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D&D Movie/TV Joe Manganelio is Writing the D&D Movie? And Is it DRAGONLANCE?

Actor Joe Manganelio (from True Blood, Magic Mike, and more) appeared on the Happy Sad Confused podcast this week, and reported that he is co-writing a movie script. While he doesn't namecheck D&D, his description sounds a lot like it, and he did recently meet up with WotC. "Last year with a playwright I went to Carnegie Mellon with, I actually made a draft of a film, and now we're talking to all the right parties. I had a two-day creative summit with the Wizards of the Coast...we had like a two-day summit about where the movie could go or TV series, products, synergy, the whole deal… Obviously, there's a spectacle. There's dragons breathing fire and lightning. But what makes a great superhero or fantasy movie is the human aspect. It's got to be about something. We root for those characters in Game of Thrones. Fellowship of the Ring was about friendship, this undying love for your friends. That's something everyone can identify with. When a movie is about something human and real emotionally people are going to want to see. Then you get some dragons breathing fire, and hey, I'm in." And to add fuel to the fire, he even tweets a photo of a DRAGONLANCE script! (thanks to darjr for the scoop)


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The D&D movie is being directed by Rob Letterman (Goosebumps, Monsters vs. Aliens, Shark Tale), produced by Rob Lee (The Lego Movie, How To Train Your Dragon) and was/maybe still is being penned by David Leslie Johnson (Wrath of the Titans). Previous reports indicated that "This new Dungeons & Dragons will be a Guardians of the Galaxy-tone movie in a Tolkien-like universe. Because when you think of all the Hobbit movies and The Lord of the Rings, they have an earnestness to them, and to see something fun, a Raiders romp inside that world, I feel is something the audience has not seen before." and that "producers are eyeing a Vin Diesel-type for the film’s lead characters".

Of course, we also know that Vin Diesel plays D&D, as does Joe Manganiello.

So is he co-writing the D&D movie or is that something else? To add to the rumour pile, he tweeted an image of a DRAGONLANCE script (shown below). Of course, he could be playing with us. But maybe there is something in it? His name isn't that script, nor is David Leslie Johnson's. Let the speculation begin!



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Manganelio at WotC in February


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Manganelio tweeted this image







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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I wish they'd stop using Tolkien-esque worlds.

But otherwise, exciting. I mean, kinda. A lot of the description in that "guardians of the galaxy tone" makes me cringe. But so did the first trailers for GoTG, so we shall see.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It's Hollywood. You follow the leaders.

There are two business models for the Fantasy Franchise- LoTR and Harry Potter. D&D won't be Harry Potter.

And everyone would like to capture the Guardians of the Galaxy magic (take niche-IP, transform it into box office gold).

It's how you pitch movies. "This is like Schindler's List meets Happy Gilmore!"

Everyone gets all of that. None of it makes the quote less cringey, or means this will be good.

And it's not like no one ever makes new stuff that doesn't just "follow the leader".
 






doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Well, let's break this out, shall we?

D&D is a subsidiary of WoTC. WoTC is a subsidiary of Hasbro. Hasbro wants to monetize their IP (see also, the Hasbro Cinematic Universe).

The best way to monetize your IP in film is to create a sustainable franchise.

Now, there are almost no examples of "Big Successes" that don't follow the leader. There are "art house" successes (Her, Primer, Under the Skin) in science fiction. Not great examples for fantasy. But still, you'd have to go back to Star Wars (which kicked off the franchise) to look for something new; and you don't have to be a film buff to understand that the movie heavily cribbed giant portions. So, again, not new.


Looking at the top grossing fantasy movies (1995-2017, adjusted for inflation), and you will see in the top 20:

Four LoTR movies.
Eight (!) Potter movies.
One Pirates of Caribbean Movie
Chronicles of Narnia
Alice in Wonderland
Twilight (New Moon)


And some movies that I'm not sure you would even classify as fantasy (Sixth Sense, Jungle Book, Bruce Almighty, Up).

Excluding the four "non-fantasy" movies, every single movie is part of a franchise. Some barely so (AiW). But still. And they all followed the leader.

THIS IS HOW MOVIES GET MADE NOW.

Now, if you want a good movie (special effects????), you need financing. No one is going to finance a movie unless they have a good idea that it is ... following a leader. Hollywood is risk averse in that way.

Not to mention, again, this is how they pitch movies ("It's like Donnie Darko meets Pluto Nash!"). So what you should concentrate on is the finished product. Within the system, assuming good financing, you can make a good movie, a meh movie, or a bad movie. Hope for the good.

I hate repeating myself. :hmm:

Everyone understands all of that information.

I'm not sure what part of my post wasn't clear? Some part of it wasn't, clearly, but I can't tell what, exactly, caused you to respond with basically the same thing you'd already said that I didn't even comment on.
 


Lylandra

Adventurer
I just hope that he doesn't use a generic setting. A more lighthearted LotR inspired movie (tone-wise) would be totally fine. But please... no magic powder this time!
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
Looking at the top grossing fantasy movies (1995-2017, adjusted for inflation), and you will see in the top 20:

Four LoTR movies.
Eight (!) Potter movies.
One Pirates of Caribbean Movie
Chronicles of Narnia
Alice in Wonderland
Twilight (New Moon)

But all of those (except Pirates) were loved stories (yes even Twilight :) ) before they were movies.

Unless the filmmakers can pull off another miracle like Pirates (which was very considered a likely bomb until word of mouth reversed the expectations) I'm not optimistic. And they've had a few goes already.

In my mind it has to be light hearted and witty - come for the laughs, stay for the adventure. If they go epic, it better be bloody epic! :)
 


SheWantstheD&D

First Post
But all of those (except Pirates) were loved stories (yes even Twilight :) ) before they were movies.

Another example of how Hollywood is risk averse. If it's making money in another medium it's a safer bet. Hell, 50 shades is a great example. They made a second despite the first being such a flop because people ate up those books.


I still don't know why but that's an entirely different conversation haha.
 




I don't think anyone expects the D&D film to provide cinematic art. If only they could make a well-crafted fantasy blockbuster, that would be amazing. But I have my doubts.
 

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