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D&D Movie/TV Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith Join D&D Movie

From Comic Book Movies -- "Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar) and Justice Smith (Detective Pikachu) have joined Wonder Woman 1984's Chris Pine in Paramount and eOne's upcoming big-budget board game adaptation, Dungeons & Dragons..."

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We learned in December about Chris Pine's involvement, along with directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley.

 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

payn

Legend
Everyone knew GotG was "Marvel in Space" before they went in to see the film.

Before you can tell the audience "It's Dungeons & Dragons with magic trains" you first have to establish your baseline Dungeons & Dragons.
Nobody knew what the hell GotG was. There was story after story explaining you would only know it if you read comics in the 80's. Being tied to Marvel got people to go. Being a good movie got people to keep coming. D&D is going to have only one of those to rely on.

Do folks really think magic trains are too much for audiences? Folks are going to leave when its not explained to them that the train is powered by neither steam nor internal combustion?
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The difficult bit is explaining to the uninitiated WTF any of it has to do with Dungeons & Dragons.
Not really. It’s a D&D world. There is no baseline D&D .
Everyone knew GotG was "Marvel in Space" before they went in to see the film.

Before you can tell the audience "It's Dungeons & Dragons with magic trains" you first have to establish your baseline Dungeons & Dragons.
No, you don’t.
Nobody knew what the hell GotG was. There was story after story explaining you would only know it if you read comics in the 80's. Being tied to Marvel got people to go. Being a good movie got people to keep coming. D&D is going to have only one of those to rely on.

Do folks really think magic trains are too much for audiences? Folks are going to leave when its not explained to them that the train is powered by neither steam nor internal combustion?
The idea is completely laughable, yeah.
 

Nobody knew what the hell GotG was.
They knew what a Marvel movie was though. And there was plenty of information available to explain the "in space" part.
There was story after story explaining you would only know it if you read comics in the 80's. Being tied to Marvel got people to go. Being a good movie got people to keep coming. D&D is going to have only one of those to rely on.
But getting people to go see the movie isn't the only thing this movie has to do. It's also has to set up a movie and TV franchise and sell games (part of the money is coming from Hasbro).
Do folks really think magic trains are too much for audiences? Folks are going to leave when its not explained to them that the train is powered by neither steam nor internal combustion?
No, it's easy to explain magic trains. It's explaining what magic trains have to do with D&D which is difficult. People who don't play D&D think they know what it's about, and what they think it's about does not include magic trains. And one of the things that cause people to rate a movie down is if it fails to meet their expectations.

And, if by some miracle, your magic train movie is successful, you have forever associated D&D with magic trains. If you then wanted to do a Forgotten Realms movie the audience would wonder "Why are people riding horses? Why don't they just take the magic train?"
 

but Orville proved that "official" critics on RT are useless hacks,
Rotten Tomatoes couldn't continue to sell ads in a very tough environment for advertising (the pandemic era) if people didn't come to the site because they found it valuable. In fact, it needs a lot of people to come to the site to get the kind of advertisers it has. It's likely an extremely popular site.

I think Rotten Tomatoes' bigger problem is that they don't want to admit that most critics aren't very good. They're aware of the issue, because they have a top critics section and an all-the-rest critics section, but they only show an aggregate critics score, not a score just based on what the top critics say.

I've done professional criticism before. Gotten paid for it, got a fancy award for it. A good critic doesn't just say "hated it," like most of Rotten Tomatoes' critics (and most of the internet's critics) do nowadays, but provides the reader/viewer enough information to make a decision on their own. That might be fancy thoughts on how a work fits into the canon of post-modern literature or it might be a brief-but-not-spoilery explanation of a play and what was enjoyable about it and what wasn't. The majority of critics today aren't providing much more value than the guy sitting at the other end of the bar, spoiling Wandavision at the top of his lungs, is.

My suspicion is that Rotten Tomatoes' internal traffic monitoring shows that most site visitors pick a movie and then click on what one or more top critics say (I look for Peter Travers' movie reviews, myself), which is how they've decided which are top critics and which are not. It they made the score of just what the audience thinks the most credible critics thinks their most prominent one, it'd likely be a lot more useful than what the current scoring system is.

It wouldn't necessarily equal the audience score, since those are incredibly vulnerable to brigading, where people decide to destroy a movie because it offends their politics or worldview, or boost it up because they feel some sort of connection to the star, or whatever. It's the inherent danger of opt-in internet polling.

But they can at least improve their critics score by not including the reviews from unknown outlets like -- looking at the Malcolm & Marie reviews here -- That Shelf, Shadows on the Wall, The MacGuffin or HeyUGuys. They might be great reviewers, but I can't imagine, and I suspect Rotten Tomatoes' internal metrics show, that site visitors are coming there to see what they thought of a film, compared to outlets like the Salon, the Boston Globe, or FilmWeek (the reviews from an NPR station in Los Angeles), all of which are labeled as Top Critics, but not appearing on the first page of reviews.

