Warner Bros. and Hasbro have struck a deal to re-ignite the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game into a big screen franchise. After a long legal tussle between Hasbro's Allspark Pictures and Sweetpea Entertainment was finally settled, the two companies opted to join forces with Warner to co-produce the first movie in a new cinematic universe.
The studio is eager to fast-track the project as David Leslie Johnson, who wrote Orphan, Red Riding Hood and The Conjuring 2, has already submitted a draft of the script set in the Forgotten Realms. There's no director or cast confirmed at this point, but Warner creative president Greg Silverman seems confident that brand recognition and nostalgia will drive forward development:
“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.”
Hasbro executive vice-president Stephen Davis shared Silverman's excitement when he weighed in on the news. “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. D&D is the role-playing game that started it all and now we have the opportunity to ignite a franchise for its legions of avid fans in a way never done before.”
As no cinematic franchise is complete without talk of other tie-ins, there's mention of a potential TV spinoff from the core set of movies. CBS had immense success in the '80s by adapting the game into the cult classic Dungeons & Dragons animated series, so it's not out of the (forgotten) realm of possibility. Here's hoping it doesn't resemble the 2001 live-action feature.