D&D Movie/TV What would a good D&D movie be like?

MadPuppy

Explorer
Really loving the amount of attention to this thread, I think it shows there is definitely an audience for the movie.
There is also a large range of opinions and fear of a disaster like the last ones....

I see the competing basics:
1. Modern day people thrust into the fantasy world
2. Tolkien Trap fantasy (heroes must save the world (yawn....)
3. Good story Pure fantasy with elements nodding towards Forgotten realms, A group of heroes more like Mercenaries, solving a puzzle or finding a prize.

My personal opinion is #3 obviously.....

I'm seeing a possible use of #1 however in that maybe the movie could start with players around a table getting ready for their game, the movie begins as the game play begins, and we just do the whole story in the Fantasy realm.....It's a game night, that we see what goes on in the players mind so to speak.....We don't see the gamers again till the very end, and everyone is congratulating each other for a good game night. This is the ONLY scenario I picture the modern people in fantasy setting.

I definitely don't want to see the modern people actually transported there, and discovering their way in the new world.....To Childish in my opinion. To CARTOONISH, and likely to lead to campiness.
 

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aramis erak

Legend
Yeah, it's a pet peeve of mine. It appears to be impossible to have a fantasy movie WITHOUT framing it in terms of "The main character is from modern day earth and is brought into this world." Apparently audiences won't accept fantasy movies unless they have something to relate to.

Almost every fantasy movie that tried to be a fantasy movie from beginning to end has done rather poorly in the box office except for Lord of the Rings. Now that Lord of the Rings has primed audiences, I'm hoping we can finally get past this trope but I have a feeling that writers are too used to using it and will continue doing so. There's a bunch of new movies that use it. Young Adult fiction is rife with it. It is always about some average teenager who finds out they are secretly a wizard/alien/galactic princess/heir to a kingdom in another dimension and so on.

Yes, even Guardians of the Galaxy used it. It isn't always a horrible trope but I really would like them to just stop.

What's your opinion of the Smurfs movies? (They reverse the swap - Fantasy characters come to modern world.)
 

Majoru Oakheart

Adventurer
What's your opinion of the Smurfs movies? (They reverse the swap - Fantasy characters come to modern world.)
Sometimes it can be fun to play with convention. I didn't watch the Smurf movies because they kind of looked silly. One of the things that looked silly was the fact that they insisted on bringing the smurfs to a modern world when there was no good reason for it, I admit.

Although it can be fun sometimes to play it up for laughs. Like, for instance, the new web series Riftworld Chronicles about a fantasy wizard who accidentally teleports himself to modern day Earth and loses access to his magic powers so he can't leave. It's free online and is fairly short, all the episodes in season 1 are about an hour total. If you like that sort of juxtaposition, it is very funny.
 

Hussar

Legend
The trick is, in any fantasy (or SF) story, you need a proxy for the audience. You need a companion for the Doctor to say, "What is it Doctor?" so the Doctor can tell the audience what it is they are looking at. You need that character in any story where the audience does not have a grounding in the setting. Imagine trying to sit down and watch Doctor Who for the first time, and you cut out all the scenes with the companion and only focus on the Doctor. It won't work.

Now, this proxy character can be an "in-setting" character - typically a young/inexperienced character who needs things explained. It works largely the same way. In Star Wars it was Luke Skywalker. Indiana Jones has various hangers on that need explanations.

A D&D movie will need this kind of character. It just will. Someone to explain what a beholder is or how magic works, or the ins and outs of whatever setting they choose to use for the movie. There's no real way around it, particularly in a genre film that's intended to be a franchise.

Now, as far as fantasy where you have real world people in the fantasy setting, I'm going to call shenanigans on that. There's all sorts of fantasy movies that have no real world tie ins. Willow, Ladyhawke, Beastmaster, if you like schlock 80's fantasy. The Harry Potter series, while it does include a "real world", the story is certainly not set there and none of the major characters are Muggles. Stepping over to anime, you have things like Monoke Hime and various other Gibli products. The 300 movies (yeah, i know it's kinda sorta a real earth story, but, not really), How to Train Your Dragon is another example.

