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Everyone Roll Will Saves Against Fear: Warner Brothers Buys Movie Rights for Dungeons and Dragons

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | May 8, 2013 | Comments ()


neverwinter_nights-wide.jpg

I'll warn you, it's probably going to go full nerd on up in here. I have played Dungeons and Dragons for most of my life, both tabletop and the generations of computer role playing games based on the system. There have been only a couple attempts to bring any sort of film based on those games to the screen, other than idiotic eighties Satanism scares. Yeah sure Jack Chick, rolling dice to hit imaginary monsters leads to people murdering for black magic, just like playing Monopoly actually makes you a slumlord burning down orphanages for the insurance money.

So there was that abomination of all movies ever made creatively called Dungeons and Dragons back in the nineties, which was hilarious since it had no relation to anything that has ever happened in anything related to Dungeons and Dragons, other than the fact that there were dragons and swords and magic. Which means that they probably could have just called it Lord of the Rings if they'd happened to buy that license instead. It's especially funny because there are literally thousands of books published, but they had such a strong dramatic idea of where they wanted to go with one of the worst movies ever made that they couldn't possibly draw on any of those endless stories or worlds.

Which brings me to the announcement that Warner Brothers has purchased the film rights to Dungeons and Dragons. There are no details about having any actual story they want to tell or even narrowing it down to what world they're going to set it in. Just how excited they are about the franchise. See, the problem with saying you've bought the movie rights for Dungeons and Dragons is that it is like saying that you bought the movie rights for Comic Books.

Then the unwashed nerds start asking questions like "you mean Batman? Superman? Is this going to be Fantastic Four? Or are you talking more in the vein of Sandman or Y: The Last Man? Preacher?"

A blank looks lingers from the executive who was not prepared for this conversation before answering with a tentative "You know, Comic Book. Superheroes and stuff."

"But which ones?"

A longer blank look. "Well we haven't worked out the details, yet."

I'm sure I'm wrong though, it's not like they've hired the guy who wrote Wrath of the Titans to churn out a script, or hired as producer the director of the last Dungeons and Dragons movie, or hired as executive producer the same executive producer of that catastrophe. Because that would just be silly.



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Comments Are Welcome, Douches Are Not


  • Buck Forty

    "saying you’ve bought the movie rights for Dungeons and Dragons is like saying that you bought the movie rights for Comic Books"

    ... or the movie rights to the rides at Disneyland.

  • Nicolae

    Screw this with a full metal nipple.

  • hippyherb

    I used to be a highly respected Watcher, and now I'm a wounded dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily. -Giles.

  • Wembley

    Will saves?

    effing noob!

    Roll save versus 'Death Ray or Poison'!!

  • Ba_Chim

    I always preferred "Save vs Paralysis, Poison, or Death Magic." It's not like you said all three of those out at the same time, it was only one of them, but there was a certain cadence and rhythm to the grouping.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Grognards. *eyeroll*

  • DarthBrookes

    Am I the only one hoping this is actually Warner Bros. buying the rights to make a feature film adaptation of the old Dungeons & Dragons cartoon from the 80's?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

  • Mr_Zito

    I don't know how obscure that is in the US, but this show was a major hit in Brazil, reruns are still airing Saturday mornings 30 years later. It's probably the most important cartoon from the 80s. The characters are widely referred to in Brazilian pop culture. I'd much rather see that than a "serious" Lord of the Rings-type of movie.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    There is an awful CGI-Cartoon-Hybrid set in the Dragonlance world (Dragons of Autumn Twilight) with quite a few well known (voice) actors, among them Kiefer Sutherland.

  • I'm usually way against these types of things, but I could see a "Never Ending Story" meets "Jumanji" type approach where some nerds get sucked into the actual world of Dungeons and Dragons and become real-life fake-game heroes working for something like this.

  • Speaking of that, whatever happened to Knights of Badassdom? It was a thing, then poof, it was gone.

  • Manly Bowler

    Well, to put it in Steven's words, it will probably never be released: http://www.pajiba.com/trade_ne...

  • Sherry

    I know that BloodRayne had nothing to do with D&D (although it kind of pretended it did in the marketing, IIRC) but that header immediately reminded me of that monstrosity of a "film." I caught it on tv and would keep switching away only to switch back a few minutes later thinking, It HAS to get better. Spoiler: It did not. I love the massive D&D universe and fear that the end result will be along the lines of a Uwe Boll production. [shudders]

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I think the first D&D movie was hilarious. Not good, but hilarious. It had Jeremy Irons overacting like his life depended on it, Thora Birch burying her career before it really started, the kid from that Superman show being bland, Zoe McLellan being hot, Marlon Wayans being annoying, and Bruce Payne being creepy. Crappy effects did the rest. Unfortunately, there is no Rifftrax version. It would be glorious.

    I expect more of the same, especially after the 4th D&D movie (yes, there are four of them) was not even unintentionally funny anymore (much like 4th Edition).

  • dewdney

    nice fourth edition burn

  • NynjaSquirrel

    Hmm, I like that - where did you find the header pic?

  • Count_Zero

    Is that not from the original Neverwinter Nights? Lady Aribeth de Tylmarande?

  • NynjaSquirrel

    Yep - you're right - just found it:

    http://forum.actionmag.pl/imag...
    Thanks!

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Probably in a D&D rule book.

  • koko temur

    Just make a full length version of that community episode, thanks.

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