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D&D 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

Russ Morrissey

Indiana Jones is one example of adventure with some fun scenes. Sometimes James Bond had got some fun words, altough his special sense of humor. Even in Games of Thrones sometimes had got some moments.

D&D is being produced to be a future blockbuster, and the public wants to escape. D&D has enough space for different subgenres, including dark fantasy but the first title has to be for the mass media.
 

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Yuck. I want no comedy in my D&D movie. My anticipation level for this just dropped to zero.
I don't know that I can imagine a D&D game where no one cracks a joke.

Humor is a natural relief valve for tense situations, as anyone who's ever served in the military or worked as a first responder knows.

More broadly available, Aliens, one of the great all time movies, is beloved for the wisecracks by the increasingly terrified Marines.
 

I guess some people don't like any comedy in their D&D games and would probably not want humor in D&D movies either. They're in the minority here, though. People tend to appreciate minor jokes in movies more than none whatsoever.
I found the Battlestar Galactica remake incredibly unrealistic, not for its robot holy war in space, but for the fact that no one ever cracked a joke and everything was 24/7 serious.

Human beings just don't act that way, even in the worst of circumstances.
 


the Jester

Legend
The trick is to not have a "designated comic relief". Everyone knows that Jar-Jar Binks and Tasslehoff Burrfoot are awful, but that's because they are surrounded by boring straight characters.

No, at least for JarJar, it's because he's awful. You could surround him with any number of funny characters who are really interesting, and Jar Jar would still be awful. Sometimes an awful character is simply an awful character.

(Tasslehoff is that rarest of exceptions- a kender who isn't universally awful.)
 

I just hope they don’t try to come up with an original story. There’s so many great novels and storylines that have been written for this game. To me at least, the best way to respect this game we love would be to delve into that content. After that, regarding humour, I’m all for that. You can find plenty already in those stories !
No, a new story would appeal to a broader audience. I'm calling it now, they're making a new story.
 

No, at least for JarJar, it's because he's awful. You could surround him with any number of funny characters who are really interesting, and Jar Jar would still be awful. Sometimes an awful character is simply an awful character.

(Tasslehoff is that rarest of exceptions- a kender who isn't universally awful.)
Everyone hates Jar-Jar except children. He was either made to be a goofy character for children, or to become a sith lord, or both.

Humor in D&D games and movies can be done extremely well. Ever had a Monk get a natural one on Acrobatics? Them face planting on the ground because they failed could be humorous at the right moment and tone.
 

Xena the warrior princess is other example of character who can be very serious, dark, grimmy and dramatic in some episodes, but some other times a true comedy.

To add any pieces of humor and comedy isn't bad, but the joke really are good and funny.

A good story should offer some ideals, for example the wisdow by the older spellcaster who gives good advices to the younger adventures, like a patriarchal or matriarchal figure, but nothing about social justice warriors, because it's sounds like the modern version of the typical and boring speech by preacher. D&D can tell lots of stories about different people who learn to work together and it hasn't to sound like a propaganda panphlet.
 

I don't know that I can imagine a D&D game where no one cracks a joke.

Out-of-character stupidity disguised as jokes is way different from in-character humor or humorous situations. I avoid playing with the first type of player, while the second type of player is fine, as long as it does not clash with what the DM is trying to do. Don't take it to the point you are just the comic relief.
 


A D&D movie that is all no-nonsense, monster hunting, quest-doing, and serious characters would not get good reviews. It would be too gritty and serious. If they want to appease more people, they have to include humor. No one who doesn't like D&D will go see a D&D movie that is all serious. People who don't do D&D might go see a D&D movie if it has jokes, especially ones that they'd understand.
 

A D&D movie that is all no-nonsense, monster hunting, quest-doing, and serious characters would not get good reviews. It would be too gritty and serious. If they want to appease more people, they have to include humor. No one who doesn't like D&D will go see a D&D movie that is all serious. People who don't do D&D might go see a D&D movie if it has jokes, especially ones that they'd understand.

Did people go to that awful Warcraft movie because it had jokes in it?
 

Did people go to that awful Warcraft movie because it had jokes in it?
I never saw it. (Which proves your point a bit)
If the movie is good, is promoted by Hasbro and Joe Mangneillo, other celebrities, like Stephen Colbert (who used to play D&D and would probably promote it) and others, they could get a good turn out.
 

Out-of-character stupidity disguised as jokes is way different from in-character humor or humorous situations. I avoid playing with the first type of player, while the second type of player is fine, as long as it does not clash with what the DM is trying to do. Don't take it to the point you are just the comic relief.
Imagine avoiding recreational activities with certain people because they are funny.
 

Imagine avoiding recreational activities with certain people because they are funny.

Depends on the type of humor. Or should I spell it humour because this is a British website? I say that because I find a majority of the dry type of British humour to be unfunny. Monty Python is funny is funny. Graham Norton is funny. Fawlty Towers bored me. Black Adder and Mr. Bean were hit and miss. Speaking of Black Adder, the way some people talk about what they want in a D&D movie must love this show.
 

Depends on the type of humor. Or should I spell it humour because this is a British website? I say that because I find a majority of the dry type of British humour to be unfunny. Monty Python is funny is funny. Graham Norton is funny. Fawlty Towers bored me. Black Adder and Mr. Bean were hit and miss. Speaking of Black Adder, the way some people talk about what they want in a D&D movie must love this show.

Blackadder is one of the sitcom classics. If any D&D entertainment product were to be that well crafted and written I'd be delighted.
 


Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
MY gaming sessions tend to be more Black Books than Black Adder.

I think a D&D movie absolutely should have some humour in it. I'd prefer it to not be winking at the audience or constant genre jokes, but it should be there. You could play on tropes, if it were done carefully. I slightly dim burly fighter type, a stuffy old spellcaster who hates the outdoors and hates getting dirty, the charming rogue. Guardians of the Galaxy is, as mentioned previously, a pretty good template. As is Chris Hemsworth's Thor. Maybe a touch of Princess Bride? Finished with a dusting if Mouse from Ladyhawke? Yeah, I can see it.
 

The thing about humor is it doesn't only come from banter. It often comes from subverting expectations. So remember the Dandelion/Jaskier like character we talked about? The foppish, womanising bard? When you introduce them the audience thinks "we know this character, he is a comic relief sidekick who is useless in a fight". Them when a fight breaks out the bard turns out to be awesome, expectations are subverted, and humour ensues. This has the added twist of being an in-joke. D&D players know that bard is a strong class, so they can smile at the surprise of the non-D&D audience, since thy are in the know.

Consider something that occurs in actual D&D games: the gnome barbarian. The player thinks by selecting miss-matched race and class they are being funny. But it is too obvious. Expectations are not subverted so no one laughs. However, switch it around a bit, perhaps by making the gnome a talking raccoon, and it can work.
 
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Did people go to that awful Warcraft movie because it had jokes in it?
I quite enjoyed it. It fell into the trap of not knowing if it was for Warcraft fans or a general audience, and as a result failed to please either. It played too fast and loose with the lore, and annoyed the fans, but still managed to be confusing for non-fans.

And it was far too faithful to the cartoonish look of the human weapons and armour, making them obviously physics-defying to the least scientific viewer in live action.

But still, it managed to make orcs look cool and half orcs sexy.

I think the lesson for D&D is to keep as far away from existing stories, characters and lore as is possible (and make the weapons and armour look real). We know that there is an element amongst D&D fans who will have hysterics if they make Drizzt's skin the wrong shade of black.

Jokes? If anything I think it was a bit po-faced.
 
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