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D&D Movie/TV D&D Movie - Wild Speculation and Poll

What do you expect/hope to see in the Setting, Tone and Framing of the upcoming D&D Movie? (Pick 3)

  • Setting - Forgotten Realms

    Votes: 50 53.8%
  • Setting - Eberron

    Votes: 4 4.3%
  • Setting - Dragonlance

    Votes: 4 4.3%
  • Setting - Homebrew/Unique

    Votes: 25 26.9%
  • Setting - Other (Specify)

    Votes: 8 8.6%
  • Tone - Grimdark

    Votes: 3 3.2%
  • Tone - Serious Fantasy (LotR)

    Votes: 21 22.6%
  • Tone - Lighthearted Fantasy

    Votes: 41 44.1%
  • Tone - Action Comedy

    Votes: 26 28.0%
  • Tone - Other (Specify)

    Votes: 4 4.3%
  • Framing - In Universe Storyteller

    Votes: 24 25.8%
  • Framing - Gaming Table

    Votes: 14 15.1%
  • Framing - Sucked into the game

    Votes: 4 4.3%
  • Framing - No Frame

    Votes: 35 37.6%
  • Framing - Other

    Votes: 2 2.2%

  • Total voters
    93
I went with Forgotten Realms for the setting, but really, I'd be fine with any of the published settings. If you look at the first movie, one of the things contributing to it feeling like a bad campaign run in a bad homebrew run by a bad DM was not using D&D IP. No one gets warm fuzzies from hearing the names Izmer and Sumdall. Whereas the second one has references to things familiar to gamers, like the Barrier Peaks. Now, the average non-D&D-playing moviegoer might not know the difference, but they can still tell when something has history and cohesiveness. Just look at the difference between Lothlorien and whatever the name of the elven kingdom ruled by Tom Baker was.
 

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OB1

Jedi Master
@M_Natas understand your point on Critical Role, but I was responding to your point that a 'gamers at the table' frame would "separate you from the story" and "kill all the tension". Immersion into a story and the tension you feel from it are products of the story itself, built from empathizing with characters and the set up and resolution of the conflicts they confront. Those elements work whether you are sitting in a theatre watching a play, in a cinema watching a movie, or at home watching a group of friends play a game on your computer. If the story and characters work, you forgot about your own frame and feel the story that is being told. The story being told in the gaming world should stand on its own, even without the frame.

What I feel the 'gamers at the table' frame would bring to the movie is a specific tone that matches the 'feel' of actually playing D&D. I don't personally want a meta-plot at the gaming table (ie the players learning lessons or having their own character arcs), but for people who don't understand what the game is/can be, this could be a point of entry.
 

cavalier973

Adventurer
My opinion is that the story should be about a group of people who are down on their luck, so they try to investigate a nearby castle ruin that is rumored to have a lot of treasure hidden within. In the course of their explorations, they stumble across a dragon that is planning to destroy the town.

I think it should be set in Mystara.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Even in princess bride - the fantasy story is there to create change in the real world. Princess Bride is a story about a grandfather who uses a fantasy story to win his grandson over to him (at the beginning the boy doesn't like it that his grandfather his here, in the end the boy wants him to come the next day again and read the story again).
I’m sorry, but this is just silly. The stakes and tension in The Princess Bride don’t come from the framing device. Nobody watching that movie for the first time is particularly invested in the characters of the grandfather and grandson, or worried that their relationship won’t hold together if the grandson doesn’t enjoy the story. That isn’t even presented as a possibility. There is zero tension in the scenes with them, they’re there for the purpose of comic relief, and to stand in for the framing device of the novel (that being an abridgment of a full novel that doesn’t actually exist). No, the tension 100% comes from the fictional scenario, and it doesn’t matter that it’s fictional in-universe.

Now, if you want to argue that you don’t think a D&D movie could pull that off, or that you don’t think it would make as good a movie as if they play the fiction straight, without such a framing device? By all means, make that argument. But trying to pretend the tension in The Princess Bride comes from the grandpa and grandson rather than the story of Westly, Buttercup, Inigo, et al is either a woeful misunderstanding of the story or actively disingenuous.
 

