D&D Movie/TV (Yet another) D&D Movie Speculation thread.

generic

On that metempsychosis tweak
Here it is in all of its glory!

And here are my unsolicited opinions on any D&D movie that may be created:

In my opinion, for a D&D movie to be made successful, one must remember that such a film would be made for the masses, not super-nerds like me. Therefore, the following items would have to be considered (and maybe even removed from the film):

1. Drow are problematic for most audiences. Even if animated through the use of CGI, it would be awkward for most people to see a race of dark-skinned, predominately evil humanoids depicted on screen. One way to negate this might be to enhance the inhuman nature of the Drow, emphasizing their Elven qualities to an extreme.

2. Remove some (but not all) of the exposition that I (and some other D&D fans) would like to have.

3. Don't name the movie "Dungeons and Dragons: [insert subtitle here].

4. (This one is not my complaint, but one that critics will make) Remove any species-specific in-game jokes about how Dwarves are alcoholics, Drow are bondage Elves, et cetera.

Best regards,

Aebir-Toril.

I'm interested to discover what you think of my opinions, and whether you believe that a D&D movie would be a good investment for WoTC.

(Note: I created this thread so the discussion about the D&D movie that appeared in another thread rather randomly could have a home).
 

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delericho

Legend
To make a successful movie, I'm inclined to think their best bet is to persuade Vin Diesel and The Rock to star, and have them do to D&D whatever it is they do with "The Fast and the Furious". Go for unapologetically entertaining rather than 'good'.

1. Drow are problematic for most audiences. Even if animated through the use of CGI, it would be awkward for most people to see a race of dark-skinned, predominately evil humanoids depicted on screen.

Unfortunately as it is, I agree.

I'm inclined to think that WotC would do well to start gradually shifting the depiction of the Drow towards a much more inclusive depiction - a mix of males and females at all strata of society, and a variety of skin tones.

Alternately, they could copy liberally from "Thor: the Dark World" - have most Drow wear masks and dark clothing.
 

Powerful, smart, sophisticated, and any bad things they do can be blamed on a white god who "pushed them into it"--I am pretty sure Drow are fine with a little watering down (more harsh than evil) as long as there is a redemption story for them by the end of the movie.

Since I can't resist throwing a joke into a D&D movie thread: the title of the movie will be D&D: Lolth Gets Her Groove Back. Drizzt will be a women (because we can't have a man saving a matriarchal society in 202_). At some point Lolth and Drizzt will get together and through the Power of Love, and all Drow will be able to change sex when they feel like it, and thus happily ever after (until the next movie).

This will be an important part of the status quo for 6e.
 

Here it is in all of its glory!

And here are my unsolicited opinions on any D&D movie that may be created:

In my opinion, for a D&D movie to be made successful, one must remember that such a film would be made for the masses, not super-nerds like me. Therefore, the following items would have to be considered (and maybe even removed from the film):

1. Drow are problematic for most audiences. Even if animated through the use of CGI, it would be awkward for most people to see a race of dark-skinned, predominately evil humanoids depicted on screen. One way to negate this might be to enhance the inhuman nature of the Drow, emphasizing their Elven qualities to an extreme.

Better solution: don't feature any Drow. It's not like they are common anyway.
2. Remove some (but not all) of the exposition that I (and some other D&D fans) would like to have.
Controlling the amount of exposition is always a challenge. Show, don't tell, is the best rule for movies.
3. Don't name the movie "Dungeons and Dragons: [insert subtitle here].
No point in paying for the licence then. Call it Generic Fantasy Movie: and see how far it gets...


4. (This one is not my complaint, but one that critics will make) Remove any species-specific in-game jokes about how Dwarves are alcoholics, Drow are bondage Elves, et cetera.

Not featuring any drow would avoid the second of these clichés.
 

Draegn

Explorer
There are memes depicting black persons as orcs from the LotR films. I feel that any "dark" race would be problematic.

The main problem a producer would have in my opinion is not being labeled being another LotR, GoT, or HP style film.
 

Henry

Autoexreginated
I think the best question to ask is: What lessons can we learn from Marvel Studios' treatment of comic book movies in bringing these stories to even people who are not comic book readers? I know the markets are somewhat different, because there are HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS more people who have read comics in their lives, from actual four-color books to newspaper strips, but they have succeeded in turning these stories into something that appeals to more than just the "superhero fan" crowd, and managed to tell the deeply human and powerful stories behind these funny-books in a powerful way.

However, we also know that fan power is not the answer, as we've seen plenty of terrible superhero movies, from the 70s schlock to big-budget modern movies with paper-thin plot. So, the lessons are there for popular genre filming -- but do we learn them, or do we fall yet again back into schlock and waiting 15 years for another shot?
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think the best question to ask is: What lessons can we learn from Marvel Studios' treatment of comic book movies in bringing these stories to even people who are not comic book readers? I know the markets are somewhat different, because there are HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS more people who have read comics in their lives, from actual four-color books to newspaper strips, but they have succeeded in turning these stories into something that appeals to more than just the "superhero fan" crowd, and managed to tell the deeply human and powerful stories behind these funny-books in a powerful way.

Well, there's a major difference other than "market". The very form of the property is different.

