D&D Movie/TV D&D Movie should follow the Deadpool model


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So, Deadpool provided the perfect template for a D&D movie.

There should be a deadly serious underlying plot, ideally involving a PC party oriented heist with dungeon crawling elements, but the film should be an over the top action comedy, with hyper-violence played both straight in terms of cool action scenes that make sense within the context of the world, but mixed with absurd comedic moments that unapologetically break the 4th wall.

Although the world itself should be played straight, the player characters and some of the villains should totally break the 4th wall with all sorts of in-jokes, characters arguing with an off camera (and unheard DM), scene rewinds to simulate cocked dice, or long drawn out planning montages where the PCs describe everything they are about to do before they do it, and then revise the plan while arguing with each other. :)

And all the characters should recite pop-culture movie references, speak frequently to off-camera players and a DM, while the NPC's are totally oblivious and played straight. Never show the off-camera players, but have the characters occasionally speak in the third person as if being played by someone else off camera.

Do fun things like have a PC die, but then the exact same actor comes in playing a different character that randomly joins the party but is now a different class or something but otherwise looks and acts the same. Joke about their contrived backstory, joke about the character having player knowledge they couldn't realistically have, etc.

Basically it should be like a real session of D&D. :)

But so over the top with cool action and fun humour that even non-gamers not versed in D&D tropes will have a great time and enjoy it for how ridiculous it is.
This would certainly allow them to address things like drow and orcs with a sense of humor, while not casting them aside.
 

SirMoogle

Explorer
I think that if it's going to be played straight without a framing device (the campaign isn't being played by players), it should be an established well-known D&D setting like Eberron; it'd be harder to do something like Forgotten Realms and differentiate it from other high-fantasy films. The mechanics would have to be shown without being explicitly announced, but if it decides to go the Goblin Slayer route (with the adventuring team strategising over how many spells/miracles they have left) that might be doable.

The movie could go the game-within-a-movie route, but that usually requires that the players be involved in their own plot as well.
 


Mort

Legend
Supporter
I think the portal fantasy is a good way to go.

Hell, go buy Guardians of the Flame from Joel Rosenberg (science fiction author) - Wikipedia 's estate.

A bunch of college students get sucked into a D&D world with magic and stuff, and it suuuucks. They work to rebuild it.
While I get your broader point, I recently reread the first book in this series and it stands up to modern rereading almost (though not quite) as poorly as rereading Anthony's Xanth novels. I would not recommend it to anyone today. In my Opinion, of course.

As to the "portal" idea in general, Jumanji just did it (twice). So you'd have to be careful a broader audience doesn't just think of it as some kind of rip off (even if that belief is misplaced). D&D may be bigger than ever now, but most people still don't know that much about it and it looks like they're looking for a big budget movie this time around.
 

MGibster

Legend
With all due respect to my fellow EN Worlders who want "serious" fantasy movie, that will not work. There is a reason that virtually all fantasy movies just become B-movie cheese, even with a big budget. I mean look at Warcraft! That was a 'serious' D&D movie if ever there was one. It had the biggest MMO in the world behind it with millions of players and it was basically 'meh' and pretty much disappeared shortly after release. Frankly, this is the best a serious D&D film can achieve. Wouldn't be terrible, but would be a huge missed opportunity.
By most accounts, Warcraft was just a bad movie. Critic Christy Lemire described the orcs as, "Refugees from a Gwar concert." Being serious isn't what hurt Warcraft, being crummy hurt it. I don't expect a D&D move to be as successful as Lord of the Rings nor do I require a movie to take itself 100% seriously. The Marvel movies have done a remarkably excellent job of respecting their source material while having fun with it. And that's what I'd like to see them do with a D&D movie.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
While I get your broader point, I recently reread the first book in this series and it stands up to modern rereading almost (though not quite) as poorly as rereading Anthony's Xanth novels. I would not recommend it to anyone today. In my Opinion, of course.
I guess JR is a bit of a nut and it leaks through.
As to the "portal" idea in general, Jumanji just did it (twice). So you'd have to be careful a broader audience doesn't just think of it as some kind of rip off (even if that belief is misplaced). D&D may be bigger than ever now, but most people still don't know that much about it and it looks like they're looking for a big budget movie this time around.
Hmm, I had forgotten about Jumanji.
 

hopeless

Adventurer
So perhaps a mix of the Gamers meets the Lord of the Rings?
Unknown to them their game is effecting another reality and the legend of their former characters results in them (not their characters) being recruited by a resident of that other reality to help when the enemy they defeated in their perceived fantasy game returns and they're the only ones who can turn the tide?
Something that insane, could it be any good?
 

By most accounts, Warcraft was just a bad movie. Critic Christy Lemire described the orcs as, "Refugees from a Gwar concert."
I have seen it.

1) They tried to hard too stick to the look of the game. Here is something that should be obvious: something designed to look exaggerated and cartoonish just looks dumb in live action.
Lesson: If you are doing live action try and look real.

