Warner Bros. Acquires Dungeons & Dragons Film Rights

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Warner Bros. Acquires Dungeons & Dragons Film Rights

Dungeons & Dragons Tentacle Ears

With a movie already in the works Warner Bros. is hoping to roll a natural 20.

Dungeons & Dragons, the 2000 movie based on the groundbreaking tabletop RPG, is one of the unequivocal disasters of fantasy film making. Combining a bad script with awful acting and laughable CGI, it now serves as little more than an step-by-step guide on how to make a lousy fantasy flick and squander the support of a deep rooted fan base. Now, however, it appears that Dungeons & Dragons might be getting a new lease on life on the big screen.

Warner Bros. has acquired the film rights to Dungeons & Dragons and is already well into production of a new film bearing the franchise's name. The film itself is being made with a script written by David Leslie Johnson. Johnson, who previously penned the scripts for Wrath of the Titans and Red Riding Hood, based his screenplay, entitled Chainmail, off of the board game by the same name. Chainmail the game was developed by Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax and included elements that would later make their way into early editions of D&D. The new film will be produced by Roy Lee, currently working on The Lego Movie, and directed by Courtney Solomon, who directed the original Dungeons & Dragons.

While the presence of Solomon is a bit worrisome, considering his involvement in the 2000 stinker, there could yet be hope for the film. Popular properties like Game of Thrones and the ongoing Hobbit films have laid a solid foundation for other fantasy franchises to establish themselves. Dungeons & Dragons, in turn, is arguably one of the most recognizable properties in fantasy. Granted, it's probably recognized as being one of the nerdiest names in fantasy, but if the film were done well it could find an audience and traction at the box office. Warner Brothers, in turn, certainly wouldn't be hurt by having another viable franchise to sequalize. Likewise, the wide exposure offered by a successful film could be a boost for D&D and tabletop RPGs overall.

Source: Deadline

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No D&D film or film based loosely on it has ever been more than painfully awful. This can only end in disaster...

Captcha: no way
See? Not even the captcha believes this film will work.

What if... and hear me out here... what if the movie was a sequel to the first movie, where we find that it was actually just a game of D&D played by your average assortment of players and a mediocre DM having trouble keeping the whole game focused.

That would explain why the original was so... the way it was...

if it plays out like an actual DnD campaign (that doesn't suck), I'll be interested but as of now...

hands on the dice, Warner, your move.

Is it too much to hope that this will end up being a Planescape movie? That would solve the problem of making it recognisably D&D, unlike the Jeremy Irons one; and of avoiding the usual Medieval-esque aesthetic most major fantasy has these days. It would be a good way of creating a particular look and feel for the film, and clearly set it out as something different and interesting.

Of course, it'll never happen. We'll probably just get a repeat of the last one but with shinier CGI.

As long as nerds don't end up being painted as delusional, antisocial layabouts like the last film I won't mind.

Well, at least anything that comes out of this can't possibly be as bad as the previous films.

StewShearer:
Granted, it's probably recognized as being one of the nerdiest names in fantasy

Given that nerds currently rule the box office, that's probably considered the biggest point in its favour rather than the negative it might once have been.

Anachronism:
Is it too much to hope that this will end up being a Planescape movie? That would solve the problem of making it recognisably D&D, unlike the Jeremy Irons one; and of avoiding the usual Medieval-esque aesthetic most major fantasy has these days. It would be a good way of creating a particular look and feel for the film, and clearly set it out as something different and interesting.

Of course, it'll never happen. We'll probably just get a repeat of the last one but with shinier CGI.

That would be cool. Not only is that an unusual setting but then they could more easily do spinoffs like Forgotten Realms. I'd be enthusiastic about this if it was a movie based on Homeland: the book about Drizzit, not the terrorism drama.

i cant honestly see this being a success or even watchable. maybe something like a game of thrones style tv show but yeah not a movie

Alluos:
What if... and hear me out here... what if the movie was a sequel to the first movie, where we find that it was actually just a game of D&D played by your average assortment of players and a mediocre DM having trouble keeping the whole game focused.

That would explain why the original was so... the way it was...

Breaking the fourth wall a bit would probably be the only way to make a continuation of the franchise palatable. Seeing characters occasionally talk out of character or just something along the lines of Darths and Droids or DM of the Rings could make for an interesting approach, but if they go with another cliche high fantasy story it's going to be a hell of a gamble. I don't have faith that the industry can pull it off.

