This should be happy news, but I don’t think it is. Warner Bros. has aquired the movie rights to Dungeons & Dragons and are developing a feature film version.
I’m trying to be optimistic here but this development brings up several important questions, especially this one: what’s the story? If you know anything about D&D, and I would bet most Warner execs don’t, it’s not a game with one, set story. It’s a game where players basically make up the story as they go along.
Sure, there’s some common elements like the various character races, occupations and such, and the Dungeon Master certainly plans out some of what might happen during the game, but the rest unforlds on it’s own as the game progresses. In other words, simply saying “We’re making a D&D movie” doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.
But that doesn’t really surprise me. Warner Bros. just wants its own Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings and to them D&D is the same thing and a name they can exploit.
To answer the story question (and this doesn’t exactly fill me with confidence either), the studio is apparently going to use an existing script by Wrath Of The Titans and Red Riding Hood writer David Leslie Johnson. That script is called Chainmail and is reportedly based on the game Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson thought up before they created D&D.
In addition, this new D&D movie will be produced by the two guys who made The Lego Movie, Roy Lee and Courtney Solomon. Yes, the name Courtney Solomon should be familiar to you. He directed a D&D movie in 2000 that, to put it mildy, sucked.
Put that together with the story questions and what script they’ve decided to use, and it doesn’t really bode well for this one, does it? Too bad.
D&D, you deserve better.