Warner Bros rolls its dice and gets the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS film and director

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I remember the good old days (just saying that makes me feel old) where I could just meet up with friends (yes, unlike Nick and Trevor – they actually existed) and play some Dungeons and Dragons – no we didn’t have girlfriends at the time. We would meet up regularly on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to take on a variety of missions and quests, mostly getting ourselves out of bizarre predicaments that we put ourselves in or as a result of some sadistic dungeon master trying to make the lives of our characters difficult. There were many fun moments and battles which would challenge my Halfling thief or Elf Mage and require me to throw some high D20 rolls to prevent them from both taking an arrow to the knee – and now I’m referencing another game entirely.

It’s been a long time since I last played Dungeons and Dragons, but it is still my favourite Role Playing game of all time – and best-selling, so don’t just take my word for it. However when it comes to movies based on the role playing format, I am less keen, The beauty of a role playing game is that you determine the character you play and how the adventure will pan out – something which works well in video game format, but not in movie format. So I’m skeptical that they are planning another film based on this popular franchise, especially after all the last attempts to make a film have generally tanked in relative mediocrity.

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There is a lot of lore to fall back on in the D&D universe, but not exactly a lot of set story, so how they will incorporate the various themes in a film that will make it feel like a D&D movie is beyond me. To be honest – it smells of a simply money making scheme to me more than anything else. Hopefully they will be able to persuade me otherwise, but it all depends on the development team they put behind it and the tone they go for the film

Tracking Board have reported that Rob Letterman (Goosebumps, Monsters vs Aliens, Shark Tale) has been signed up to direct the film, based on a script by David Leslie Jones (Wrath of the Titans). Based on their previous works, this could an interesting mix. Letterman’s previous works have been more comedy based and perhaps shows an indication of the direction the producers want to take with the film, steering clear of other darker fantasy films and instead focusing on making this a much more light-hearted and fun.

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To be honest, this approach could work well for the film and if they perhaps go a more Guardians of the Galaxy type approach, they could make it more appealing to a wider audience, though it will probably appeal less to your typical (former) D&D geek like myself.

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The film is being producing by  Vertigo Entertainment, along with Stephen Davis and Brian Goldner of Hasbro (who own the rights through their ownership of Wizards of the Coast) and Courtney Solomon through his Sweetpea Entertainment. Solomon also directed the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons adaptation for New Line which starred Justin Whalin, Marlon Wayans, and Thora Birch and was mostly forgettable. Lets hope they’ve learnt from their mistakes and make this one into something worthy of the franchise.

No official casting announcements have been made, but sources say that producers are eyeing a Vin Diesel-type (whatever that means) for the film’s lead characters. Diesel himself is a huge fan of the game, having played it for over 20 years, which also formed a big part of the source material for his film The Last Witch Hunter, so if they do include him, at least you know he will bring a fair amount of passion to the film.

Now if they could turn this into an interactive movie of sorts, where audiences have the opportunity to roll some interactive dice to determine the fate of its heroes, then I think it could stand a chance of living up to its source material. As for how a standard linear plot will do it any justice, we will have to wait and see. Are you excited for a new D&D film?

Last Updated: April 5, 2016

Craig Risi

A man of many talents, but no sense how to use them. I could be discovering the cure for aids or finding ways to achieve world peace, but I'd rather be watching movies and writing here instead.

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