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Producer Roy Lee talks adapting this popular tabletop RPG into film.

At the DICE 2016 event producer Roy Lee spoke briefly on the in development Dungeons and Dragons, and his comments are sure to raise some eyebrows:

“This new Dungeons & Dragons will be a Guardians of the Galaxy-tone movie in a Tolkien-like universe. Because when you think of all the Hobbit movies and The Lord of the Rings, they have an earnestness to them, and to see something fun, a Raiders romp inside that world, I feel is something the audience has not seen before.”

Reportedly, David Leslie Johnson (Orphan) has written the script, and Warner Bros. is eyeing the property.

I’m going to go against the grain of the rest of the internet right now and say that I don’t totally hate this idea. Dungeons and Dragons as a property lends itself to something more lighter and fun than something like The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, so I think approaching the project with a tone similar to Guardians of the Galaxy could end up paying off.

I mean a group of witty rogues is pretty much what consists of every tabletop RPG party, so if they try and fit that framework into a Tolkein-esque fantasy world I think it could be successful. Now on the other hand it also has the same chance of failing becoming tone deaf and campy. Either way, it can’t be much worse than their last effort:


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(Orphan) wrote the script, and Lee tells us that he believes Warner Bros. is hot on the property:

“I think it will really be moving forward quickly, and I don’t anticipate it not getting greenlit this year, mostly because Warner Bros. has DC now, and LEGO, and the Harry Potter universe that’s being cultivated as their franchises. I believe they see Dungeons & Dragons as something that could be cultivated as a multi-universe movie where there will be spinoffs from the first movie being in Forgotten Realms and subsequent movies being in different worlds.”

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As for how much this will pull from the source material, Lee says they’re going deep, and, “everyone who’s involved with it now, especially the writer of the first draft is a fan from the very beginning starting withChainmail, which turned intoDungeons & Dragons, so you’ll see things that are very faithful to the source material as well as new elements are being incorporated with help from Wizards of the Coast, who are giving a lot of input on the script.”


Lee also revealed that the movie will take place entirely in the realm rather than having people transported from our world into the realm. He also said that the Yawning Portal will feature prominently and “it’s going to be one of people’s favorite set pieces.”

Finally, he confirmed what common sense would lead us to believe, which is that this is an ensemble picture, a smart move since D&D is a group game about building a story with your friends.

While this could all be entirely promising, and I believe that Warner Bros. is hot on the property, I’m keeping my eyes locked on Warcraft. If that movie tanks, WB could get cold feet and believe that there’s no audience for a fantasy film even if it does take a Guardians of the Galaxy tone.

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