic books (limited text and sometimes basic art) also tend to be extreme characters. GotG took that and dialled it up to 11.

I do find companion characters in modern CRPGs, with elaborate backstories and gigabytes of fully voiced dialogue, are rather boring.
Agree 1000%. The old characters were extremely iconic because they had to be. That included appearance, dialogue, and concept. They were silhouettes.

By contrast, the wizard and cleric companions in BG3 are generic. If you drew pictures of them, no one would even know it was them because they could be any random elf and bearded guy in a fantasy setting. Even a 5 year old can draw Minsc or Drizzt, and you know exactly who they are. Modern CRPGs lack this.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
These scenarios are all likely. However, I don't think it's a given. The directors/producer may be able to push back if their vision is strong enough, and the paymasters agree. The point is, the creators will have to fight to avoid the scenarios mentioned above.
That assumes the creators don’t like the idea of adapting a popular story or character from FR.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Based on what evidence? It's likely, but I wouldn't say certain.

Yes, he is well known, but not as well known as a few other characters, like Elminster, Drizzt, and possibly one of the Silverhands.

Still, I don't think anything is guaranteed. There's not much we know about the plot.
He’s definitely more well known than any Silverhand.

They aren’t gonna use FR and just ignore well known FR characters. Movies like this are adaptations. If they wanted a new thing they’d be using a new world.
 

Traycor

Explorer
Yes, he is well known, but not as well known as a few other characters, like Elminster, Drizzt, and possibly one of the Silverhands.
If you consider the broader video game audience, Minsc is far more known than Elminster, even if the old wizard is prominent in the P&P RPG products. Minsc has a lot of broad exposure that Elminster doesn't have. Only Drizzt is more well-known, but Minsc would beat out any of the secondary Drizzt characters. The Silverhands would be way down on the list behind characters like Jarlaxle or Bruenor.

Drizzt is Wolverine, the Companions of the Hall are the X-men. Minsc is Draxx. Elminster is... Agent Colson? lol
 

That assumes the creators don’t like the idea of adapting a popular story or character from FR.
Yes, because I am sure that they're not adapting a popular story or character into the movie. Why would they just take an already made story and make a movie out of it? That's not new. I don't know anyone who would go watch a Drizzt movie after reading the book.
 

He’s definitely more well known than any Silverhand.

They aren’t gonna use FR and just ignore well known FR characters. Movies like this are adaptations. If they wanted a new thing they’d be using a new world.
Yes, he probably is. That's not the point of making a D&D movie. They wouldn't create a whole new world for an already risky movie. You keep certain things similar to appeal to a broader audience, and then change things like character and plot to have a new story that is also more appealing.
 

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