While very little is known about the latest attempt to create a film based on Dungeons & Dragons, it appears now that the production will be filming in England. The film also only recently pegged down director Chris McKay - whose only other feature film directing credit was The LEGO Batman Movie from 2017. McKay is also currently tied to the Nightwing movie currently in development.
This most recent attempt at adaptation of the classic tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dragons has had a long and winding road since it was first conceived. The movie was initially held up by a lawsuit between Hasbro (who owned the game’s rights) and Sweetpea over whether TV-movie sequels constituted actual sequels for the purpose of maintaining franchise rights. When the lawsuits were settled in 2015, Warner Bros. had begun focusing on a D&D movie, using a script by David Leslie Johnson (Wrath of the Titans). Ansel Elgort had been in discussions for the lead in 2016. Rob Letterman (Goosebumps) had signed on to direct. There had even been talk of a possible Joe Manganiello script. The film has since moved from Warner Bros. to Paramount Pictures - who brought in McKay to helm the project.
The film is slated for July 23, 2021, and Omega Underground reports that England is being looked at as the filming location. The previous film version, released in 2000, shot further east in the Czech Republic (including at notable ossuary Sedlec). Little else is known about the 2021 version at this time. The script is currently being worked on, though it has not been announced who is writing. There are currently no actors attached to this newest iteration of the film.
The last attempt at adapting the unadaptable role-playing game began with the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons - featuring Jeremy Irons, Marlon Wayans, and Thora Birch. The movie was a colossal failure, both with the critics and the box office. This did not stop a pair of sequels (2005’s Wrath of the Dragon God and 2012’s The Book of Vile Darkness) from limping directly to TV and video.
The game, created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in the mid ‘70s, has been one of the most influential entertainment products on the shape of fantasy over the last quarter century. The expansive nature of the game means that countless stories and scenarios can and have been run using the system. Some generally famous characters and settings have been established over the decades- - although most are associated with a specific campaign world, and most are well-rooted in a high fantasy concept. Given the name Dungeons & Dragons most commonly evokes a traditional high fantasy setting, it is intuitive that England be the filming location for the 2021 adaptation. J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is typically considered the forefather of modern high fantasy, and much of his Middle Earth setting was inspired by the English countryside.
Source: Omega Underground
- Dungeons & Dragons (2021) release date: Jul 23, 2021