ART!

Hero
FR, light fantasy, and no framing. That's what I expect.

I don't much care what the setting is, but I assume it will heavily lean into one of their well-established gaming settings or another.

Tone-wise I want some serious and some crazy, ridiculous stuff, so "light fantasy" puts it between "serious" and "action comedy".

I don't want any gimmicky framing structure, or even one that sets up a real-world D&D table situation. Narration is always tricky, so I don't want much if any of that, either. Maybe just a suggestion that this tale is one of many that can be found in a set of mysterious tomes. ;)

Something vaguely like first 50 seconds or so of this might work, though.
Not the 3-D credits that the image shows below, but the stuff before that:


It's there to set a tone, but has no bearing on the rest of the movie story-wise.
 
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hopeless

Adventurer
I was imagining an adventure set in Eberron.
Initially set at a University where we learn they're sending out a team to investigate a site only one of the professors thinking they'd be going along is sent elsewhere as a result of the usual political games the University Hierarchy get up to.
A bit begrudged they're aren't going instead take the opportunity to take the semester off as they aren't signed up to teach or supervise students.
They run into their errant father and his group of friends who recruit her for a mission of their own actually an effort to rebuild the relationship between father and daughter, but instead ends up having to solve a mystery on a lightning rail heading out of Sharn which they're taking part of the way.
Turns out her rival team is also on the same lightning rail and disregard her efforts to get their help as she's forced to rely on her father and his friends resulting in her realizing she's been holed up in the University for too long.
They manage to save the lighting rail and solve the mystery leading to her University calling her asking why she was shirking her duties despite her obviously following the rules when she took her leave.
Before starting this she would have done anything to keep her job, but now faced with the truth she would never earn the respect of her fellow professors decides to quit her job and set out to rebuild her relationship with her father as his friends are squabbling over their next mission...

I went with Eberron, other tone and gaming table.

Using the above one gamer is kicked off of their regular group and end up having to join one with a family member involved but not running the game and during the game it involves her former group making it clear she wasn't the problem.
The above ends with them trying to get them to re-join, but still blaming them for the problem despite it not being their fault resulting in them sticking with their new group as they use the opportunity to learn and develop new friends.
 

Undrave

Hero
What I feel the 'gamers at the table' frame would bring to the movie is a specific tone that matches the 'feel' of actually playing D&D. I don't personally want a meta-plot at the gaming table (ie the players learning lessons or having their own character arcs), but for people who don't understand what the game is/can be, this could be a point of entry.
Meh, I don't think they expect to sell more D&D sets than Stranger Things did. They don't want to see D&D the game, they want to sell D&D the brand. They'll try to include as many things Hasbro has a copyright on as possible to get them into popular culture. I expect Dragonborns and Tieflings to be important, maybe Halflings, with Elves, Dwarves, Goblins and Gnomes being smaller roles but being there to be more approachable standard fantasy tropes for the laymen.

MCU movies don't move comic books from store shelves, they move Marvel merchandise. That's what Hasbro wants with this D&D movie. There's already plenty of streaming shows out there being produces without a cent spent by Hasbro if people want to know what playing D&D is like, that's not going to be the major focus of this exercise because it limits The Brand.

As much fun as a good meta framing device would be, I don't expect it to happen.
 

OB1

Jedi Master
@Undrave absolutely agree that they want the movie to sell the brand merchandise (of which the books are a part of). Like with the MCU, their challenge is to bring the brand to a wider audience that is skeptical of the primary way the brand is currently consumed (like Comic Books for the MCU). The difference is that D&D doesn't have a collection of proven, strong characters to pull stories from like the MCU had, so that has to come from scratch.

And sure, people can go to streaming shows to see what D&D is like, but I've got plenty of friends who I can't convince to play or to even spend an hour or two to watch a show (even now at the end of Covid, where people are running out of content to watch), but would have an easier time convincing them to go to a good action/adventure movie with Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez and Hugh Grant.

