Dungeons & Dragons is one of the most popular fantasy role-playing games of all time. Since it first launched in 1974, the game has attracted millions of players and introduced dozens of campaigns while expanding into every medium from film to novels and magazines. While many of the adaptations have fared well, one medium where the property has never found its footing is cinema.
In 2000, Courtney Solomon and Sweetpea Entertainment released their long gestating film Dungeons & Dragons. The film was poorly received by critics and fans alike, though two sequels were eventually released on the Syfy Channel. Since the first disastrous movie, fans have hoped to see the rich source material get the proper Hollywood treatment. Now, after fifteen years, they may finally get the chance.
The Wrap is reporting that Warner Bros. has (after a year-long legal struggle involving the rights) started development on a new Dungeons & Dragons film. Teaming up with Hasbro's Allspark Pictures and Sweetpea Entertainment, WB will base the project on an existing script by David Leslie Johnson (Wrath of the Titans). Hasbro's Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis, along with Roy Lee (The LEGO Movie) and Courtney Solomon are attached to produce. The movie does not currently have a director.
Greg Silverman, Warner Bros. Pictures' president of creative development and worldwide production, had the following to say:
"We are so excited about bringing the world of 'Dungeons & Dragons' to life on the big screen. This is far and away the most well-known brand in fantasy, which is the genre that drives the most passionate film followings. D&D has endless creative possibilities, giving our filmmakers immense opportunities to delight and thrill both fans and moviegoers new to the property.
Stephen Davis, Hasbro's executive vice president and chief content officer, confirmed that the film will be based on The Forgotten Realms campaign setting.
This is such an enormous opportunity to bring the rich fantasy setting of the Forgotten Realms to life and, together with the creative powerhouse of Warner Bros., use movies to tell the stories that have enchanted passionate D&D fans for decades."
The Forgotten Realms is one of the most popular settings in the D& D tabletop-game franchise and now serves as the default setting for all official campaigns. The setting's popularity is largely due to its presence in novels and video games, including several books by fantasy legend R.A. Salvatore and the Baldur's Gate games developed by Bioware.
Development on the D&D movie reboot actually began in 2013, when Warner Bros. acquired the rights to Dungeons & Dragons from Sweetpea Entertainment. This was based on the script from David Leslie Johnson (then called Chainmail) and drew from a lesser-known game from D&D creator Gary Gygax. Unfortunately, the rights were soon disputed by Hasbro, resulting in a case that went to trial in September 2014; ultimately, the judge refrained from ruling and urged the parties to settle, instead.
While it's unclear what the terms were, the companies have reached an agreement and the D&D film reboot is moving forward with production. Fans weary of a new movie after the infamously terrible 2000 D&D film adaptation might be reassured after the proceedings. It's clear that Warner Bros. is committed to making this film happen, spending time and legal resources to fight for the rights. That commitment doesn't necessarily mean that the story will be a worthwhile adventure, but it's a good indicator that WB believes in the script and the franchise's possibilities.
The Dungeon & Dragons film does not currently have a release date. We'll keep you updated as information becomes available.
Source: The Wrap