(In fact, since AARP Movies for Grownups is also listed as a Top Critic, I'm pretty sure it's based off of audience interest in the review, whether just through Rotten Tomatoes or through overall internet traffic stats.)
 


Another thought on Rotten Tomatoes:

Even their critics score works in the aggregate. I've rented movies solely because they got a Rotten Tomatoes score of 99 or 100, and they've been uniformly amazing. (That's how my wife and I discovered Moon, What We Do in the Shadows, Ex Machina and Paddington, all of which had 99 scores at the time we rented them.) We can certainly cherry pick films we enjoy, become outraged that the critics got it wrong, and decide that the whole system has no value, but that's deciding that our opinions must, when it's entirely possible that we're the outliers, not the critics, at least some of the time.

I will go to my grave defending Barb Wire, based on the astonishing confidence the filmmakers had to remake Casablanca, almost scene for scene, with a latex-clad Pamela Anderson replacing Humphrey Bogart. I would eagerly buy any book ever made about the making of that movie, which will have to be one of the greatest Hollywood stories of all time. That said, I cannot argue with Rotten Tomatoes' 27% score for the movie.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
Nobody knew what the hell GotG was. There was story after story explaining you would only know it if you read comics in the 80's. Being tied to Marvel got people to go. Being a good movie got people to keep coming. D&D is going to have only one of those to rely on.

Do folks really think magic trains are too much for audiences? Folks are going to leave when its not explained to them that the train is powered by neither steam nor internal combustion?

I didn't know what it was when I saw it.

Don't care about comics at the time didn't watch MCU. By the time Disney+ launched I had seen 4 MCU movies two if them were GotG.

Outside America I'm not sure I'd comics are much if a thing.
 

That's kind of the problem - if you did do an Eberron movie first, then that becomes the baseline. If Marvel had made GotG first, rather than Iron Man, it might still have been successful, but the MCU followed would have looked very different. Much more space based and less room for darker more serious material.

And, IMO an Eberron movie would be just that - an Eberron movie. Not a D&D movie. It might be a great fantasy movie but it wouldn't be any more D&D than Conan or Krull or Dark Crystal or Frozen.
But how is that "the problem"? Or even "a problem"?

If you do an Eberron movie, Eberron is still generic enough that it fits within the large box the general public (certainly under 40 or 50) considers fantasy, alongside things like LotR, The Princess Bride, Labyrinth, Final Fantasy, Stardust, Conan, and so on. It's not so outre that it seems like something else. It's not going to make people surprised if a different D&D movie doesn't have trains or airships in it (though, tbh, an FR movie easily could have airships, because the FR has had airships.

Or Sharn, City of Towers. People don't expect every city to be Sharn, just because Sharn is.

Or how people dress in Sharn - again, it's within the bounds of "fantasy", and so is how people dress in the FR (indeed there's probably a 1:1 crossover in a lot of places).

Eberron is an extremely broad setting, and I don't see anything about it, that's not equally likely to cause problems if you're starting with FR or with Greyhawk or wherever. All them contain minor incompatibilities, like the elves aren't wholly compatible, but aesthetically Eberron is just essentially a more exciting and less "Your Dad's Idea Of Fantasy" take on the same kitchen sink.

Now lemme make one major point of agreement - this doesn't apply to all D&D settings. Some are too far outside that, such that if you started with them, there would be a problem. Dark Sun immediately comes to mind. Or Spelljammer. Most of the MtG-based settings likewise. Planescape is a special case but I think is probably best reserved "for later".

I think there's also a real difference between what you might call "misty" fantasy, like LotR, where atmosphere is very key, and "wild" fantasy, which is more of the Marvel/Indiana Jones kind, where it's more about style and action. I think there's a fondness for "misty" fantasy (is there a better or more formal name for this?) among people my age and older, but I don't think it's like, very "D&D". I think very few D&D campaigns play out like LotR, and loads, and loads, and loads play out like GotG or the like. So whilst I think a lot of people would like this sort of sedate, sensible fantasy movie, maybe set in The Dales in the FR or something, or maybe a particularly calm version of Waterdeep, I don't think that would be any more D&D, than, y'know Frozen is. It would be a "Forgotten Realms" movie. Whereas Eberron, like it or loathe it, is better aligned, intrinsically, with how most D&D, to judge from all accounts I have available - not just my own experiences - the accounts of people here, let's plays, podcasts, long-running shows like Critical Role and Acquisitions Incorporated, and so on. Yeah some people are playing those calm, meditative almost LotR-esque games, which I honestly would love to play, but I don't think that's representative of D&D. D&D is dodging traps, whilst shouting friendly abuse at the idiot who triggered them and running headlong into a pack of enemies. It's much closer to the spirit of stuff like GotG and Indiana Jones than LotR. And Eberron works well with that. You can absolutely do it in other settings, but Eberron is peculiarly well-aligned.

