Michelle Rodriguez and Justice Smith are set to star alongside Chris Pine in the film adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons, Hasbro’s popular game franchise from Wizards of the Coast. Hasbro/eOne and Paramount are jointly producing and financing the pic, with eOne distributing in the UK and Canada and Paramount in the rest of world.
Johnathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley will direct and write the script based on a draft by Michael Gilio. Jeremy Latcham is producing through his deal with studio eOne, Hasbro’s entertainment arm. Hasbro’s Brian Goldner is also producing.
To me, Dungeons and Dragons was essentially a phrase I associated with the word "nerds". And not "acceptable" nerds like me (binging Civ, TW games, CS, Star Wars), but the S-Class nerds that were into fedoras, WoW, books and bad hygiene. Over time, my ignorance faded as I got more into RPG games and realized how influential D&D it was over that genre. Now, especially after interviewing big time D&D guy Joe Manganiello twice, all I want to do is figure out how to find a dungeon master and start playing. Also the creator of D&D, Gary Gygax, had maybe the coolest name of all time.
As much as I am now more into this deep-nerdy stuff, I don't really understand how this can get adapted into a movie. The cool thing about RPGs in any medium is the ability to create your characters and make their adventure by yourself. There is existing lore to the property, but not exactly an existing storyline to work off of like a traditional adaptation. Here is how the previous attempts have panned out:
Woof! This movie is coming from Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley who worked together on 'Horrible Bosses', 'Game Night' and 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'. You'll recognize the latter from 'Freaks and Geeks' and 'Waiting' as well. While they obviously have a tall task ahead of them, casting Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez was a great place to start IMO. Pine is incredibly charming and Rodriguez is the quintessential bad-ass actress. Justice Smith was also very good in 'Detective Pikachu', although I don't know what type of role he has signed on to play here. I think the directing duo has a solid, albiet small, body of work that has some great humor, specifically this scene from 'Game Night' which has maybe one of the funniest lines in a comedy in the past 5 years.
The odds are stacked against this movie, but if it gives us even a few lines up to that caliber, then it's a win.