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D&D Movie/TV Update on D&D TV Show -- Underdark, Small, 6-10 Episodes

Writer Derek Kolstad (John Wick) has shared an insight into the upcoming D&D TV show with Collider, which he says will be 6-10 serialized episodes with an Underdark element.

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His approach is a "tinier sliver" of the world, compared to epic stories like Lord of the Rings. He compares it to Star Wars and Jaws. He mentioned that he's like to go "deeper and deeper into the Underdark".

"In the first Star Wars, you heard about Jabba the Hutt and you don't see him until the third one because you earn at that point, and whatever the budget was for the third one compared to the first one, who cares, right? And I think in Dungeons and Dragons, who has this massive, dedicated community of acolytes, I don't want to suddenly throw everything on screen and say, 'Here's the buffet.' You'd much rather keep the story intimate. When you think of our favorite movies, I'd rather do the First Blood version. It's a guy in the woods being hunted. And it's very small, but you allude to the other things through conversation."


As yet the show is untitled. Kolstad talked a bit about legal meetings and available characters for use. It sounds like he wants to set it towards the end of any 'metaplot' that D&D might have -- "... don't want to go in the middle of the mythos. I want to come near the end where everything is canonical, it's biblical, it's happened. Or, it's about to happen. That way you can revisit certain sequences and storylines that everyone loved in the past through flashback, but where we go is new"

 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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I wouldn't adapt either one;).

Do something original or adapt better novel.
The sad thing is, garbage as they are, they are the least bad official D&D novels.

What the original article doesn't make clear is when talking about "established lore" do they mean sourcebooks, novels or computer games, or some combination of those? The strongest official D&D stories are from computer games.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
The sad thing is, garbage as they are, they are the least bad official D&D novels.

What the original article doesn't make clear is when talking about "established lore" do they mean sourcebooks, novels or computer games, or some combination of those? The strongest official D&D stories are from computer games.

I can think of better ones. Sone are Drow though just not Drizzt.
 

hopeless

Explorer
Depends on whose in charge of this.
You're dependent on what THEY think is good and to highlight the Underdark suggests they've noticed the only good part of that is that it will probably be either cg or entirely set on an indoor stage with little to no exterior shots.
 

Now the green screen has been replaced by the stagecraft technology. This allows filming as if they were outdoors or using virtual atrezzo by CGI. The show can work with a right mixture of epic action and some pieces of comedy, like Xena: the warrior princess. And the deepface technology also is replacing the classic protesic masks. Also we have to remember like an adult actress from the Doom Patrol is roleplaying a monkey-face little child, Doroty Spinner.

I don't advice action-live adaptations with characters too famous because the productions need time and actors "get old" relatively fast.

To avoid risks with the potential fandom's fury I suggest set in a new setting, or secondary story set in Forgotten Realms totally unlinked with the main metaplot. In the next phase allowing themself the risk of a no-so-famous setting, for example a one-shot movie set in Jackandor.

Now I wonder why there are no new about cartoons or CGI adaptations. Teorically the production should be easier and faster, and better to sell toys and other merchandicing products.
 

Coroc

Hero
The interview stated they where using existing lore going forwards. Drizzt's origin is in the past. If they use Drizzt it will be from where he is now, with any background details in flashbacks.

More likely they will feature a new protagonist, although there may be Marvel style cameos for established characters.

And if they had one, they might use it. But outside of the D&D echo chamber there are no popular well known stories.

There might not be a second season. Especially if they hold back on the good stuff. They need something fairly spectacular by the end of the first series.

So, Rey DoUrden then ?

:p
 

Coroc

Hero
Depends on whose in charge of this.
You're dependent on what THEY think is good and to highlight the Underdark suggests they've noticed the only good part of that is that it will probably be either cg or entirely set on an indoor stage with little to no exterior shots.

There is a six book series about some drow protagonist, written by different authors as a hommage to Salvatore. It is much more PG 18+ than the original Drizzt stuff.