Have a feeling we're all going to be very glad that Gygax didn't live to see this
Unless

Combustion Kevin:
if it plays out like an actual DnD campaign (that doesn't suck), I'll be interested but as of now...

hands on the dice, Warner, your move.

They only way I see this working is if it IS an actual DnD campaign, and maybe all the in game activities are metaphors for what's happening to the players IRL

StewShearer:
The film itself is being made with a script written by David Leslie Johnson. Johnson, who previously penned the scripts for Wrath of the Titans and Red Riding Hood...

Two mediocre movies... The situation isn't looking good. I am all for an amusing/fun D&D movie, but my expectations for this one is very low.

All the same, I'd rather have a Pathfinder or Exalted movie or even a movie set in one of the myriad D&D movies then another boring generic fantasy flop.

Hold action, prepare to cast expeditious retreat.

DVS BSTrD:
Have a feeling we're all going to be very glad that Gygax didn't live to see this
Unless
They only way I see this working is if it IS an actual DnD campaign, and maybe all the in game activities are metaphors for what's happening to the players IRL

Hey man, they need more Jeremy Irons

OT: Well, it could be interesting. I'll hold my horses until there is more too see.

As long as the movie doesn't spend its running time doing the metaphorical equivalent of pointing at itself and saying, "See, fans, here's something recognizable that you like!", there's no reason this can't be good. You just need a compelling main character, likeable supporting characters, a magnificent bastard for an antagonist and visually grand scenery in which to stage exciting set pieces. You know, like any adventure movie.

You don't need comedy for the sake of comedy -- just humor to lighten things up now and then. You don't need melodrama necessarily ("What do you know about it... MAGE?!?") -- just a good sense of what's personally at stake for the main characters. From what I've seen, D&D's ruleset isn't built to simulate drama very well anyway. The best drama that arises in D&D games comes from what the players express through their characters when something's important to them. You also don't have to have the characters save the world to tell an exciting story. Nor do you need to fill the sky with dragons.

Okay, I might be thinking too much about this...

--Morology!

I read the article and an image of a bowling alley came to mind with the background music of The Grateful Dead's "Trucking" playing.

The first movie needed a lot more care than it was given, and it showed so bad. Everything about that movie was at best mediocre and at worst terrible. I could think of plenty of my fellow dungeonmasters who had better stuff to offer than that movie.

And so they're bringing back the original director (who convinced tell Jeremy Irons to be an actor so bad it made Zoe McLellan look good by comparison), hiring a mediocre writer and giving no clue to the cast. WoTC must have been given a ton of cash for this one. If they wanted me to set the bar nice and low so I'll be impressed with it being better than I thought it was, they've succeeded. I'll wait and see, but I won't be wasting my money on opening night for this film.

They should target the 80s nostalgia market and do a live action reboot of the cartoon series. If you're going to go Nerd, go Full Nerd!

And cast Peter Dinklage as Dungeon Master.

I'll admit that as bad as the first Dungeons and Dragons movie is, it is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. While it would be nice to see something good come out of that universe; it will be hard to compete with the entertainment factor in pure ridiculousness that the first movie provides.

perhaps if we chant it thusly it will appear as if summoned :

Movie Defense Force DUNGEONS & DRAGONS!
Movie Defense Force DUNGEONS & DRAGONS!
Movie Defense Force DUNGEONS & DRAGONS!

The guy who wrote Wrath of the Titans and Red Riding Hood?

Really?

Yeah, no. There's officially no possibility of this movie being good.

Wasn't Richard O'Brien in the first film as a thief lord/king/big-cheese? It's about the only thing I vaguely remember from the movie apart from there being dragons. The sequel was equally forgettable and possibly worse.

Please be good. Please be good. Please be good.

I would love to see this genre take off if it can be shown to work. Much like the Superhero movies took off with Batman.

Quaxar:
No D&D film or film based loosely on it has ever been more than painfully awful. This can only end in disaster...

Captcha: no way
See? Not even the captcha believes this film will work.

Well, that direct to DVD one was okay. But then, remember those jokes about how you could make a better D&D movie by basing the script on some gamer's campaign notes? Well I'm pretty sure that's what they did with this one. The party went on a dungeon crawl, with each class filling its in game role. Roll credits.