I've said all this though and I think it's like a 95% chance it'll be set in the FR.
 

And, if by some miracle, your magic train movie is successful, you have forever associated D&D with magic trains. If you then wanted to do a Forgotten Realms movie the audience would wonder "Why are people riding horses? Why don't they just take the magic train?"
Man wth?

That doesn't make any sense. Nobody would ask that. That's a bizarre thing to say and completely nonsensical.
 

I didn't know what it was when I saw it.

Don't care about comics at the time didn't watch MCU. By the time Disney+ launched I had seen 4 MCU movies two if them were GotG.

Outside America I'm not sure I'd comics are much if a thing.
That's the point.

You didn't need an explanation. You don't need an explanation of something when the tone and style and acting and so on make it obvious what's going on.

My dad had never read any of the LotR books and didn't like fantasy in general as a concept. He loved the LotR films. He also enjoyed GotG, despite being a massive film snob. And Aquaman (I haven't seen it yet). And Doctor Strange. He has no idea who any of those people are. He'd be pressed to explain that DC and Marvel are separate - I think he knows Superman is not in the same universe as Spider-Man, that's about it. But he enjoyed it. A D&D movie wants to be a movie any noob can enjoy.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
That's the point.

You didn't need an explanation. You don't need an explanation of something when the tone and style and acting and so on make it obvious what's going on.

My dad had never read any of the LotR books and didn't like fantasy in general as a concept. He loved the LotR films. He also enjoyed GotG, despite being a massive film snob. And Aquaman (I haven't seen it yet). And Doctor Strange. He has no idea who any of those people are. He'd be pressed to explain that DC and Marvel are separate - I think he knows Superman is not in the same universe as Spider-Man, that's about it. But he enjoyed it. A D&D movie wants to be a movie any noob can enjoy.

Yeah agreed. It won't be Eberron or Darksun. Niche of a niche.

I guess they want a universe expectations they'll muck it up.

MCU is like highlander. There can be only one.
 

Yeah agreed. It won't be Eberron or Darksun. Niche of a niche.

I guess they want a universe expectations they'll muck it up.

MCU is like highlander. There can be only one.
Eberron isn't a niche, let alone niche of a niche.

If you think it is, that's a result of you not knowing things. Pretty basic things if you're going to talk about Eberron. It's a fairly generic fantasy kitchen sink with some ideas not common until the 1990s, y'know, 30 years ago. How you do not know this I do not know. It was explicitly solicited by WotC on those grounds. They weren't looking for niche settings. If it's "niche of a niche", so is the FR and Greyhawk is more niche than either.

Whereas Dark Sun is a niche (maybe even niche-of-a-niche), given that's post-apocalyptic, and focused on powers that are somewhat unusual in D&D, and that the races are all wildly different to usual.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Eberron isn't a niche, let alone niche of a niche.

If you think it is, that's a result of you not knowing things. Pretty basic things if you're going to talk about Eberron. It's a fairly generic fantasy kitchen sink with some ideas not common until the 1990s, y'know, 30 years ago. How you do not know this I do not know. It was explicitly solicited by WotC on those grounds. They weren't looking for niche settings. If it's "niche of a niche", so is the FR and Greyhawk is more niche than either.

Whereas Dark Sun is a niche (maybe even niche-of-a-niche), given that's post-apocalyptic, and focused on powers that are somewhat unusual in D&D, and that the races are all wildly different to usual.

People lack perspective on these boards. D&D is still fairly niche itself a movie is not a guaranteed hit based on name alone.

Casuals at large barely familiar with steam link/magic tech Eberron they never would have heard of it.

Anime itself isn't that popular often polarizing. Love it or hate it.
 


People lack perspective on these boards. D&D is still fairly niche itself a movie is not a guaranteed hit based on name alone.

Casuals at large barely familiar with steam link/magic tech Eberron they never would have heard of it.

Anime itself isn't that popular often polarizing. Love it or hate it.
I'm sorry, but if you think normal people can't handle films/TV/books with steampunk/magitech in them, you are just proving my point re: not knowing stuff. It's a point so patently ludicrous it's not even worth arguing.
Honestly, if there's a dungeon and a dragon, that will meet the baseline expectations of a Dungeons & Dragons movie for a general audience.
Quite right.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I'm sorry, but if you think normal people can't handle films/TV/books with steampunk/magitech in them, you are just proving my point re: not knowing stuff. It's a point so patently ludicrous it's not even worth arguing.