2) They tried to stick to much lore from the game into the movie, and butchered it to make it fit.
Lesson: let the movie have it's own story.

3) They spent too much effort setting up a sequel.
Lesson: just focus on this movie, if it aint good there won't be a sequel.

It's not a really really bad movie. You can still get some entertainment from it. The occasional humorous bits are possibly the best bits. And sexy half orcs.
 

Hmm, I had forgotten about Jumanji.
Apart from the two Jumanji films (and a third coming), we have had three Narnia films relatively recently also in the portal subgenre.

There is nothing remotely original about transporting people from the real world to a fantasy world. Just ask the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
 

Stormonu

Legend
So perhaps a mix of the Gamers meets the Lord of the Rings?
Unknown to them their game is effecting another reality and the legend of their former characters results in them (not their characters) being recruited by a resident of that other reality to help when the enemy they defeated in their perceived fantasy game returns and they're the only ones who can turn the tide?
Something that insane, could it be any good?
Sounds like Galaxy Quest, honestly. That worked because it was spoofing the genre. I don’t think it should be done for an attempt at an initial movie where your trying to draw in interest instead of making fun of the game or fans (or parodying the game’s cliches). The prior D7D movies already did enough harm trying to play it straight and coming off as cheesy.

While mixing the “real world” and the D&D world could be done, I think that would be a better case for a tv series, not a movie. With only 2 hours or so to work with, flipping between realities is more likely to result in a confused, mixed mess instead of a good movie.
 

Sounds like Galaxy Quest, honestly. That worked because it was spoofing the genre.
Thing about that is Star Trek had already had something like 10 movies done straight before Galaxy Quest spoofed them. And some of them where even good.

Before you can parody something you first have to play it straight.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Thing about that is Star Trek had already had something like 10 movies done straight before Galaxy Quest spoofed them. And some of them where even good.

Before you can parody something you first have to play it straight.
See, you could treat D&D as a spoof on Lord of the Rings/Hobbit/Piles of Fantasy YA stuff at this point.

I wouldn't be able to write it, but ...
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
See, you could treat D&D as a spoof on Lord of the Rings/Hobbit/Piles of Fantasy YA stuff at this point.

I wouldn't be able to write it, but ...
I strongly suspect that the last thing Hasbro wants is to in any way biggy back of a different brand.

They don't want a spoof of some other success, they want to build a successful enough movie/set of movies that someone else feels is popular enough to spoof.
 

GreyLord

Legend
Just to bring up, IF they decided to do a portal from reality to another world, it has already been done with D&D and even sported the D&D name.

Making the D&D cartoon a live action adaptation could be a way to dig into the nostalgia, bring up some excitement from some international roots in the Americas (N and S America) while adapting the story to a more modern sensibility and audience.

Not that this is the route they would take, or that this is even being considered. I'm just pointing out that D&D actually has a background for such a story if someone ever decided to go that route.
 

cavalier973

Adventurer
My opinion is that the story should be set in Castle Greyhawk, and should be focused on a party of adventurers searching the ruins for treasure. There should be one, or maybe two dragons. Care should be taken to differentiate this from "The Hobbit".

For example, the story might involve a group of regular folk whose lives are disrupted (lost job, house burned down, money stolen, etc.) and when a mysterious stranger at the tavern tells them there is treasure in nearby ruins for the taking, they decide to go get some of it.

Turns out the mysterious stranger works for a dragon (or is a dragon, in disguise) that is trying to steal the treasure of another dragon, and has been luring adventurers into the ruins for several months. This dragon kills the parties when they emerge and takes what they retrieved from the ruins. Our main characters are the latest dupes, but they slowly figure out what is going on, and eventually must escape back through the ruins while being chased by the dragon and its cronies. This might be the main part of the movie--escape. Play up that the dragon is a scary creature, sort of like the dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park" or the Xenomorph in "Alien". The characters have to decide at multiple points whether to give up treasure, or leave behind a companion, else be caught by the dragon. Their end game might be something like finagling the two dragons into a confrontation.
 

See, you could treat D&D as a spoof on Lord of the Rings/Hobbit/Piles of Fantasy YA stuff at this point.

I wouldn't be able to write it, but ...
Fish in a barrel.

Fantasy is easy to spoof because it is so inherently silly. It's treating it seriously that is difficult.

There are lots of fantasy spoofs already, and only one is good (The Princess Bride).
 

hopeless

Adventurer
Or reveal there's a third dragon involved and its become aware of the ruse and is using the opportunity to cause both dragons to fight each other.
But during the trek it begins to bond with the others that it feels obligated to help them even protect and defend them such that in a climatic moment it drops its disguise to fight the dragon telling them to flee as it tries to hold off the more powerful dragon.
You know make it more than a simple treasure hunt and more than just some bitter double cross or look upon things like dragons as just violent monsters.
 


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