D&D Movie/TV What's The Latest On The D&D Movie?

Last we heard about the D&D movie was that it was coming on July 23rd, 2021. That was back in December. Various outlets are now reporting that Chris McKay, who is currently working on the Nightwing movie, will be directing. Also, separately on 14th February, Dragonlance authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman posted a photo of themselves on a "secret mission" with actor Joe Manganellio, who at one point tweeted a photo of a Dragonlance script (Manganellio tweeted the same photo saying "With two of the architects of my childhood, the authors of the Dragonlance novels Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman").


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We've heard so many little rumours over the past few years. Repeating from a previous article I wrote: in the past we heard that the movie would be produced by the Lego Movie's Roy Lee, that it would be directed by Rob Letterman (Goosebumps, Monsters vs. Aliens, Shark Tale). Originally scripted by David Leslie Johnson (Wrath of the Titans), it's now being written by Joe Manganellio, might be Dragonlance and then again might feature the Yawning Portal, and will adopt a Guardians of the Galaxy tone. Oh, and that we should take everything I just said with a pinch of salt as the movie appears have jumped from WB to Paramount at some point in the process!

I think it's safe to say we know nothing at all. But we can have fun connecting the dots to see if we can make a picture!
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

I think the GotG formula works best if you take something the audience "knows" (cinematic space opera for GotG, LotR's fantasy land for D&D), have the main characters be a little off from the audience's expectations, and make it fun with something cute and marketable.

So I don't think Eberron would be a good fit under that scenario, but having one member of the party be the only warforged in the whole world would be....also be a good set up for D&D the movie 2: I.T. (the name of the warforged) Goes Home. Don't be greedy, they have a lot of worlds to get to if they make enough movies.....
 

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Meh. Y’all have a borked idea of what Eberron is.

The idea that it’s more niche than FR makes me laugh, as well. Eberron is a bridge between traditional fantasy and fantastical spec fiction of other types. It’s a perfect fit for the sort of things that are popular.

Sure, I'm only basing my comments on having DMed the setting and reading what the original creators have said. Like, what would they know!?


Personally, I LIKE Dark Sun. But I understand that a conventional pseudo-medieval fantasy setting requires much less explanation for a western audience. If I only wanted to sell my movie in China, Japan and Korea, then sure, I would pick Eberron.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sure, I'm only basing my comments on having DMed the setting and reading what the original creators have said. Like, what would they know!?


Personally, I LIKE Dark Sun. But I understand that a conventional pseudo-medieval fantasy setting requires much less explanation for a western audience. If I only wanted to sell my movie in China, Japan and Korea, then sure, I would pick Eberron.

You think Eberron requires explanation to a western audience? Lol come on, that’s just silly. The vast majority of the setting is pulled straight from western media and folklore, with some notes of extremely recognizable recent history (trains and flying machines). It is immediately familiar in both tone and visuals.

Further, as someone who runs Eberron and FR camlaigns, as well as homebrew, and who follows Keith Baker on twitter and reads his blog about Eberron, the setting is not steampunk. Kieth goes out of his way to make that explicit whenever it comes up, and he is right to. There are no steamworks, no clockworks, no Victorian England fashion and social assumptions, and no undertone of subverting Victorian social norms.

As for the Asian markets thing you guys keep harping on, what the hell are you even talking about? Is it airships? You think westerners can’t figure out an airship? You really think a movie set in Khorvaire is gonna look like Final Fantasy? If so, you’re playing a rather oddball version of the setting.

edit: forgot to mention something. Even if you were right about it appealing more to Asian markets, that is an enormously profitable market. The truth is, a movie that has appeal in both Western and Asian markets is a very good idea.

Also, many popular assumptions about such things are being turned upside down. See Black Panther.
 
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ART!

Legend
Everyone I know who is not a geek but goes to the usual assortment of popular genre movies is going to look at a movie trailer packed with swords and wizards and robots and elves and locomotives and see it as a head-scratcher or an unfocused mess - basically, the same way they're responding to Ready Player One trailers. The success of John Carter comes to mind, too; an awful lot of people didn't know what to make of it and so didn't bother going to see it.

I'm not saying a successful Eberron-based D&D movie can't be done, just that boy oh boy would it have to be executed and marketed just right. A traditional fantasy setting with an action-comedy approach (for instance) is a much better bet.

Note: I don't like or dislike Eberron. I ran a warforged for a while and had fun.
 

Yes, John Carter flopped hard. To be fair, it was poorly marketed and only of average quality, but the setting probably didn't help either. Hence Dark Sun, which is rather similar, is not, IMO a good idea.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I would write the movie with Princess Bride style: occasionally step out of the story to see the "real people" react to something.
The real people are just a set of friends (maybe college-age, maybe a few are older) spending the afternoon together and doing something fun.
edit: the "real people" are attending their high school class reunion, picking up episodes from the campaign they played in school back in the day. The movie ends when they have to go to the actual reunion.

The group might refer to famous movies also made by the same studio, to avoid copyright / royalty problems.
Ex: One 007 music-writer also had written for the stage version of Moulon Rouge and threw a riff from there into the Bond movie soundtrack.

I can SO see a Terminator reference if the BBEG has a Warforged enforcer-lieutenant.
Not even a little interested in this. I want a movie that is a fantasy movie. That is about the characters in that world.

I agree darkwalker would be good inspiration for a story.

I think a fantasy TV series makes sense, but Shannara didn't make it....
 

tardigrade

Explorer
As several others have pointed out (and several more are choosing to miss), the setting honestly isn't the key - the story is. I mean Dark Sun is basically Magical Mad Max, right?

I do think the temptation to cram too much backstory in will be difficult to avoid. A GoT-style miniseries would definitely be safer. Also for the love of Vecna play it (mostly) straight, we've had too many crappy fantasy comedies in the last few years (most recently Zapped, less recently Krod Mandoon etc).

I'd love to see it close with a nod to either Planescape or Spelljammer, but I can see that might backfire.
 

Shasarak

Banned
Banned
You think Eberron requires explanation to a western audience? Lol come on, that’s just silly. The vast majority of the setting is pulled straight from western media and folklore, with some notes of extremely recognizable recent history (trains and flying machines). It is immediately familiar in both tone and visuals.

I dont know man. I love Eberron but part of that love is recognising that they deliberately subvert the common well known tropes which would make it more difficult for an average viewer to grok then say Forgotten Realms or Dragon Lance. Not impossible of course but more difficult.
 

transtemporal

Explorer
We now have some solid information. Garth at DarkHorizions is rarely wrong. I don't think there's any doubt it's moving forward.

http://www.darkhorizons.com/nightwing-helmer-joins-dungeons-dragons/

I don't doubt that he's correct but these announcements don't necessarily mean anything. The studios do them 2 years out just to gauge the interest in the property. Around about the time you see the director and the actors together in promotional photos and giving interviews is when to take notice.
 

transtemporal

Explorer
As several others have pointed out (and several more are choosing to miss), the setting honestly isn't the key - the story is.

This. So much this.

And how do we know this? Guardians of the Galaxy. Completely leftfield property, known to a handful of diehard comic lovers. Awesome.

Also, Pirates of the Caribbean (significantly, made before Marvel rewrote the way studio movies are made). That film was waaaaay better than any film based on a theme park ride had any right to be!

Inversely, Lone Ranger. Based a story known the world over and it was awful, because the story and the characters were TERRIBLE.
 


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