D&D Movie/TV New D&D Movie: July 23rd 2021

It's official - the new Dungeons & Dragons movie is coming, and it's coming in four years - July 23rd, 2021, as announced by Paramount.

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We already know that the movie will be produced by the Lego Movie's Roy Lee, that it will be directed by Rob Letterman (Goosebumps, Monsters vs. Aliens, Shark Tale). Originally scripted by David Leslie Johnson (Wrath of the Titans), it's now being written by Joe Manganelio, might be Dragonlance and then again might feature the Yawning Portal, and will adopt a Guardians of the Galaxy tone. Oh, and that we should take everything I just said with a pinch of salt as the movie appears have jumped from WB to Paramount at some point in the process!
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Jay Verkuilen

Grand Master of Artificial Flowers
I think @Mecheon's suggestion for a heist is interesting, but I think it's more likely that they'll go for heroic triumph over some form of villainous forces.
Those aren't incompatible. The main conflict thread of Conan the Barbarian against Thulsa Doom starts as a heist with an ongoing undercurrent of revenge and ends up as a triumph over a villainous force, albeit not without tragedy as the girl gets killed.

I seriously doubt the D&D movie will be up to the standards of Milius' Conan, though.
 
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robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
I'm sure at this point someone has mentioned this but we have a very successful template that would work great as a D&D movie:

Guardians of the Galaxy

A group of heroes search for a MacGuffin to stop super evil villain. The characters make the movie and the key to the movie will be tone. It can't be super serious.

That is a good example, but I think the best "modern" reference point has to be "Pirates of the Caribbean". It's a property that no one took seriously (in fact most people thought it would be an epic flop) and yet the movie was a huge success. It's got a historical setting and a motley crew of mismatched adventurers but it's combined with a cracking plot, a charismatic cast and provides all the thrills and comedy you could ask for. It ended up being a global mega hit. The sequels have generally gone down hill from the first unsurprisingly, but what great bit of pop-film making that first one was.

And the comedy was classic not contemporary (i.e. no modern turns of phrase to pull you out of the moment, which works for GotG, but I don't think would work for the D&D movie, unless we saw contemporary people pulled into the story...)
 

That is a good example, but I think the best "modern" reference point has to be "Pirates of the Caribbean". It's a property that no one took seriously (in fact most people thought it would be an epic flop) and yet the movie was a huge success.

I think the unique identity that Pirates of the Caribbean was not afraid to take, was part of the reason of its success. That and that it is also part fantasy. We often forget that the first movie (Curse of the Black Pearl) was a huge commercial risk, not in the least because of the crazy character of Jack Sparrow. Pirate-themed movies were also thought of as cursed (pun intended); box office poison, after huge flops such as Cutthroat Island. But I think because it had zombie pirates in it (and there for was not a 100% pirate movie), they gave it the okay.

But would Pirates of the Caribbean have been half as successful without its crazy tone? I don't think it would have been. As tired as many of us may be at this point of Captain Jack Sparrow, he was also the reason for that movie's success.
 
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robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
I think the unique identity that Pirates of the Caribbean was not afraid to take, was part of the reason of its success. That and that it is also part fantasy. We often forget that the first movie (Curse of the Black Pearl) was a huge commercial risk, not in the least because of the crazy character of Jack Sparrow. Pirate-themed movies were also thought of as cursed (pun intended); box office poison, after huge flops such as Cutthroat Island. But I think because it had zombie pirates in it (and there for was not a 100% pirate movie), they gave it the okay.

But would Pirates of the Caribbean have been half as successful without its crazy tone? I don't think it would have been. As tired as many of us may be at this point of Captain Jack Sparrow, he was also the reason for that movie's success.

I agree that Jack Sparrow was a major draw, but the movie also fired on all cylinders. He was a turbo charger :). I think the D&D movie needs that kind of game changing character (not a foppish pirate) but something unmissable.

But my larger point was that this movie was expected to do badly (which I think is the general expectation for a D&D movie, given the track record) and yet defied expectations because it embraced and reinvented its genre.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
And the comedy was classic not contemporary (i.e. no modern turns of phrase to pull you out of the moment, which works for GotG, but I don't think would work for the D&D movie, unless we saw contemporary people pulled into the story...)

What I was trying to get at is the formula:

Have minimal plot that fades into the background. The point of which is to drive the ensemble forward.

Focus on an ensemble of likeable characters and how they interact with each other.

