Game Night filmmakers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are in talks to direct Paramount's Dungeons & Dragons movie reboot. The classic fantasy tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons essentially ushered in the modern era of role-playing games when it was first published in 1974, and has continued to be major part of that relatively niche culture ever since. Unsurprisingly, Hollywood has already tried to cash-in on its popularity once before; the result, however, was the infamously campy box office misfire that was 2000's D&D live-action film.
Warner Bros. later made plans to reboot the Dungeons & Dragons movies in 2015, with Baby Driver's Ansel Elgort starring and Rob Letterman (Detective Pikachu) directing. Things didn't work out, though, and the reboot moved over to Paramount in 2017, after Sweetpea Entertainment and Hasbro reached a deal over the sequel rights. The LEGO Batman Movie helmsman Chris McKay was subsequently attached to direct the film in February 2018, but has since stepped away from the project.
According to Variety, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein are now in talks to direct the D&D reboot, with Michael Grillo (a lesser-known writer) still working on the script. The timing worked out well too, as Daley and Goldstein only recently departed WB's The Flash DCEU solo movie (which Mama and IT Chapter One & Two's Andy Muschietti is currently in talks to oversee, instead).
In what's undoubtedly not a coincidence, Daley and Goldstein were among the members of the since-abandoned Hasbro Film Universe writing team that Paramount and Hasbro's Allspark Pictures announced in April 2016. They also made their directorial debut with 2015's Vacation reboot and cowrote Spider-Man: Homecoming for the MCU before making a much bigger splash with their second directorial effort on last year's action-comedy, Game Night. Indeed, the latter was a surprise hit that was overflowing with visual flair and creativity, and got people excited to see what Daley and Goldstein could do when painting on a larger canvas (namely, a studio tentpole).
That's to say, based on their previous work, the pair are comfortably in their wheelhouse with the Dungeons & Dragons reboot. Interestingly, though, the film is one of three fantasy adventures that are currently scheduled to arrive in November 2021, with the other two being Thor: Love and Thunder and the as-yet untitled third Fantastic Beasts installment. All three movies should be fairly different when it comes to tone, however, with Fantastic Beasts 3 expected to be by far the darkest of the trio (if also whimsical in its own way). Still, there's a chance that Paramount will move the D&D reboot sometime between now and then, if only to make certain that it's not overshadowed by the competition.
- Dungeons & Dragons (2021) release date: Nov 19, 2021