Geekery: The D&D Movie Has Found Its Director

We may be getting a movie that’s intentionally funny.

Unlike the last one that was funny for entirely other reasons.

Paramount Pictures is in negotiations with Chris McKay – whose credits include The LEGO Batman Movie and Robot Chicken. Michael Gillio is writing the script, and two of Hasbro’s chief content officer Stephen Davis is producing.

This could be brilliant or totally horrible news depending on what kind of D&D movie you’re wanting. It looks like Paramount is taking cues from Critical Roll, HarmonQuest, and The Adventure Zone – and bringing in some comedy.

Paramount has been trying to get this project off the ground for years, but have had to wait for a lawsuit between Hasbro and Sweetpea Entertainment over rights to settle out. The movie is the first on the slate for newly founded AllSpark Pictures, which is starting an uphill battle to rival Marvel Studios with a slate of geek centered titles.

It’s early yet for this project. Most of the attempts at turning the world’s most popular rpg into anything with a script have been pretty bad. It’s one of those universes that should be easy to translate well, but never is. Will have to see how this shapes up. They’re aiming for a July 2021 release, in part to accommodate McKay’s busy schedule. He’s producing The LEGO Movie sequel right now, and has a full plate coming up with directing DC’s Nightwing.

Yay or nay to McKay?

  • Severius_Tolluck

    You didn’t mention the Gamers or Gamers 2?

    • bobrunnicles

      Or The Gamers 3 though that was more CCG based and less RPG based. Same cast as Gamers 2 though 🙂

      • Severius_Tolluck

        Oh snap, didn’t know they made a third!

        • bobrunnicles

          Yep, The Gamers: Hand of Fate iirc. It was on kickstarter a few years back (I know cos I backed it lol).

    • Kritarion

      “You gonna backstab him with a ballista?”

      • bobrunnicles

        “I wanna steal his pants.”

  • Chris

    I remember watching the first D&D movie back in 2000 and being gutted that it wasn’t based on the 80s cartoon.

    • palaeomerus

      I remember wondering who that damned elf was and why he looked & sounded so familiar and suddenly realizing it was Tom Baker from DR Who and he had got OLD.

  • Severius_Tolluck

    Other RPG movies of note would be “The Wild Hunt”, “Knights of Badassdom”, and “Unicorn City”. One of these to an unknowing person would be caught by quite the shymalan twist

  • Boondox

    Comedy in a D&D movie. I’ll wait until it comes out on VHS….

  • Damistar

    Given the way most players seem to play D&D, comedy might be the way to go. Most of my players try to insert some levity into the game as it is pretty silly fantasy after all.

  • bad mood

    There never where any D&D movies. All we ever got is a collection of bad to terrible fantasy movies that have the title D&D. They never used any of the background afaik.

    • af

      IMO the background is too generic anyway (ok, many tropes were actuallly codified by D&D, but nowadays they are standard fantasy). I can”t picture an interesting D&D movie unless it’s Planescape, but they cannot go that way withour alienating mainstream audiences.

      I suppose Dark Sun might also be semi-interesting, but again, probably too risky for movie studios.

      • bad mood

        How about OOTS the movie? Too much fan service you say? Yes, and that’s where the biggest problem lies, see the warcraft movie. Either you stay true to the subject, but then got only a small audience or you slaughter the IP without any sense, and make a mediocre sellout. What makes D&D different from other Fantasy Universes? Adventuring happens, deities have an observable effect on every day life, magic is really there and also observable, there are dungeons and 1000 year old dragons somewhere out there that are like demi gods themselves, adventurers have classes and the plot is usually driven by teamwork. One could easly make Neverwinter Nights 2 the movie. It is easily possible to make a good D&D movie, the only problem is that hardly anyone that never played a P&P system would ever understand it.

  • Snord

    Seeing how even Game of Thrones struggles a bit with its fantasy elements, I think a tongue-in-cheek tone (not outright comedy) is the way to go. Something similar to the 1st and 3rd Indiana Jones movies. But that requires the right cast – no great actors hamming it up as the evil nemesis, and no 3rd rate ‘comic’ actors playing the wise-cracking thief. And it needs monsters – really good monsters, and that means top quality CGI (preferably mixed with as many practical effects as possible). It’s quite a tightrope act…

  • Pete Croucher

    You think the Jeremy Irons one is the last D&D movie? Oh, my sweet summer child…

  • euansmith

    “… and two of Hasbro’s chief content officer Stephen Davis is producing.”

    Hasbro has cloned Stephen Davis?

    The “Mythica” series are quite fun; especially the way that the fighter always seems to get taken out in every fight.

  • af

    Nah, thanks. D&D won’t work as a movie property because it’s too generic. What I want to see is an adaptation of Jack Vance’s Cugel Saga. Failing that, some Elric of Melnibone by Moorcock would also make me happy.

  • Dennis J. Pechavar

    If we have a bunch of whacky goof balls running around having an adventure I’ll pass. If it’s a movie based on an actual game setting that has solid references to that setting annnnnd adds humor I will be interested. If Jack Black is in it I won’t watch it either way.