D&D Movie/TV Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves could change D&D forever


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Jer

Legend
Supporter
That's true, but they are currently attempting to sell eOne, which was successful, albeit WotC strategically retained certain high-value IPs from it (which is probably why it hasn't found a buyer yet).
Also this is the wrong time to try to get someone to buy into a movie/tv studio. What with almost all of the major players who buy content currently having no consistent direction and sending very mixed signals about what the future is going to look like going forward. The streaming market being in chaos is not fun for the folks who make tv and films right now.

Really I couldn't think of a worse time to be trying to sell a tv/film production company, no matter what IP it has attached to it.
 

Haplo781

Legend
Also this is the wrong time to try to get someone to buy into a movie/tv studio. What with almost all of the major players who buy content currently having no consistent direction and sending very mixed signals about what the future is going to look like going forward. The streaming market being in chaos is not fun for the folks who make tv and films right now.

Really I couldn't think of a worse time to be trying to sell a tv/film production company, no matter what IP it has attached to it.
I'll give them a dollar for it
 


Jer

Legend
Supporter
I'll give them a dollar for it
I think that's the problem. I'm not even sure they are getting folks making those kind of lowball offers.

And depending on how things go you could buy it for a dollar and still end up losing millions before you're all done...
 

The movie tanking will have a lot of repercussions. It would mean, that there will be no good movie for the next 25 years again. It might also mean a stop to all the money funneled into devolping actual good digital offerings and 3pp don't have the money to deliver.
All thaz does not mean that we should be silent on the OGL issue. But a boycot of the movie might hurt us more than WotC in the long run.
 

There are still people that think of D&D as "uncool nerd crap" and "uncool devil crap." They're certainly not in the majority, but they are out there. I'm kinda shocked whenever I come across one of them, but those attitudes still float around.

But honestly I think we're past the point where stigma of any kind can really be an issue for D&D, except possibly the dread "That's fun but it's for old people" or "That was fun when I was a kid". D&D is currently pretty well-positioned to avoid that, given the core audience seems to be about 15-29 buuuuuuut all it would take would be an '80s-like situation where a lot of people just drift away from the game for it to perhaps acquire that stigma. I know loads of 30-40-somethings currently teaching their kids D&D, but will those kids go on to play it as adults, or will they leave it behind as a game for kids? I think that's in the balance, and I don't think D&D:HAT or sequels will actually make much odds to that.

"A fun and fairly well received film" would certainly be a step up from the previous offerings. And I'm fine with that. It doing well enough to start a franchise would be gravy.

Agree with basically everything here. I doubt that Honor Among Thieves will be a truly great movie, but if it is a fun and fairly well received film, it could have a positive impact on the hobby. Of it does well enough to get a sequel, however, it could be the first link in a chain of D&D becoming a pop culture fixture, particularly once filmmakers figure out theybcan throw in basically anything to the D&D stew.

The critical and financial failure of the first D&D movie didn't have many repercussions on the game (and hey, it paid for Jeremy Irons' castle). It didn't stop the next two movies from being made (albeit with ever-diminishing budgets and well, ever-diminishing everything). That being said, today's multimedia franchise entertainment environment is a very different one from 2000. But then again, if you look at the more recent 2016's Warcraft movie, did its failure have an effect on the game it was based on?

The movie tanking will have a lot of repercussions. It would mean, that there will be no good movie for the next 25 years again. It might also mean a stop to all the money funneled into devolping actual good digital offerings and 3pp don't have the money to deliver.
All thaz does not mean that we should be silent on the OGL issue. But a boycot of the movie might hurt us more than WotC in the long run.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
There are still people that think of D&D as "uncool nerd crap" and "uncool devil crap." They're certainly not in the majority, but they are out there. I'm kinda shocked whenever I come across one of them, but those attitudes still float around.
When I run into them at work, I ask them to tell me about their fantasy football team. They usually go a good 60 seconds before they get the point and, typically, cool it after that.
 

Right, even if the D&D movie draws a huge portion of the player base, it will need to appeal to general audiences to make it a smash. The OGL debacle will be meaningless if D&D takes off in a movie series. Wizbro can write off the TTRPG at that point. How big is the design and development team for Monopoly?
I do suspect that might be what they're hoping for. . .for D&D to become like Marvel, and be more of a movie and TV "franchise" where the original printed material that built it is relegated to a very minor part of the business.

I don't think that will work though, because Marvel is built on strong characters and good stories with a vast pool of lore to draw from. Even if your casual fan doesn't know the history of Iron Man or Black Panther past what they see on screen, the writers and producers of those movies have the benefit of decades of storylines, of characterization of heroes and villains from different writers, of a wealth of materials they can use to build on to create a good story.

D&D is mostly a game about people's own original characters, and largely about original worlds. Yes, there are the published campaign settings, with their own settings and own worlds. . .but we haven't seen any sign of them doing a Drizzt Do'Urden or Elminster movie, or a Rudolph Van Richten movie, or movies based on famous D&D adventures like Tomb of Horrors, Throne of Bloodstone, or Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.