As for this one: why? No, seriously, why? A D&D movie is like a Minecraft movie. The game is just a bunch of building blocks for a group of people to put together into a good time, with cheetos and dice. Sure there's tie in novels they could adapt, but then that's not what they're doing, is it? They're basing it on the game.

Salvatore has been showing strong interest in a Drizzt Do'Urden movie since 2008, and the Forgotten Realms is one of the more popular D&D campaigns. That already gives it a large fan base as every book with Drizzt in it has been a NYTimes best seller.

Or maybe I'm just justifying a movie I've wanted since I was a child after 20 years of reading about him!

come on now, how hard is it to make a good movie? The general adventures make decent story fodder, while player choices, interactions and creativity add humor, individuality and growth. Need drama? Try an prisoner dilemma. Don't be afraid to let a character actually die. Don't take it too seriously...

-sigh- I made a character once who's partial goal was just to find 101 uses for a common cloth sack. Think that came out of an argument with the gm about not selling me some early on. Thus, any time I could find something to use one for, I did. Countless attempts failed horribly and bad dice made some backfire. But man, when they worked, oh...so much fun.

What does this have to do with movies? Well, both the D&D movies lacked that sort of personality. The identity of the players behind the characters, so to speak and the creativity that stems from different perspectives reacting to the same plot as it goes. Even ignoring the terrible acting, the characters just felt like they were actors in a play with roles already planned rather then what most of the fun of D&D is, the discovery of the background plot, and the great screwing it all up. It might not seem like much, but stuffing a sack full of shit and smoke bombs and throwing it flaming into a goblin camp was some of the best fun I had. It had the gm looking at me like as though silently asking "why...?", the party laughing and thanks to flexibility and a lucky roll, it actually helped the party itself. I guess I just wish they could capture that sort of fun of unpredictable reactions to the same tired scenarios. Yeah yeah, sneak in and stealth kill the goblin camp or berserk rush it or cast spells from afar. Show me a movie where the unseen hands of a vengeful gm is punishing a bad roll in hilarious fashion though, and think I'd enjoy it.

Owyn_Merrilin:

Quaxar:
No D&D film or film based loosely on it has ever been more than painfully awful. This can only end in disaster...

Captcha: no way
See? Not even the captcha believes this film will work.

Well, that direct to DVD one was okay. But then, remember those jokes about how you could make a better D&D movie by basing the script on some gamer's campaign notes? Well I'm pretty sure that's what they did with this one. The party went on a dungeon crawl, with each class filling its in game role. Roll credits.

As for this one: why? No, seriously, why? A D&D movie is like a Minecraft movie. The game is just a bunch of building blocks for a group of people to put together into a good time, with cheetos and dice. Sure there's tie in novels they could adapt, but then that's not what they're doing, is it? They're basing it on the game.

Actually they've been getter better each time (I believe there's three now). Not to the point of being good, mind you, but better.

Is it too much to hope that this will end up being a Planescape movie?

Well, if I remember correctly, Planescape and Sigil don't exist anymore in the newest editions, or am I worng?

About the movie, well good luck. It would be awesome to have a cool DnD-Movie, but given the directors history (Wrath of the Titans and stuff...) I doubt it. Its not that easy to do really, as you don't exactly have a story to beginn with. With the licens you more or less simply buy the right to use DnD-names. You have to come up with a story yourself, unlike Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. This can be good, if you have a good writer, but I guess its gonna be some kind of brains-out rollercoster as Wrath of the Titans was. And that I simply have no interest in.

Nimzabaat:

Owyn_Merrilin:

Quaxar:
No D&D film or film based loosely on it has ever been more than painfully awful. This can only end in disaster...

Captcha: no way
See? Not even the captcha believes this film will work.

Well, that direct to DVD one was okay. But then, remember those jokes about how you could make a better D&D movie by basing the script on some gamer's campaign notes? Well I'm pretty sure that's what they did with this one. The party went on a dungeon crawl, with each class filling its in game role. Roll credits.

As for this one: why? No, seriously, why? A D&D movie is like a Minecraft movie. The game is just a bunch of building blocks for a group of people to put together into a good time, with cheetos and dice. Sure there's tie in novels they could adapt, but then that's not what they're doing, is it? They're basing it on the game.

