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General Spider-Man: Homecoming Writers Talk D&D Movie

Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley talked to Hollywood Reporter about the D&D movie, it's comedic themes, and how the directors are working directly with WotC.

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They directed Game Night, and wrote Spider-Man: Homecoming. They mentioned that they had been supposed to fly here to the UK to scout locations in March, but the pandemic interrupted that.

They also mentioned comedic elements and characters in the movie, which currently has a projected release date of May 27th, 2022. No actors are yet cast.

It's not an out and out comedy, but it is an action-fantasy movie with a lot of comedic elements and characters we hope people will really get into and enjoy watching their adventures.


Daley plays a weekly D&D game, so he is familiar with the genre. But the pair are working directly with WotC.

We haven't been accosted by players yet, but we are working with the Wizards of the Coast, the brand holders of D&D. They are the experts. We have people there that we work with and it's pretty helpful, because as much as we know about D&D, it's a drop in the bucket compared to the 45 years of lore that's out there, so these guys are such a resource. If we need a particular spell that a [high]-level wizard could do, they could give us a list. It's a lot of fun.
 
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Russ Morrissey

Comments

I would say A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back are good examples of striking the right comedic balance. I hope they don't over do it or try and capture the essence of players sitting around the table cracking jokes and translating that to the big screen. This is probably their last real chance of making a decent D&D movie to start a franchise that people will take serious.
 



Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
It's poetic that one of the "Freaks & Geeks" will be writing the new D&D movie. I've always loved John Francis Daley as an actor, and as I've learned more about his behind-the-camera work, I become even more impressed. Just about every project he's credited writing, directing, or producing for I've enjoyed! And some of his upcoming projects seem interesting too! M.A.S.K.!!!

I'm getting pretty pumped for the upcoming D&D film . . . but I was hurt so bad by the first one . . . .
 

Mercurius

Legend
Part of the problem with trying translate the MCU humor to D&D is that it is an entirely different world. Game of Thrones humor worked because it fit the characters and world; "D&D jokes" will almost certainly be horrible.
 

There's a good article on Paste right now about how lucky we were LotR came out before the MCU......and it made me think of the D&D movie we are going to get next, and wonder.....will they pass on the mistakes of trying to be MCU, or make them and it will work, or make them and it won't work?
 


I would say A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back are good examples of striking the right comedic balance. I hope they don't over do it or try and capture the essence of players sitting around the table cracking jokes and translating that to the big screen. This is probably their last real chance of making a decent D&D movie to start a franchise that people will take serious.
Personally, to me, what they're describing sounds more along the lines of Pirates of the Caribbean: lighter and breezier than the Star Wars movies. Everybody already knew the "Pirates of the Caribbean" as a fun little ride at the Disney parks, so rolling with it and making it exciting but goofy was probably a better strategy than asking audiences to take it super seriously. I think a similar logic applies to the D&D brand.
 


I agree. The MCU has great humor for such a big universe with so many characters. Forgotten Realms could certainly follow that.
The writers of the scripts, and the actors who delivered the lines with great timing, made the humor great. Change the writers or the actors and a lot of the jokes would flop otherwise. That is why it is so hard to duplicate it in practice. The same was true for the LotR trilogy.
 

The writers of the scripts, and the actors who delivered the lines with great timing, made the humor great. Change the writers or the actors and a lot of the jokes would flop otherwise. That is why it is so hard to duplicate it in practice. The same was true for the LotR trilogy.
They'd definitely need good actors and characters to make it work.
 



humble minion

Adventurer
The Marvel movies are successful more because of the characters and the character arcs than the jokes to be honest - the jokes have to be the icing on the cake rather than the cake itself if D&D wants to follow that model. And the reason the jokes land is because they're about characters who are established and that they illustrate facets of those characters, rather than just being good zingers.

In fact some of the most highly-rated marvel films - Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War, even Black Panther - have been some of the least jokey in the series.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
The writers of the scripts, and the actors who delivered the lines with great timing, made the humor great. Change the writers or the actors and a lot of the jokes would flop otherwise. That is why it is so hard to duplicate it in practice. The same was true for the LotR trilogy.
Um, so what you're saying is that, for a film to be great, the people involved in making it need to be great?

I just can't buy into that! ;)

In all seriousness, add directors to the list. They also can make or break an otherwise great film.
 

Mistwell

Legend
The Marvel movies are successful more because of the characters and the character arcs than the jokes to be honest - the jokes have to be the icing on the cake rather than the cake itself if D&D wants to follow that model. And the reason the jokes land is because they're about characters who are established and that they illustrate facets of those characters, rather than just being good zingers.

In fact some of the most highly-rated marvel films - Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War, even Black Panther - have been some of the least jokey in the series.
Winter Soldier isn't even in the top 30 grossing superhero movies. My guess is they're going for a Guardians of the Galaxy direction. Whatever model they use though it's going to be an ensemble cast direction rather than a single hero one.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Spiderman Homecoming is pretty great. This might turn out fun.
Yeah. It had a good blend of comedy and other elements. And, I think that comedy was intelligent enough to not be "D&D jokes", but humor relevant to the characters and situations.
 

What I found interesting in the interview was that they were conscious that this isn't Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. To reflect its nature as a tabletop game, they want it to feel a little looser and they want to use more contemporary language, both of which feel appropriate to me. I wouldn't mind seeing them cast some gifted improv folks to give them alternate takes after a scene is shot as scripted the first time. Lord knows my players continually go off what I think is the script as the DM.
 

ad_hoc

Hero
The Marvel movies are successful more because of the characters and the character arcs than the jokes to be honest - the jokes have to be the icing on the cake rather than the cake itself if D&D wants to follow that model. And the reason the jokes land is because they're about characters who are established and that they illustrate facets of those characters, rather than just being good zingers.

In fact some of the most highly-rated marvel films - Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War, even Black Panther - have been some of the least jokey in the series.
Guardians of the Galaxy was a huge hit.

That is the model that a D&D movie should be based on.
 

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