Saturday, October 23, 2010

Where is the Big Budget D&D Movie? - Spinoff Online

There is a pretty good article pondering the same question that many of us gamers have been pondering for years, "why can't they make a good D&D movie", over at Spinoff Online.
The author, Graeme McMillan, makes many of the same points I've seen repeated over and over around the net. The D&D name has almost as much recognition as many other big budget properties like Transformers and Star Trek. Plus there is a built in fanbase waiting for a good film. Why there has been no Lord of the Rings level D&D movie yet is beyond me.
As McMillan writes in the article, since Hasbro owns G.I. Joe and Transformers as well as a movie studio, there really is no reason that this movie isn't being made. Unless it is due to rights disputes or just fear of making another dud. Perhaps because there is no well defined story or characters that are recognizable to non-gamers, like in many other franchises, no one really knows what to do with it.
I'd be happy with a live action Forgotten Realms movie starring everyone's favorite Drow or even a live action Dragonlance movie. Although my personal preference would be an Eberron movie, but it is more likely they'd go with a "classic" D&D setting over Eberron. All I know is I want this movie. Hell, I want 10 of them, but only if they are good.


Josh said...

I think a Dragonlance movie would be easy to market. I've run into a ton of people who have read Dragonlance books but had no clue they were reading anything related to D&D... the story and setting are high quality, as well as recognizable enough to non-D&D fans to be highly successful.

The Red DM said...

Considering the massive library of stories written about D&D and that the fanbase for some of those stories goes well beyond D&D players, I never expected or understood the choice to make a D&D film that was its own creature.

Philo Pharynx said...

The big problem is that they screwed up on the last hollywood movie (and the made-for-cable wasn't great either). That, combined with the sterotypes that the non-geek audience has is a negative factor. My solution - don't use the "D&D" name. Personally I'd go with an Eberron movie. I'd have the opener (and teaser trailer) covering the Race of Eight Winds in Sharn. It would be a big spectacle to get people excited and it would show that this isn't your father's oldsmobile. Er... fantasy movie. They could adapt some of the Eberron novels or start with a fresh story.

Russ said...

Well, they made an Animated Dragonlance Movie, which is probably still a great way to go if they give it a budget. But they tried to do the animation on the cheap and wow did it show. I saw it with my gaming group and we had a great time getting hammered, inserting our own commentary, making fun of it. Like when Tanis had 3 legs for a moment or when they were in the jail cell and said "if only we had our weapons" with his sword in the sheath strapped on his back, in the jail cell...

The problem is in order to make it happen with money Weiss and Hickman will have to let go some of the creative changes.

But I agree with Philo for the most part. Make it a Dragonlance Movie or a Drizzt movie or whatever they adapt doesn't matter just as long as they don't market it as a "D&D" movie.

My only fear is they'll take a Michal bay approach like they did with Transformers and GI Joe. Yeah they were blockbuster budgets, but they were some of the worst movies I've ever seen.