If (and that's a big if) that movie could convince the skeptics (like the MCU did for it's characters) that D&D is a fun and compelling way to spend one's afternoon, it would be a huge boon for the brand and would lead to a lot more merchandise being sold.

Marvel is it's characters. LotR is it's books. D&D is the game table (real or virtual). It needs to lean into it's brand if it want's to expand it.
 

I think the D&D character should get sucked into our world. We can enjoy all kinds of fun stuff like a dorf drinking his first pepsi and an Elf enjoying their first trip in an airplane.

Disney and ABC have done this type of thing already. There is the movie Enchanted, where the animated characters get sent into the real world and become real. And there is the Once Upon a Time TV series, where all the storybook characters get trapped in a real-world town without their memories.
 

I voted other, other, and in-universe storyteller. I expect it to use the Realms, but I would rather see a brand-new world, that they could then sell to us, or even one of the MtG worlds. For tone, I want it midway between LotR and The Hobbit. LotR has some humor, but a D&D movie needs a bit more, but definitely not as much farce as The Hobbit has and none of the stupid humor of the first D&D movie or crap like Your Highness. As for framing, I am guessing in-universe storyteller is what you have if parts of the movie have a narrator, like the opening scene in Fellowship of the Ring that shows the history of the Ring? If not, then my vote would be no frame, just a natural movie that happens.
 

Edit: This article also says that the main villain will be Drow, which, even if Hugh Grant wasn't playing the villain, I think is simply impossible to imagine today and makes me question even more the "sources" of this article.

The new Dark Alliance video game as Drizz't in it as one of the playable characters. So if the movie has an evil Drow, then it may also have good Drow to balance it. Imagine if Chris Pine plays a good Drow and Hugh Grant plays his evil father? ;)

Edit: and yeah, I just made three posts in a row. The horror of triple posting! lol
 

payn

Hero
The new Dark Alliance video game as Drizz't in it as one of the playable characters. So if the movie has an evil Drow, then it may also have good Drow to balance it. Imagine if Chris Pine plays a good Drow and Hugh Grant plays his evil father? ;)

Edit: and yeah, I just made three posts in a row. The horror of triple posting! lol
so they are going to just go ahead and blackface Pine and Grant?
 




The stakes and tension in The Princess Bride don’t come from the framing device.
The Princess Bride doesn't have stakes. No one is sitting on the edge of their seats worried about the characters. It's a comedy - people enjoy it because it makes them laugh, not for the adrenaline rush.

They could certainly do a D&D movie that aims to be funny rather than exciting, but I think that would be putting the cart before the horse. You should do it (ant least somewhat) straight before sending it up.
 

hopeless

Adventurer
Baldur's Gate with Pine as the son whose father is apparently killed through the machinations of the villain (Grant) leading to him having to step up ending up as part of a group of adventurers' who help thwart an attempt to seize power in Baldur's Gate.
Although Pine's character knows who was responsible for his father's death nothing can be done about that faced with either returning to the status quo as a mere guard having to face a day to day life knowing his father's murderer got away with it he elects to continue as an adventurer fully intending to one day bring his father's murderer to justice which he can't do within the city.
That kind of movie?
 

Emerikol

Adventurer
I would love a Greyhawk movie!

For those of you wanting a light hearted story, haven't we had a bunch of those and they all flopped. Give me a serious adventure where the characters are taking things seriously.
 

For those of you wanting a light hearted story, haven't we had a bunch of those and they all flopped. Give me a serious adventure where the characters are taking things seriously.
It's not a case of "wanting". The film makers have said they where aiming for a "Guardians of the Galaxy tone". So, no matter how much we might want a serious adventure, we know that aint going to happen.
 

Emerikol

Adventurer
It's not a case of "wanting". The film makers have said they where aiming for a "Guardians of the Galaxy tone". So, no matter how much we might want a serious adventure, we know that ain't going to happen.
aaaaah. That lowers my interest level a lot. Maybe they will surprise me.
 

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