D&D Movie/TV Hasbro To Produce Official D&D Documentary

Hasbro, through its Entertainment One media division, is set to produce a documentary about Dungeons & Dragons, directed by actor Joe Manganiello and filmmaker Kyle Newman. It will be timed to release during 2024's 50th anniversary of the game.


Over 400 hours of footage, going back to the 1970s, will be drawn upon, much of it never seen before. The documentary will also feature interviews with celebrity fans (as in celebrities who are fans of D&D, not fans of celebrities).

Also involved is D&D historian Jon Peterson, author of Playing at the World.

Another 'definitive' documentary, Role Players, also containing never-seen footage and celbrity interviews, was announced earlier this year.

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 12, 2022-- Entertainment One (eOne), Hasbro, Inc’s (NASDAQ: HAS) entertainment studio, announced today that it will produce the definitive documentary feature about the world’s greatest roleplaying game™. The Dungeons & Dragons® documentary will coincide with the game’s 50thanniversary in 2024. Dungeons & Dragons writer and official ambassador Joe Manganiello will co-direct with Kyle Newman and producing alongside his brother Nick Manganiello, Anthony Savini, and Cecily Tyler. Tara Long and Geno McDermott are executive producing for eOne alongside leading Dungeons & Dragons scholar Jon Peterson, Adam F. Goldberg, and Kyle Newman.

“I have had the pleasure of working in the past with Joe on True Blood among other projects and cannot think of a better more passionate person to dive headfirst into the world of Dungeons & Dragons from both a player and fan perspective,” said Michael Lombardo, eOne’s Head of Global Television. “The addition of Kyle Newman, Nick Manganiello, and Jon Peterson also bring unique and multiple dimensions to the history we plan to document. As we approach 50 years of this incredible gaming universe, the time is right for an officially authorized telling of the game’s origins and current state of play to its passionate fan based from all walks of life and its global cultural impact.”

“I couldn’t be more proud and excited to get back behind the camera for another documentary, this time with the D&D dream team of Jon, Kyle, and my brother and producing partner Nick. I lived through the rise and fall and rise again of this legacy brand that has not only meant so much to me but has served as the fountainhead of creativity for an entire generation of writers, artists, and creative minds, influencing so much of our culture,” said Joe Manganiello. “None of this would have been possible without Nathan Stewart at Wizards of the Coast and my eternally supportive boss from the HBO/True Blood days, Michael Lombardo and the fantastic team at eOne.”

“Dungeons & Dragons has sparked the imagination of fans all over the world for nearly 50 years and we continue to bring exciting and engaging experiences to new generations,” said Cynthia Williams, Hasbro President of Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming, “As we approach this milestone celebration, I am excited to have a creative team with authentic passion for the brand producing what we hope will become a defining look at the World’s Greatest Roleplaying Game’s storied history.”

The film will draw from over 400 hours of archived, never-before-seen Dungeons & Dragons footage going back to the game’s creation in the early 1970s, to which the Manganiellos, Newman, and Goldberg have spent the last years acquiring exclusive rights. It will also include exclusive interviews filmed during production with a variety of celebrity fans of the game. This footage, along with Wizards of the Coast’s agreement to give the production team inside access to highly confidential developments concerning the game and brand — the company’s first time authorizing such access — position this project to be the definitive documentary on the game’s soon to be half-century history.

Dungeons & Dragons, one of Hasbro’s key franchise brands, is a leading fantasy entertainment franchise, fueled by the imagination of storytellers around the world. More than 50 million fans have interacted with or played D&D since it was first published 48 years ago, including videogames and livestream entertainment on Twitch and YouTube.

This new Dungeons & Dragons expansion across entertainment is another example Hasbro’s Blueprint in action, delivering multichannel entertainment to fans on some of the world’s most beloved brands. The Company is actively collaborating on a number of upcoming scripted film and TV projects based on Hasbro’s storied IP.

Joe Manganiello’s entertainment career spans over two decades and includes roles in the SPIDER-MAN and MAGIC MIKE franchises, as well as such television series as True Blood, How I Met Your Mother, and Love, Death & Robots. An avid Dungeons & Dragons fan and player, he is well known for hosting campaigns with a large rotation of celebrity guests, including some of the biggest names in Hollywood’s fantasy and superhero space.

In 2012, Joe and brother Nick Manganiello launched 3:59 Inc., which has since feature titles including BOTTOM OF THE 9TH, starring Joe opposite Sofia Vergara, and the documentary LA BARE, Joe’s well-received directorial debut.

Newman is an award-winning filmmaker and New York Times Bestselling author. His directorial credits include FANBOYS, the Star Wars-centered comedy starring Seth Rogen and Kristen Bell, and BARELY LETHAL, A24’s action-comedy starring Academy Award nominees Hailee Steinfeld and Samuel L. Jackson, and this summer’s esports comedy 1UP for Lionsgate/Prime Video. Newman earned critical acclaim for his documentary RAIDERS: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE, as well as the book “Dungeons & Dragons: Art & Arcana,” the Hugo Award finalist he wrote alongside Peterson.

Peterson, a games historian and New York Times bestselling author, is the world’s foremost Dungeons & Dragons scholar. His book “Playing at the World” is widely considered an authoritative and exhaustive exploration of the game’s roots and legacy. On top of this title and “Dungeons & Dragons: Art & Arcana,” he wrote the New York Times bestselling “Heroes’ Feast: The Official D&D Cookbook,” also alongside Newman, and the MIT-published “The Elusive Shift: How Role-Playing Games Forged Their Identity” and most recently “Game Wizards.”
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Here is another, much longer, article from Deadline with more information:

The people making the film specifically thank Nathan Stewart and this part is interesting:

eOne’s doc will draw from over 400 hours of archived, never-before-seen footage going back to the game’s creation in the early 1970s, to which the Manganiellos, Newman, and Adam F. Goldberg have spent recent years acquiring exclusive rights. The film, also featuring exclusive interviews with celebrity fans of the game, will benefit from Wizards of the Coast’s offering to the filmmakers of inside access to highly confidential developments concerning the game and brand, this being the first time this level of access has been authorized.

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Hopefully this will be good. But I was always hoping for a big 3-part Ken Burns PBS documentary on D&D... maybe he'll do one on the darker side of the hobby: Part 1 "Pat Pulling and the Satanic Panic", Part 2 "Lorraine Williams and the Fall of TSR", Part 3 "Justin LaNassa and Nu TSR."
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Dreams in Gary's Basement has been in post-prod for years now, with no real clear project timeline left.

The Great Kingdom creators had a falling out and that project was snarled in the courts for some years. That was resolved and while the movie is still pending (as is the promised potato salad recipe, for that matter!), the We Were Wizards podcast that came out of it is at least quite excellent.

Dreams in Gary's Basement is still in post-production.

This new D&D documentary certainly has a team with the trifecta of D&D, documentary, and filmmaking chops to make it happen.

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