With the popularity of fantasy movies on the rise at the moment, it was a matter of time before one of the major studio looked at the evocatively titled Dungeons & Dragons franchise, and it has been announced that Warner Brothers have not only acquired the rights, but are well into production with a feature of that name.
One of the key producers is Roy Lee, who is better known for producing remakes of Japanese horror films such as The Ring. Add to this mix the fact that Orphan and Red Riding Hood scriptwriter David Leslie Johnson is currently developing the script, and it’s possible that this new movie may be very dark indeed.
This isn’t the first time that a Dungeons & Dragons movie has been made. Courtney Solomon produced and directed a D&D feature that came out in the year 2000 and Solomon has been attached to this project in an executive capacity. That movie was a rather messy farce with poor special effects, terrible direction, lack lustre story and awful acting. Though it did have a guest spot for Tom Baker as King of the Elves.
What hasn’t been announced yet is how the producers intend to handle the source material, as adapting a roleplaying game is an entirely different prospect to adapting a book or graphic novel. Though the popular game comes with a default background and world, these have changed over the years. For example when the game launched in the '70s the adventures took place in a land called Blackmoor and the current edition is set in a place called Points of Light. These are left deliberately vague so players can fill in the gaps; this is because the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game is an exercise in imagination. Whether Hollywood can rise to the challenge and create a movie that is both original yet retains the same flavour and feel of the source material remains to be seen.
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