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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

I'd really like to ensure that things never ever on screen before (which must cover around 80% or more of D&D creations and lifted adaptions of creatures in world mythology, especially Greece, Europe and the Far East get straight on. Myconids, Destrachans, Cloakers, Bulettes, could feature in an Underdark bit, and also Duergar, Drow, Deep Gnomes and Morlocks; anything far from what's already recognisably a monster on screen the few times fantasy or horror films chuck up decent non-human beings. While above ground is better, mostly, for portraying all were-creatures that AREN'T Werewolves (what a thrill to come across a lycanthrope that's NOT a Werewolf on film or TV (!), I'd also not like a chance passed up to portray any amount of differing Undead types, as when you think about it, barely ANY of them have even been done properly or even at all. After all, the Hollywood idea of Zombies, has nothing to do with what a Zombie is. But when you look at all the types that D&D have wrung out of the Undead template, married to what FX can do now, aurely no time like the present! What would be good, surely, is if this show runs to a number of episodes, all of them could have a different setting: (1) Underdark (2) Forest (3) Hills (4) Marshland (5) Desert (6) Tropical Island taking in beach coves, Jungle & a mounting volcano (7) Tundra and Ice (8) On a sea's surface (9) Under the sea but able to breathe water safely for a limited time (10) Floating through a magical air-space through one portal after another. trying to find gravity. Then there would be a great mix of foes and even friendly creatures, a number of whom specific to just one type of environment, but others can live in many.
 

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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
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.
I had completely forgotten about gully dwarves. Now that I think back kender were basically a "joke" race as well. Some people thought they were funny.
 


Dire Bare

Legend
Supporter
I had completely forgotten about gully dwarves. Now that I think back kender were basically a "joke" race as well. Some people thought they were funny.
Yeah, kinda aside from the whole "entire race trends as evil" schtick that D&D suffers from in general, Dragonlance also treats the small races problematically, including gully dwarves, kender, and gnomes. This isn't something Dragonlance is alone in, the silly "jokey" races show up in fantasy stories with strong "fairy tale" vibes, like the Dark Crystal. But when these races of creatures are presented as essentially sentient species you can play as . . . .

How much of a problem is it? Varies with the tone and style of storytelling, and of course the "eye of the beholder". I love Dragonlance, but would not want to see a new adaptation that doesn't address how D&D, and Dragonlance, treats "race".
 


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.
Not to mention people with learning disorders.

Then there are the ADHD gnomes...

Actually, I think I've just discovered an new learning disorder: Disempathica. Also known as "sensitivity blindness".


But one thing we do know about the TV show is it's aint Dragonlance, so this is off topic.
 

Coroc

Hero
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.
And this is the problem, instead of portraying them as the inhumane cruel psychopathic monster anti-elf, an evil twin to the (as unrealistic, because as purely fictional) peaceful natureloving lightskinned "relatives",
these days reflections and projections (look up these two words in the context of psychoanalysis if you do not know these as psyhological terms you might learn a lot of eye opening facts) are running wild to achieve what?

Yes what? Conciousness about stereotypes/prejustice/everyday racism and sexism?

Sorry, it is only my opinion and maybe i am in the minority there or maybe i am getting old, but my rich personal experience on these things tell me that going down that route will improve nothing, not even our hobby.

If you ban drow because of their appearance then you have to ban Drizzt also. So a recognizable icon of D&D is bad for business these days because some loud crowd might project something into him,which he does not stand for -the one good aligned drow exception proving not everyone with darker skin color is automatically evil aligned- nope. That was never Drizzts game, it was the one DROW who proved not every DROW is evil aligned. That is a big difference which you might not notice at once, because the fictional stereotype is not negated but confirmed.

We have a saying in my country roughly translating to " The exception is confirming the rule" and that is exactly what gets enforced here.
 


Didn't we have Dark Elves in the Marvel universe? They were portrayed as generally evil, right? What's the problem?
This is how the MCU did it:

* They where pale grey skinned.

* They where portrayed by both white and black actors.

* Their leader was evil, but the rest are just personality-less drones, thus avoiding making them "generally evil".

