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

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | May 8, 2013 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | May 8, 2013 |

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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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.