Once upon a time, all video game movies were terrible. Well, they are still are mostly terrible but we do occasionally get some pleasant suprises like Sonic the Hedgehog at least. Back in the day though? TERRIBLE. Luckily, we actually had pretty cool video games that were basically movies. And one of the pioneers of this interactive movie video game crazy was Dragon’s Lair. And now we’re getting an actual movie made out of it, starring Ryan Reynolds.
THR broke the story saying that the Deadpool star is currently in talks with Netflix to star in and produce a live-action feature film adaptation of the classic video game. First released to video game arcades in 1984, Dragon’s lair followed intrepid knight Dirk the Daring as he attempted to rescue Princess Daphne from the evil wizard Mordroc and the dragon Singe. No, it was not exactly Oscar-winning scripting here. What made Dragon’s Lair stand out though was its graphics. As one of the earliest titles to be released on the Laserdisc, thanks to the expanded storage capacity of the format the game’s creators were able to overcome the limitations in pixel quality and create feature-level animated sequence unlike anything else at the time.
And the people behind this video game revolution were Rick Dyer and Don Bluth. If the latter sounds familiar it’s because he was the legendary animator who directed The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, The Land Before Time, All Dogs Go To Heaven, Anastasia, and Titan A.E. with frequent collaborator Gary Goldman. Back in 2015, following a short-lived animated series and failed feature film attempt in the 1980s, Bluth and Goldman actually tried to get a traditionally animated Dragon’s Lair feature film made that was going to expand on the backstory of Dirk and Daphne. Using a Kickstarter and IndieGoGo campaign, the duo were able to raise over $700 000 dollars by 2018. As impressive as that is, that was still not enough. Luckily, that’s where Netflix came in.
After season 2 of Netflix’s hit show Stranger Things featured Dragon’s Lair prominently in one scene, interest in the game increased. This prompted the streaming giant to undergo nearly a year of negotiations to secure the film rights. With Reynolds tapped to play Dirk (and honestly, that’s a great fit given his brand of humour), Netflix has also locked in the writing team of Dan and Kevin Hageman to handle the script. The duo were writers on Hotel Transylvania, The LEGO Movie, Trollhunters, and Ninjago and are the showrunners for the upcoming Star Trek animated series as well as penning the script for The Croods 2 (which will also feature Reynolds). While Bluth will also produce with Goldman, the 83-year old filmmaker is too far past his prime to still be directing now though, and right now there’s no word yet on who will be stepping behind the camera for this one.
Last Updated: March 30, 2020