For superheroes, the base and central unit is the hero, the character - Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, etc. When we say "D&D movie" the first thing we think of isn't an iconic character, but a more generalized experience of a game in which the audience is a major creator of the experience.

And that's a real problem for a movie. We automatically lose the central aspect of D&D - the audience-as-creator. And we don't have a stock of well-established characters to focus on instead. So, the D&D property doesn't actually give what you need for a successful movie - characters. It gives a bit of marketing cache if applied properly, but doesn't otherwise bring the important things to the table.

IMHO.
 

Drows can be replaced by the shadow elves from Mystara or some drow could be in the group of the good guys.

* I guess the key is a good story. Hire G.R.R.Martin for a story in the world of Birthright with a gnome crossbower and it is a blockbuster.

Maybe we need something like a playtesting, with an animated movie until finding the right formule.
 

generic

On that metempsychosis tweak
Powerful, smart, sophisticated, and any bad things they do can be blamed on a white god who "pushed them into it"--I am pretty sure Drow are fine with a little watering down (more harsh than evil) as long as there is a redemption story for them by the end of the movie.

Since I can't resist throwing a joke into a D&D movie thread: the title of the movie will be D&D: Lolth Gets Her Groove Back. Drizzt will be a women (because we can't have a man saving a matriarchal society in 202_). At some point Lolth and Drizzt will get together and through the Power of Love, and all Drow will be able to change sex when they feel like it, and thus happily ever after (until the next movie).

This will be an important part of the status quo for 6e.

Hmm...
 

generic

On that metempsychosis tweak
Well, there's a major difference other than "market". The very form of the property is different.

For superheroes, the base and central unit is the hero, the character - Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, etc. When we say "D&D movie" the first thing we think of isn't an iconic character, but a more generalized experience of a game in which the audience is a major creator of the experience.

And that's a real problem for a movie. We automatically lose the central aspect of D&D - the audience-as-creator. And we don't have a stock of well-established characters to focus on instead. So, the D&D property doesn't actually give what you need for a successful movie - characters. It gives a bit of marketing cache if applied properly, but doesn't otherwise bring the important things to the table.

IMHO.

I agree completely.

Furthermore, I think that marketing the movie as "a Dungeons and Dragons movie" is attractive to fans, but not to mass audiences, do you agree?
 




Dessert Nomad

Adventurer
1. Drow are problematic for most audiences. Even if animated through the use of CGI, it would be awkward for most people to see a race of dark-skinned, predominately evil humanoids depicted on screen. One way to negate this might be to enhance the inhuman nature of the Drow, emphasizing their Elven qualities to an extreme.


I think that could be solved by giving them non-human skin tones, more like WOW night elves than the traditional jet-black drow. If they're shades of violet and deep blue, they probably avoid hitting the 'oh, so black people are evil' stereotype or otherwise getting mixed up in real-world human racial issues. IMO that distingusihes drow from the surface races better now that D&D's core backstory doesn't just ignore the existence of anyone darker than 'middle eastern'. In the old days, elves were just assumed to be basically white guys unless they were drow; it was never explicitly in the rules, but finding art of a high elf with dark skin and short, curly hair from before 1990 is going to take some effort. Now that the game explicitly rejects the idea that 'white guys are the basis for human-like fantasy races', drow that are just dark-skinned don't really stand out like they used to.

Better solution: don't feature any Drow. It's not like they are common anyway.

While they're said to be rare, aren't they all over the place in published materials? It would be kind of weird to cut them out if they're using a published setting where they're common in the major characters like Forgotten Realms.
 

Changing sexes was always a thing in D&D: belt of masculinity/femininity. I had, not one, but two characters put on these cursed belts. I suppose, in modern fantasy, it would no longer be considered a curse. It could even be a quest item.

There have been plenty of D&D movies and they all sucked. I'd love to see one that had a plot. Has anyone read some of the Story Hour stories on this board? There are some amazing ones. Pay one of the authors for the story.

Thing is, Game of Thrones has already given everyone their Fantasy fix with an actual good story. So, it might just feel like more of the same schtick. In any case, The challenge is to wrap it up in to several movies instead of a series. But a series would be pretty awesome too.
 



generic

On that metempsychosis tweak
No, the challenge is to make something that can be milked as a wildly successful franchise for as long as possible - regardless of actual quality. (Ex: Fast & the Furious)

I would rather have a "good" movie that made little money than a "bad" movie that made lots.

However, I'm not WotC and Hasbro would agree...
 

generic

On that metempsychosis tweak
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I think that could be solved by giving them non-human skin tones, more like WOW night elves than the traditional jet-black drow. If they're shades of violet and deep blue, they probably avoid hitting the 'oh, so black people are evil' stereotype or otherwise getting mixed up in real-world human racial issues. IMO that distingusihes drow from the surface races better now that D&D's core backstory doesn't just ignore the existence of anyone darker than 'middle eastern'. In the old days, elves were just assumed to be basically white guys unless they were drow; it was never explicitly in the rules, but finding art of a high elf with dark skin and short, curly hair from before 1990 is going to take some effort. Now that the game explicitly rejects the idea that 'white guys are the basis for human-like fantasy races', drow that are just dark-skinned don't really stand out like they used to.

Good proposition.

I've seen many players make violet-skinned or dark-grey skinned Drow characters recently.
 

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