The Drow, if portrayed right, are one of the most cruel and psychopathic D&D races of them all, and the Underdark is one of the most hostile surroundings - if done right.

It can be a real interesting place with really interesting antagonists if it is done right (Think a bit like game of thrones), but for commercial interests to sell this also to minors my guess is this will never be an option unfortunately.
 




billd91

Hobbit on Quest
The Drow, if portrayed right, are one of the most cruel and psychopathic D&D races of them all, and the Underdark is one of the most hostile surroundings - if done right.
Maybe, but Drow, as written, are also intensely problematic these days. And steps taken to remedy that would also be intensely problematic among toxic fans. If I wanted to get any D&D media going, whether TV or movies, I'd be staying away from them as much as effing possible.
 

Famous characters may be a good hook, but I don't advice to use those cards. To walk first you have to learn to crawl. Even Disney themself are failing with lots of action-lives when these aren't linked with Marvel or classic franchises. Xena: the warrior princess may be a good example of how a fantasy teleserie can work and get enough audence.

The best titles of D&D shouldn't be in the beggining, not until to get enough experencie about how to produce the right blockbuster.

About the drows as potentially troublemaker thread my suggestion is to add good and evil in all the civilitated races. Even the conservatives can feel undentified if the "good drows" are living like the Christians for the Roman empire. In Mystara the shadow elves aren't totally evil, were they? And the orcs aren't so evil when they are converting to other religion because they noticed their loyalty isn't for a deity who behaves as a "toxic boss".

All the efforts don't matter, always the toxic fandom will find something to complain. My suggestion is the stories should teach us about respect the human dignity.

* Hasbro has to worry about to tell good stories what become new classics, plots for mature audence can be published by others, because dark elves are "public domain", or using a different name if it was necessary.

* Disney is going to produce an action-live sequel of Willow as teleserie, and I guess other companies also will try that same recipe to enjoy a smashit becoming a new cash-cow.

 

Disney themself are failing with lots of action-lives when these aren't linked with Marvel or classic franchises.
There's no evidence this is true. The recent "failures" are similar to every other entertainment that released during the pandemic.
The best titles of D&D shouldn't be in the beggining, not until to get enough experencie about how to produce the right blockbuster.
Ah yes, those completely inexperienced morons like Paramount and eOne who gathered up a bunch of neophytes who have never written a blockbuster and a group of actors who have never played the game.

Reality is that there is D&D experience in the writers room. John Francis Daley is credited in Rime of the Frostmaiden.
Reality is that there is D&D experience in the acting group. Sophia Lillis says she picked up the game during the pandemic and prior to earning the role in the movie.
Reality is that Kolstad, on the TV side, seems intimately familiar with the previous products/lore and has declared that he wants to expand on those items than retell tales already told.

There are plenty of knowns related to both the movie and the first wave TV show (there's indication that others are being made too).

We worry too much.
 

I didn't know Sophia Lilis also was joined to the movie. I watched her in the Magic: the Gathering spot.

Kolstad?

* If this movie works enough well in the boxoffice, then the other companies will dare to produce their own fantasy franchises, and that indirectly may be free advertising for D&D.

* We need the right level of hope, and to avoid innecessary hype.

* Disney had got flop with some action-live movies in the time before the pandemic.
 

Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
This is probably a separate topic, but the only thing I could find as an issue with the Dragonlance novels is that there's a passage describing the planes people that Moonwind is from as dark skinned. Whether all members of the plains people are dark skinned or not is never mentioned although Moonwind is light skinned with blonde hair.

Is that all? I mean, wasn't it like one line of description of specific individuals that may or may not have applied to other members? If I hadn't googled for it I never would have known - although it's been a long time since I read the books - that she had a different skin color than the rest of her people.

Or are there other issues?
Gully dwarves. An entire race of mentally challenged people written for laughs and tragic sympathy.

Overall, the way Dragonlance treats race is, well, how D&D has treated race and is problematic in today's society. For good reason, IMO.
 






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