There have been quite popular fantasy movies with no real world crossover and no pre-digested stories.
 

Blackwarder

Adventurer
IMO, A good D&D movie should take itself seriously, it should happen with a great grand story and should have a logical and consistent world to happen in.

The LotR movies are the best example, they are, first and foremost, a story about people, it's epic and mysterious and yet down to earth and classically medival fantasy at the same time.

When it comes to well known and liked D&D stories for the movie, I would have loved to see the war of the Lance trilogy as a movie trilogy on the big screen but considering WotC directions it seems highly unlikely, drizzt is another obvious choice but it doesn't have the same epicness WotL and LotR have.

My bet is a brand new storyline set in the forgotten realms.

P.s I vote for Peter Jackson for director/ producer/ writer

Warder
 

Majoru Oakheart

Adventurer
There have been quite popular fantasy movies with no real world crossover and no pre-digested stories.
There have been a couple. But it's telling that most of your examples barely broke even at the box office or lost money. Don't get me wrong, we as geeks love those movies and they are considered cult classics. But very few of them were blockbusters or performed the way the studios hoped.

Harry Potter follows the formula precisely because it starts with Harry in the real world. Harry comes from the muggle world and hasn't known about magic at all until he comes to Hogwarts. Thus allowing everyone at Hogwarts to explain everything to him all the time.

Heck, even Beastmaster insisted on putting the sequel in modern day Earth.

I understand the need to explain some things to the audience. However, I actually find movies and shows that don't really try to explain EVERYTHING to the viewer as slightly more satisfying. I think movies need to take a more "show don't tell" approach with these facts. Let us SEE a beholder shoot a ray and disintegrate something rather than have someone say "What's that?" "It's a Beholder. They shoot beams from their eyes and can disintegrate you!"

I'd much prefer a line that says something like "He's from Mulmaster, I can tell from the way he wears his clothes" as a throwaway line without needing someone to say "By the way, Mulmaster is a city in the Moonsea region." Not everything needs constant exposition and my beef with most fantasy movies is that they treat their audience like idiots and insist on over explaining everything. And they almost always do it through a character who knows literally nothing.

I'd much prefer the young apprentice that needs some basic facts explained to him rather than the "person from another world" approach where the character insists on having EVERYTHING explained to him. Just imagine if Luke was warped into Star Wars from modern day Earth instead. He'd spend half the movie asking what a Speeder was or how the Empire took over. Most of those things were glossed over in the movie because everyone in the movie already knows the answer to those questions and they trusted the audience to figure most of it out based on context.

Worse yet, there'd be a subplot about how he missed his family back on Earth and was looking to find a way home.
 

Majoru Oakheart

Adventurer
Oh, I just remembered a horrible example from a recent show. The BBC series Atlantis. The main character Jason comes from modern day Earth in the first episode. He travels back in time to Atlantis. But about 10 minutes into the series he's suddenly an expert in all things Greek and Atlantis. Everyone appears to speak English and he never references modern technology or ideology for the entire rest of the series. The fact that he is from the future is never mentioned again. He periodically needs a cultural taboo pointed out to him but otherwise he never really asks any questions.

It seems like the producers of the show stepped in and said "Yeah, your fantasy show NEEDS to have the first episode be about a guy from the future going into the past. Otherwise, audiences won't be able to relate" and the writers threw it in because it was demanded of them and then promptly forgot about it.
 

Hussar

Legend
To be fair, before Harry Potter and LotR, there are virtually no successful fantasy movies. SF? Sure, lots of those but fantasy on the big screen has never before now been successful.
 

Lalato

Explorer
Any interest in a D&D Musical? I'm think that the producers of the TV show Galavant could do a really fun D&D movie with song and dance numbers that would delight both young and old. ;)
 





Hereticus

First Post
If you were in charge of making the next D&D and movie and wanted it to be good, how would you do it?

Specifically, how would it represent Dungeons & Dragons in plot, characters, conventions, etc? How it would it be both a good movie, and a good D&D movie? How can it appeal both to those familiar with gaming and to mainstream audiences?