Actually they've been getter better each time (I believe there's three now). Not to the point of being good, mind you, but better.

Seriously? That sounds like a themed bad movie night waiting to happen. I actually kind of liked the first direct to DVD one, so if there's a newer entry that's better (or two? I'm not sure if you were referring to the series as a whole or just the direct to DVD ones), it ought to be pretty entertaining.

as has been stated most big attempts to make this in to a not-ass movie have failed spectacularly, I tell you what Would be good though a Movie adaptation of the D&D cartoon show using the idea bones of it if nothing else.

for those not informed of this show its premise was a groups of kids some friends some not yet friends get on this carnival ride that ultimately transports them to the world of D&D where they each are given a class and power set by a mysterious being called Dungeon Master, the series was basically a drawn out campaign or series of them if memory serves.

A polished and improved version of this idea would be very nice as it would blend a bit of camp with some seriousness and not fuck it up, well maybe that isn't a guarantee I have seen movies whose source material would guarantee gold status but they still fuck it up horribly.

Now the idea of using a groups Notes to make a movie from, that sounds nice to me if it is an especially good group

(and before ANYBODY opens their mouth about it, yes this is Subjective because you can play the game anyway you want but for the purposes of this discussion we will go by how rich and engaging the group makes the game)

then there will be a lot of meat to make this movie from

Is it too much to hope that this movie will center around the Tomb of Horrors or possibly the Temple of Elemental Evil? I would also settle for the Barrier Peaks or White Plume Mountain.

So the writer of the new Wrath of the Titans (which I hated) and Red Riding Hood (which I kind of liked, in a ridiculous Sleepy Hollow way, but it was hardly good), and the terrible director of the horrible first movie. Forget it. The Sci-Fi produced sequel wasn't that great, but it was 10 times better than that first atrocity.

The best D&D-esque movies are The Gamers series. The [a href="http://deadgentlemen.com/projects/the-gamers-series/dorkness-rising/]second film was much better[/a], and the third one is currently in production.

[quote="Citizen Snips" post="7.407500.17002694"]Salvatore has been showing strong interest in a Drizzt Do'Urden movie since 2008, and the Forgotten Realms is one of the more popular D&D campaigns. That already gives it a large fan base as every book with Drizzt in it has been a NYTimes best seller.

Or maybe I'm just justifying a movie I've wanted since I was a child after 20 years of reading about him![/quote]

I've never liked Drizzt or cared much for the Realms, but I can't deny they're the most popular things actually connected to D&D. This idea makes a lot more sense than just doing another bland, generic medieval European sword & sorcery flick. Hell, why not do a story set on Eberron? If you're going to do D&D, which every fantasy property has been mining for tropes for 40 years anyway, why not pick the most out-there stuff no one has even tried to touch?

If they did one that was intentionally taking the piss out of the whole genre of fantasy, it could be good. Otherwise, they have a challenge on their hands.

How about that fucking Drizzt movie, WB?

Make it happen.

Citizen Snips:
Salvatore has been showing strong interest in a Drizzt Do'Urden movie since 2008, and the Forgotten Realms is one of the more popular D&D campaigns. That already gives it a large fan base as every book with Drizzt in it has been a NYTimes best seller.

Or maybe I'm just justifying a movie I've wanted since I was a child after 20 years of reading about him!

You're not alone. Done right, they could easily pull off The Dark Elf Trilogy and Icewind Dale in a serious manner.

But, chances are, they just want to use the DnD name to shit out a generic fantasy turd and hope to make a quick buck.

Owyn_Merrilin:

Seriously? That sounds like a themed bad movie night waiting to happen. I actually kind of liked the first direct to DVD one, so if there's a newer entry that's better (or two? I'm not sure if you were referring to the series as a whole or just the direct to DVD ones), it ought to be pretty entertaining.

Well the latest one that I saw was "Book of Vile Darkness". Once again not... good, but better than "Wrath of the Dragon God" (may have that wrong). The fight scenes were slightly better, some decent effects (not all but some), some recognizable character classes (Vermin Lord, Assassin, Thrallherd (I think)). It gave me hope that by the sixth or seventh movie they'd be watchable. So now i'm cautiously optimistic about that happening a little sooner.

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