D&D movies so far (including from what we've seen, the upcoming Honor Among Thieves) have been fairly generic fantasy stories that just incidentally use some D&D IP around monsters and magic and such, that could work as generic fantasy movies with only minor twiddling, just with the Dungeons and Dragons brand name attached.

That's not going to be the huge rainmaker that Hasbro is hoping for. . .I really don't think that making a fairly generic fantasy movie and slapping on the D&D brand will rake it in the way they're hoping.
 
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That being said, today's multimedia franchise entertainment environment is a very different one from 2000. But then again, if you look at the more recent 2016's Warcraft movie, did its failure have an effect on the game it was based on?
How was that Warcraft film funded?

It's my understanding that Hasbro fronted the money to make the new D&D movie themselves. They wagered their own money on this. If it bombs, they're out a LOT of money, not just some outside investors.

Trying to figure out the impact of the success or failure of the movie on D&D as a "franchise" would need to take into account if Hasbro is might be facing a very large loss if the movie flops.
 

Haplo781

Legend
I do suspect that might be what they're hoping for. . .for D&D to become like Marvel, and be more of a movie and TV "franchise" where the original printed material that built it is relegated to a very minor part of the business.

I don't think that will work though, because Marvel is built on strong characters and good stories with a vast pool of lore to draw from. Even if your casual fan doesn't know the history of Iron Man or Black Panther past what they see on screen, the writers and producers of those movies have the benefit of decades of storylines, of characterization of heroes and villains from different writers, of a wealth of materials they can use to build on to create a good story.

D&D is mostly a game about people's own original characters, and largely about original worlds. Yes, there are the published campaign settings, with their own settings and own worlds. . .but we haven't seen any sign of them doing a Drizzt Do'Urden or Elminster movie, or a Rudolph Van Richten movie, or movies based on famous D&D adventures like Tomb of Horrors, Throne of Bloodstone, or Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.

D&D movies so far (including from what we've seen, the upcoming Honor Among Thieves) have been fairly generic fantasy stories that just incidentally use some D&D IP around monsters and magic and such, that could work as generic fantasy movies with only minor twiddling, just with the Dungeons and Dragons brand name attached.

That's not going to be the huge rainmaker that Hasbro is hoping for. . .I really don't think that making a fairly generic fantasy movie and slapping on the D&D brand will rake it in the way they're hoping.
If they were smart they'd take another crack at Dragonlance (seriously, the animated movie sucking was not the fault of the source material), make a Drizzt movie, and consider a Fell's Five TV series or something.

If they do well enough with those, they can expand into genres outside of "fantasy kitchen sink" with like an Eberron detective noir series about a grizzled veteran of the Last War turned inquisitive in Sharn, a Castlevania knockoff set in Ravenloft, and, I dunno, a Prism Pentad adaptation or whatever.
 

Oofta

Legend
I do suspect that might be what they're hoping for. . .for D&D to become like Marvel, and be more of a movie and TV "franchise" where the original printed material that built it is relegated to a very minor part of the business.

I agree.

I don't think that will work though, because Marvel is built on strong characters and good stories with a vast pool of lore to draw from. Even if your casual fan doesn't know the history of Iron Man or Black Panther past what they see on screen, the writers and producers of those movies have the benefit of decades of storylines, of characterization of heroes and villains from different writers, of a wealth of materials they can use to build on to create a good story.

A lot of people in Hollywood have played a fair amount of D&D and other TTRPGs. They understand what makes the game work. The MCU was started with Iron Man - one of their secondary heroes at the time. But other than a handful of popular comic book heroes (Batman, Spider-Man, Superman), most people only have a very slight recognition of the main characters.

D&D is mostly a game about people's own original characters, and largely about original worlds. Yes, there are the published campaign settings, with their own settings and own worlds. . .but we haven't seen any sign of them doing a Drizzt Do'Urden or Elminster movie, or a Rudolph Van Richten movie, or movies based on famous D&D adventures like Tomb of Horrors, Throne of Bloodstone, or Expedition to the Barrier Peaks.

D&D movies so far (including from what we've seen, the upcoming Honor Among Thieves) have been fairly generic fantasy stories that just incidentally use some D&D IP around monsters and magic and such, that could work as generic fantasy movies with only minor twiddling, just with the Dungeons and Dragons brand name attached.

That's not going to be the huge rainmaker that Hasbro is hoping for. . .I really don't think that making a fairly generic fantasy movie and slapping on the D&D brand will rake it in the way they're hoping.

There's a lot of depth to some of the D&D worlds, for good or ill, which makes it more than "just" a generic fantasy movie. In a way, it give studios freedom to tell interesting and unique stories. Nobody is going to complain that Tom Bombadil is missing from the movie or that Tilda Johnson shouldn't have been cast as The Ancient One. Of course there are other pitfalls as well, since D&D's history hasn't always been particularly politically correct.

So it may well be a wash. Several fantasy series have been successful, so I think there's a good possibilities.
 