You can get all the money and talent you need, so don't worry so much about the logistics. What does the movie end up looking like?

All the characters would be chaotic evil, and in the end they would defeat Bahamut and the Princesses of Elemental Good.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Any interest in a D&D Musical? I'm think that the producers of the TV show Galavant could do a really fun D&D movie with song and dance numbers that would delight both young and old. ;)
I'm ready, and I think my past resume speaks for itself.

Imagine a Katy Perry lookalike, flanked by a pair of dancing bulettes, singing:

"Charm Monster"

This was never the way I planned
Not my intention
I got so brave, staff in hand
Lost my discretion
It's not what I'm used to
Just wanna try it on
I'm curious for it
Caught my attention

I kissed a Grell and I liked it
The beak tastes like bloody meatsticks
I kissed a Grell just to try it
I hope my consort don't mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don't mean I'm in love tonight
I kissed a Grell and I liked it
I liked it

No, I don't even know your name
It doesn't matter,
You're my experimental game
Just human nature,
It's not what,
Druids do
Not how they should behave
My head gets so confused
Hard to obey

I kissed a Grell and I liked it
The beak tastes like bloody meatsticks
I kissed a Grell just to try it
I hope my consort don't mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don't mean I'm in love tonight
I kissed a Grell and I liked it
I liked it

Druids we are so magical
Oak leaves, curved blades, shapechangeable
Hard to resist so touchable
Too good to deny it
Ain't no big deal, it's innocent

I kissed a Grell and I liked it
The beak tastes like bloody meatsticks
I kissed a Grell just to try it
I hope my consort don't mind it
It felt so wrong
It felt so right
Don't mean I'm in love tonight
I kissed a Grell and I liked it
I liked it
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Hero 1: "Anything you can kill, I can kill more of!
I can slay anything better than you!"
Hero 2: "No you can't"
Hero 1:"Yes I can!
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can, yes, I can

Hero 2: Any bow you can pull, I can pull harder!
......In archery, I'm greater than you
Hero 1: No, you're not
Hero 2: Yes, I am
Hero 1: No, you're not
Hero 2: Yes, I am
Hero 1: No, you're not
Hero 2: Yes, I am, yes I am

Hero 2: I can slay a dragon with a single arrow
Hero 1: I can slay a dragon with only the bow
Hero 2: I can live on bread and cheese
Hero 1: And only on that?
Hero 2: Yes
Hero 1: So can a rat

Hero 2: Any keep you can breach I can breach faster
Hero 1: I can breach any keep faster than you
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can

Hero 2: Anything you can bend I can bend farther
Hero 1: I can bend anything farther than you
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can, yes, I can

Hero 2: I can drink my liquor faster than a flicker
Hero 1: I can do it quicker and get even sicker
Hero 2: I can open any safe
Hero 1: Without being caught?
Hero 2: Sure
Hero 1: That's what I thought (you crook)

Hero 2: Any weight you can hold I can hold longer
Hero 1: I can hold any weight longer than you
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can, yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't - Oh! You can!

Hero 1: Armor that you can wear I can wear better
......Dressed in your armor I'd look better than you
Hero 2: In my coif
Hero 1: In your mail
Hero 2: In my greaves
Hero 1: In your helm
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can, yes, I can

Hero 2: I can jump a hurdle
Hero 1: I can wear a girdle
Hero 2: I look great in leather
Hero 1: I can fill it better
Hero 2: I can do most anything
Hero 1: Can you bake a pie?
Hero 2: No
Hero 1: Neither can I

Hero 2: Any sword you can swing I can swing faster
Hero 1: I can swing any sword faster than you
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Oh, yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can
Hero 2: No, you can't, can't, can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can, can, can, can
Hero 2: No, you can't
Hero 1: Yes, I can.
 


Hussar

Legend
On a more serious note. I was thinking, other than Harry Potter and the Tolkien movies, what fantasy movie actually has been successful? I mean, big blockbuster successful. I'm really drawing a blank.
 



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