The beauty of a Dungeons & Dragons movie is that it can be anything. The beloved role playing game series, first published in 1974 and now in its fifth edition, is a framework for telling stories. A wily Dungeon Master can take their players on unforgettable, hilarious, thrilling, and even emotionally crushing journeys. If you haven’t fought back a tear or leapt out of your seat to cheer while playing a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, you aren’t really playing Dungeons & Dragons.
I say this because a talented filmmaker given access to the Dungeons & Dragons world is really being given access to a gigantic fantasy playground where anything and everything is possible. A movie based on this material can literally be anything that you want it to be, as long as there are, you know, dungeons and dragons. I can’t say for sure what Rob Letterman‘s ultimate fantasy adventure looks like, but since Warner Bros. has hired him to direct the Dungeons & Dragons movie, I hope it’s something truly spectacular.
The news of Letterman’s hiring comes to us via The Tracking Board, so we should take all of this with a grain of salt until we hear something from an official channel. I personally have no strong opinion on Letterman as a filmmaker. Sure, he directed the entirely forgettable Shark Tale and the ghastly endurance test that is Gulliver’s Travels, but he also directed the fun and colorful Monsters vs. Aliens and the shockingly entertaining Goosebumps. So he’s about even in my personal book of Opinions on Working Filmmakers.
The Tracking Board also notes that Warner Bros. wants a “Vin Diesel-type for the film’s lead character,” which may be code for them actually wanting Vin Diesel. The Fast and Furious star is, after all, a lifelong Dungeons & Dragons fan who could bring a certain amount of geek cred to this production.
Serious development on a Dungeons & Dragons movie began late last year (after some messy legal entanglements were resolved) and the studio seems to be moving forward with David Leslie Jones’ screenplay. Details remain scarce, but the studio is said to be aiming for a tone similar to that of Guardians of the Galaxy. I take that to mean “irreverent but warm and exciting,” but let’s see what the suits think that means.
There is no release date set for Dungeons & Dragons quite yet, but now that a director is set, that will probably change very soon.
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Source: Slash Film