* None of them are female, thus avoiding the "Matriarchies are evil" trope.
 
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Could work for DnD too. I think a lot of official DnD art portrays dark elves in various shades of greys, going to purple.
Indeed, you could do all of that - well apart from the non-character characters anyway. But you could substitute in a complex and diverse society instead.

And it would generate enough nerd-rage to power a small country.
 

Coroc

Hero
.....

* None of them are female, thus avoiding the "Matriarchies are evil" trope.
The WHAT?

Oki the inet is great i seem to learn something new everyday.

EDIT: So this is the magic bullet then, not only it is a nono that Drow are genereally evil but an absolute nonono that the most evil of them are women ruling them, while matriarchy according to the new code would generally be a yes yes. But i get the point five no's outweight two yes's so that has to be cancelled.

Bye, bye Drizzt good bye
 
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Didn't we have Dark Elves in the Marvel universe? They were portrayed as generally evil, right? What's the problem?
Not really. If moviegoers even remember Thor 2 -- and it was incredibly forgettable -- there's nothing about the elves that particularly stands out. (They were icy blue, as I recall.) If the film didn't call them "elves," I don't think moviegoers would have thought of them that way.

I think you just have to watch the first D&D episode of Community -- harder to do than a year ago at this time -- to see both how drow can go off the rails and also what will be trotted out constantly as a joke and as real criticism if drow aren't handled extremly carefully in a D&D show or movie.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
If a person has you on ignore, you can no longer see there posts unless they specifically turn that feature off. It can make things confusing.
Really annoying that it doesn't at least put the old "you can't view this content because block" notice, so you at least know when someone is responding to someone, not just speaking to the thread.
This is how the MCU did it:

* They where pale grey skinned.

* They where portrayed by both white and black actors.

* Their leader was evil, but the rest are just personality-less drones, thus avoiding making them "generally evil".

* None of them are female, thus avoiding the "Matriarchies are evil" trope.
Well, that, and they aren't really presented as being like...born evil. Their leader is evil, they were wronged in the past, and are willing to follow a charismatic leader to seek revenge. That is very human.
The WHAT?

Oki the inet is great i seem to learn something new everyday.

EDIT: So this is the magic bullet then, not only it is a nono that Drow are genereally evil but an absolute nonono that the most evil of them are women ruling them, while matriarchy according to the new code would generally be a yes yes. But i get the point five no's outweight two yes's so that has to be cancelled.

Bye, bye Drizzt good bye
"According to the new code" lol wut? No. Gendered rulership is not a "yes yes" from the perspective of modern feminism. Hell, I don't think it's ever been a mainstream feminist goal or ideal.

Presenting the only matriarchal society, one which is a violently enforced matriarchal theocracy, as an evil fetish state full of depraved psychopaths is both offensive and stupid. Drow society is ripped straight from the mind of someone who thinks 50 Shades of Grey is a good and accurate depiction of normal BDSM relationships, and who thinks that just flipping power structures is clever writing.
 

Coroc

Hero
...

"According to the new code" lol wut? No. Gendered rulership is not a "yes yes" from the perspective of modern feminism. Hell, I don't think it's ever been a mainstream feminist goal or ideal.

....
Well but it is indeed, think quota based on gender, be it in company CEOs or in government structures, to represent equality. It is - to be fair - disapproved by a solid part of female population, they want to have success based on their capabilities, not on their gender, and compete on par with men.
 


Coroc

Hero
No, it isn’t. Try to support your claims with soemthing other than conspiracy theories, please.
Yes my specific example (womens quote in government/company leadership) might not apply to your country, but here it definetely is a topic. Not that it is per se a bad thing, but one has to be careful not to overdo it. It is by no means a conspiracy theory, i do not get were you did draw that conclusion.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yes my specific example (womens quote in government/company leadership) might not apply to your country, but here it definetely is a topic. Not that it is per se a bad thing, but one has to be careful not to overdo it. It is by no means a conspiracy theory, i do not get were you did draw that conclusion.
Oof. Yeah, no. I’m not entertaining this nonsense.
 


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