Quite right.

Peter Jackson did a steampunk type movie and it bombed. Wasn't even a bad movie.

If he can't get it across the line....

You can do it it's just harder.

Other day people on these forums were saying the traditional Pantheons etc were boring blah blah blah etc etc etc.

Netflix had 3 viking shows on it, the last 3 Assassin's Creed games sold millions and set records for DLC. They used Ancient Egypt, Greece and Vikings as back drop.

Assassin's Creed movie flopped and the movie was better than the D&D ones with a bigger franchise to back it.

MCU drew heavily on Asgardian mythology.

The classics are classics for a reason. A single assassin's creed title gets more money than the entire rpg market does in several years.

D&D is still niche comparatively. They don't really have an A list actor because they don't really exist anymore except maybe The Rock and Tom Cruise.

By A list I mean someone who can carry a movie by themselves. Chris Hemsworth movies for example haven't done that well outside of MCU. Robert Downey Junior similar boat.

Chris Pine can't really do that either. Star Trek underperforming did that and your not going to see Wonder Women because of him.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
No, it's easy to explain magic trains. It's explaining what magic trains have to do with D&D which is difficult. People who don't play D&D think they know what it's about, and what they think it's about does not include magic trains. And one of the things that cause people to rate a movie down is if it fails to meet their expectations.

And, if by some miracle, your magic train movie is successful, you have forever associated D&D with magic trains. If you then wanted to do a Forgotten Realms movie the audience would wonder "Why are people riding horses? Why don't they just take the magic train?"
None of this makes any sense, on any level.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
People lack perspective on these boards. D&D is still fairly niche itself a movie is not a guaranteed hit based on name alone.

Casuals at large barely familiar with steam link/magic tech Eberron they never would have heard of it.

Anime itself isn't that popular often polarizing. Love it or hate it.
One day you'll write an actual sentence.

But no, you're wrong. Even my grandma, before she passed, knew what Dungeons & Dragons was. She had no interest in it, but she knew what Dungeons & Dragons was like she knew what Star Wars was, which she also had no interest in. D&D is far more well known than Iron Man was when that movie came out. No way did my grandma know who Iron Man was. Hell, even I didn't. And when Star Wars or The Fast & The Furious came out, fewer people (by which I mean zero people) had heard of Star Wars or The Fast & The Furious than have heard of D&D.

People who sit on forums like this and make out like they're in some super secret-squirrel weird niche elite illuminati club that nobody has ever heard of are deluding themselves. Everybody has heard of Dungeons & Dragons. Everybody. They might not play it, but they've heard of it. Like tennis, y'know? I don't know anybody - literally anybody - who plays tennis, but they all know what it is. I dare you to walk out into the street right now and ask a random stranger if they've heard of D&D. They'll say yes.

Also, don't do that, because pandemic. Except you're in NZ, so I guess do do that. And they'll still say yes.

The name "Dungeons & Dragons" is more well known than the name "Iron Man" was 12 years ago. And look where the Marvel universe is now.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
One day you'll write a full sentence.

But no, you're wrong. Even my grandma, before she passed, knew what Dungeons & Dragons was. She had no interest in it, but she knew what Dungeons & Dragons was like she knew what Star Wars was, which she also had no interest in. D&D is far more well known than Iron Man was when that movie came out. No way did my grandma know who Iron Man was. Hell, even I didn't. And when Star Wars or The Fast & The Furious came out, fewer people (by which I mean zero people) had heard of Star Wars or The Fast & The Furious than have heard of D&D.

People who sit on forums like this and make out like they're in some super secret-squirrel weird niche elite illuminati club that nobody has ever heard of are deluding themselves. Everybody has heard of Dungeons & Dragons. Everybody. Literally, I dare you to walk out into the street right now and ask a random stranger if they've heard of D&D. They'll say yes.

Also, don't do that, because pandemic. Except you're in NZ, so I guess do do that. And they'll still say yes.

They've heard if it maybe. But it's a lot smaller franchise.
. People in the boards over rate it because we all like D&D.

1. D&D doesn't have a successful movie franchise to build on.

2. The yearly rpg market makes less money than the DLC of a AAA video game.

Care to make a wager on the success of the D&D movie? Donation to charity of ones choice $20-$100 USD?

Under/over breaks 500 million at the box office (internationally).

That's half of a a alot of superhero movies. It's on the smaller side of a blockbuster these days.

$200 million break even if they spend $100 million on it.

Put a figure on it no bet required how much money do you think it will make?

You either have a cheap movie with meh special effects or you need to plow a lot of money into it which pumps up it's break even point.

Star Trek beyond made 343 million apparently. Can D&D beat that and at what budget?

Show me the money basically. What's your guess on the box office?
 

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