Paramount's live-action Dungeons & Dragons may soon be directed by Nightwing's Chris McKay. The studio is currently working on plans to construct a potential cinematic universe involving Hasbro toys, which would finally bring the table top game back to the big screen. These plans currently include a world where G.I. Joe, Micronauts, possibly Transformers, and more will coexist. One of the other projects wanted for the universe is Dungeons & Dragons, which previously staked out a 2021 release date.
For a project that is currently over three years away from hitting theaters, there hasn't been much buzz about what a potential Dungeons & Dragons movie could look like. But, one of the biggest advocates for the film has actually been Joe Manganiello, who helped develop Dungeons & Dragons' script that came out of the Hasbro writers room. And now, it looks like it's taking its first step forward by securing a director.
Variety reports that The LEGO Batman Movie director Chris McKay is in early negotiations to helm Dungeons & Dragons for Paramount. Should his deal close, he'll work based off a script from David Leslie Johnson (The Conjuring 2), which is being rewritten by Michael Gillio. It will reportedly be one of the first films to come out of Hasbro's new movie studio, AllSpark Pictures.
Potentially landing McKay at this stage could indicate that Dungeons & Dragons could be well ahead of the other Hasbro-related projects Paramount is developing. Despite a new G.I. Joe and Micronauts having earlier release dates pegged, neither of those movies have directors yet. This could once again be an example of a studio announcing long-term plans prematurely, and then shuffling their plans as they actually fall into place. That is all under the assumption that McKay's deal does close, which appears likely at this point.
McKay is just a year removed from directing LEGO Batman, but he hasn't done anything since. He was quickly swooped up by Warner Bros. to develop a live-action Nightwing movie, but he's insisted they're taking their time with that DC movie. If that's the case, then the bulk of his schedule should be free to develop Dungeons & Dragons in a more proactive way, whether that's for the planned 2021 release or sooner. It'd also mark a big transition for McKay, as he jumps from animation to a potentially epic world that D&D could offer. This would undoubtedly delay Nightwing for several years, on the other hand, so this isn't going to be a move that will please everyone, even if its potentially what is best for McKay's career right now.
- Dungeons & Dragons (2021) release date: Jul 23, 2021