Huh. I like FASERIP, but the Marvel SAGA game (with the cards) is the best Supers RPG I've ever played.
MSHAG/SAGA is well-designed mechanically. It was significantly before its time, even. What wasn't smart was the tone/characters it focused on (classic light-hearted Marvel and "an extremely broad selection" respectively - again that would play way better now than when it came out), how it was presented and marketed. It was also explained in a way that didn't necessarily present it in the best light, and the card-based mechanic combined with the other issues to make it look like it was dumb jank for kids rather than an innovative and cutting-edge RPG.
 

Hah, truth.

When I run into them at work, I ask them to tell me about their fantasy football team. They usually go a good 60 seconds before they get the point and, typically, cool it after that.

I haven't a clue about the Warcraft movie, but you make a good point about Hasbro probably having more skin in the game, so to speak.

How was that Warcraft film funded?

It's my understanding that Hasbro fronted the money to make the new D&D movie themselves. They wagered their own money on this. If it bombs, they're out a LOT of money, not just some outside investors.

Trying to figure out the impact of the success or failure of the movie on D&D as a "franchise" would need to take into account if Hasbro is might be facing a very large loss if the movie flops.
 

There's a lot of depth to some of the D&D worlds, for good or ill, which makes it more than "just" a generic fantasy movie.
Oh, I know. I'm a huge fan of the Realms, and Planescape, I know the lore pretty well.

The thing is, they don't seem to be capitalizing on it. The first set of D&D movies from the early 2000's were pretty generic fantasy movies. This one doesn't seem to be breaking that mold.

There's all kinds of storylines they could adapt from Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Planescape, Dark Sun etc. that could make some awesome movies. . .that they don't seem to want to focus on and just keep going to generic fantasy movies with the D&D brand.

It seems curious they're not leveraging that angle, taking known characters and settings and using them. It doesn't fill me with confidence as to how they're managing their aspiring film franchise.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
That's not going to be the huge rainmaker that Hasbro is hoping for. . .I really don't think that making a fairly generic fantasy movie and slapping on the D&D brand will rake it in the way they're hoping.
Plenty of franchises have been built on IP that didn't have an existing trove of stories. We're up to 87 Fast & Furious movies now, so it's by no means an impossible feat.

And most things are "generic." Most of these stories were old by the time Shakespeare got to them. But as he showed, it's all about the execution, as it will be here.
 

Whizbang Dustyboots

100% that gnome
Oh, I know. I'm a huge fan of the Realms, and Planescape, I know the lore pretty well.

The thing is, they don't seem to be capitalizing on it. The first set of D&D movies from the early 2000's were pretty generic fantasy movies. This one doesn't seem to be breaking that mold.
Lore-first presentation is what likely sank the Warcraft movie franchise almost immediately. (There's an occasional rumor it might come back, but they sold off all the props during the pandemic, so take those rumors with a big grain of salt, since even the movie studio doesn't seem to have much faith.)

Tell a good story first and then expand the world after that.
 

Oofta

Legend
Oh, I know. I'm a huge fan of the Realms, and Planescape, I know the lore pretty well.

The thing is, they don't seem to be capitalizing on it. The first set of D&D movies from the early 2000's were pretty generic fantasy movies. This one doesn't seem to be breaking that mold.

The Sweetpea movies were pretty pathetic and have nothing to do with these movies.

There's all kinds of storylines they could adapt from Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Planescape, Dark Sun etc. that could make some awesome movies. . .that they don't seem to want to focus on and just keep going to generic fantasy movies with the D&D brand.

It seems curious they're not leveraging that angle, taking known characters and settings and using them. It doesn't fill me with confidence as to how they're managing their aspiring film franchise.

Whether there's any tie-in to existing lore or setting in the new movies, we don't know. You're not likely to see it in the trailers.

In any case, I have no idea how successful the movie will be and whether it will be good or not.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
Plenty of franchises have been built on IP that didn't have an existing trove of stories. We're up to 87 Fast & Furious movies now, so it's by no means an impossible feat.
I will say that the first Fast and Furious movie was made at a time when Hollywood wasn't so hostile towards making a script that wasn't based on anything already existing. 2001 doesn't feel like it was that long ago, but in terms of how the film landscape has shifted it might as well be 50 years ago.

Actually part of the problem is they don't make movies like Fast and Furious anymore at all. A mid budget action movie - heck mid budget movies of any kind - that isn't some star actor or producer or director's pet project just isn't getting made. It's either small indie movie or big budget action, not much in between. The mid budget is for direct to streaming now I guess.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
MSHAG/SAGA is well-designed mechanically. It was significantly before its time, even. What wasn't smart was the tone/characters it focused on (classic light-hearted Marvel and "an extremely broad selection" respectively - again that would play way better now than when it came out), how it was presented and marketed. It was also explained in a way that didn't necessarily present it in the best light, and the card-based mechanic combined with the other issues to make it look like it was dumb jank for kids rather than an innovative and cutting-edge RPG.

We played it with original characters using our own setting, so can't speak to the emulating Marvel part except that we were trying to capture "70s Marvel" (basically Power Man and Iron Fist + Marvel Superheroic Horror comics like Tomb of Dracula and Werewolf By Night) and it did a great job.
 

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