FILM CORNER - How to Tackle a Dungeons & Dragons Movie
I will admit that I am an avid player of the well-known role-playing board game, Dungeons & Dragons (or D&D for short). I play several campaigns almost every weekend, and I even started running my first new campaign in years last Sunday at one of the local game shops in my hometown of Seguin.
Along with the board game, there are numerous novels and video games based on the in-game lore. However, one thing that never took right is adapting the game onto the big screen.
In 2000, a film entitled Dungeons & Dragons came out, and sadly, it (along with its direct to television/video sequels) were not good with capturing the world of the game that players are familiar with. However, in 2015, it was announced that a new Dungeon & Dragons movie would be made with the help of actor Joe Manganiello, who is an avid fan of the game. This new film is set for a 2022 release.
My question is how much will this new D&D movie be based on the lore and universe of the game? Personally, as an individual who plays D&D weekly, I would like to see a movie that will be good for both players of the game and those who are not familiar with it.
First, have the game be set in the Forgotten Realms! This is the most familiar (and officially used) setting to D&D players. This setting, created by Ed Greenwood (who also created the Elminster series), has locations that players would know about, including Neverwinter, Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, and Waterdeep. Seeing these locations on the big screen would be an interesting take.
Second, the filmmakers must be familiar with the lore! This means knowing a lot on the numerous races and monsters, the details of the classes (Fighter, Ranger, Cleric, Rogue, etc.), and even do in-depth research on the religions, cultures, and much more that decades of players, Dungeons Masters, D&D novelists, and campaign writers have to know.
Finally, the story! The story has to be well-written and thought out like the campaigns that are available and used today. The last thing a D&D movie needs is for it to be flawed and clique like many game-to-movie adaptations out there. The characters (heroes and villians) must be very well developed, and the plot should bring the audience into the story and wanting more at the end.
Of course, who knows what the makers of the film will actually do. Will what they come up with be enjoyable and be able to bring in both those familiar with D&D or not, or will they go the route that the 2000 film took, where it showed how much the filmmakers didn't care about the world of the game. We'll have to wait and see in 2022.
Of course, there is a story that could work out to bring people into the world of D&D easier. However, due to how big (and ongoing) the story is, it probably won't work on film. But it could work out for either television or a streaming service.