Jokes.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
The thing about Pirates of the Caribbean is that you really don't have to do that much world-building: Pirate movie set in the Caribbean with some 'cursed' mystical elements, everyone's up to speed. D&D may have a bit more work cut out for it; it should use broad strokes not try to over-define things that aren't related to the plot. Similarly, don't try and sneak in too many D&D-isms that will just confuse or baffle the audience (except maybe as cameos or Easter Eggs). Having a bag of holding, a potion of invisibility and magic this and that, need to be used judiciously and worked into the story, not tossed about willy-nilly.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
The thing about Pirates of the Caribbean is that you really don't have to do that much world-building: Pirate movie set in the Caribbean with some 'cursed' mystical elements, everyone's up to speed. D&D may have a bit more work cut out for it; it should use broad strokes not try to over-define things that aren't related to the plot. Similarly, don't try and sneak in too many D&D-isms that will just confuse or baffle the audience (except maybe as cameos or Easter Eggs). Having a bag of holding, a potion of invisibility and magic this and that, need to be used judiciously and worked into the story, not tossed about willy-nilly.

The answer is to start in media res and show not explain.

Just have relatable and likeable characters doing things. This is why most sci-fi movies in space fail but GotG succeeded.
 



robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
The thing about Pirates of the Caribbean is that you really don't have to do that much world-building: Pirate movie set in the Caribbean with some 'cursed' mystical elements, everyone's up to speed. D&D may have a bit more work cut out for it; it should use broad strokes not try to over-define things that aren't related to the plot. Similarly, don't try and sneak in too many D&D-isms that will just confuse or baffle the audience (except maybe as cameos or Easter Eggs). Having a bag of holding, a potion of invisibility and magic this and that, need to be used judiciously and worked into the story, not tossed about willy-nilly.

I dunno. I think LotR and GoT has people pretty up to speed on fantasy tropes (heck GoT even has zombies! :) ). The problem for the D&D movie is that this is now mainstream and thus it comes with expectations. Trying to match those expectations (and not look half-baked) is tough. Trying to subvert those expectations is even harder.

I think WotC missed an opportunity to reboot their default world by not creating something fresh for 5e (I know why they couldn't risk it). A modern (in design terms), fresh world would have been potentially been a great setting for a new movie. As it is they have to try and make something very long in the tooth fresh and exciting to a quite jaded (by 2021!) movie going audience! :)
 

Uller

Adventurer
Personally, I'd rather see a D&D TV series. Ten 45 minute episodes...start out saving a village from a band of maurading monster/brigands. Throw in some villian puppet master pulling some strings and expand from there...just like a D&D campaign. At the end of season 1 wrap up the main plot points but leave room for a second season...end of season 2 throw in some world bending events as the heroes "level up".


Sent from my [device_name] using EN World mobile app
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
Supporter
Personally, I'd rather see a D&D TV series. Ten 45 minute episodes...start out saving a village from a band of maurading monster/brigands. Throw in some villian puppet master pulling some strings and expand from there...just like a D&D campaign. At the end of season 1 wrap up the main plot points but leave room for a second season...end of season 2 throw in some world bending events as the heroes "level up".


Sent from my [device_name] using EN World mobile app

Absolutely agree. TV is where the interesting and developing stories happen now. And the audience can grow over time. With a movie it's got to work on the opening weekend or it's lost in the flood superhero clones. Heck get Netflix to tie it in with Stranger Things and have the kids campaign become an actual show! :)
 

Uller

Adventurer
Absolutely agree. TV is where the interesting and developing stories happen now. And the audience can grow over time. With a movie it's got to work on the opening weekend or it's lost in the flood superhero clones. Heck get Netflix to tie it in with Stranger Things and have the kids campaign become an actual show! :)
A netflix/amazon prime show where a group of kids or young adults are playing D&D. Most of the on screen time is on the PCs in the game world but we get to see the kids playing and narrating the action and maybr learn a little about their lives too.

That would totally justify the "Guardians of the Galaxy" vibe as the PCs make snarky comments and do unbelievable things (like get themselves swallowed by a giant monster so they can kill it from the inside).

I'd watch it...

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hopeless

Adventurer
Who would you cast?

The Players
By this I mean how diverse where and why they're gaming together?
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)

Their Characters
Will there be an occasional PC death so a turnover in characters?
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)

The Game Master
Are we talking Matt Mercer or the Gamer's sort of GM?

What do you think?
 

Uller

Adventurer
Who would you cast?

The Players
By this I mean how diverse where and why they're gaming together?
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)

Their Characters
Will there be an occasional PC death so a turnover in characters?
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)

The Game Master
Are we talking Matt Mercer or the Gamer's sort of GM?

What do you think?


Cast unknowns.

For PCs start out with a selection from the Basic Rules...Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, Cleric and Paladin or Ranger. Human, Elf, Dwarf, Halfling, Half-Elf. But as time goes by, replace them with more exotic choices.

Character turn-over is a must. Death, swapping PCs in and out as time goes on. Take away a fan favorite for a while to let people get pissed off then return them. Rotate players in and out.

As for DM: A fictional version of Christopher Perkins, of course.
 

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