New Dungeons and Dragons movie starring Chris Pine

Chris Pine to Star in ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ Movie for Paramount, eOne (

Well that sounds, uh, interesting! I hope they can get Jeremy Irons back for this one.

Will it be Isekai?

OK busted, I totally had to google that. I guess they could go the ‘Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court’ (yeah it’s wordier but come on, isekai sounds like a ninja weapon or something) route, maybe make Pine the blonde guy with the magic bow, was he the ranger? Or maybe a dragon in human form? Or maybe … hang with me here … what if this is a secret Trek movie, and Kirk and the gang land on a D&D planet? I’d put down real money for that.

The DnD cartoon was basically Isekai.


Yeah, not really sure about that. Is it the same as Entertainment One, the Canadian multimedia company?

Entertainment One - Wikipedia

I’m expecting this to be more Batman Forever than The Dark Knight… more Crystal Skull than Lost Ark. I would love a cool D&D movie that isn’t as grandiose as every 4 hour LotR slog, nor as campy as your average Thor Ragnarok, but maybe one that falls somewhere in the middle. But it seems like Hollywood can’t help themselves and make anything D&D flat out silly.

With Chris Pine attached to another action adventure I’m pretty sure it’s clear what we’ll could get, and I certainly prefer his types of adventures much more than Chris-Pratt-type adventures. I hope the movie plays to his strengths.

  1. I love playing D&D, but I don’t think this movie will be a guaranteed success. Especially with the example set by the Irons movie.

  2. what to me would have been the ideal premise for a D&D movie – regular people (for instance, the kinds of people that might be sitting around a table) are abruptly thrust into a fantasy world. Their personalities are intact but their appearance is the heroes they are playing – was pilfered and adroitly produced by the Jumanji reboot. Back to the drawing board.

  3. that said, I really liked the screenwriters’ work on the Spider-Man: Homecoming movie (the one in the MCU where Peter Parker is still in high school). And I still have a big soft spot for any of the Freaks and Geeks alums, even if John Francis Daley isn’t in front of the camera.

Same here! And we know he has some experience with the game…

Let’s just hope Carlos the Dwarf makes an appearance.

So is this the movie equivalent of LitRPG or GameLit?

Oh my god. Some cynics might sneer and say that the movie is only being made to buttress Hasbro’s bottom line; to synergize media channels and both tap into nostalgic factors and boost IP awareness. Why else, they opine, would Hasbro hold on to the Wizards of the Coast division, facing mounting legal issues (per one guy’s blog!) and an unsteady marketplace? Surely, then, these cynics continue, a Hasbro movie would be as chock-full of brand name awareness that former D&D consumers can register their familiarity with, if it will make them more likely to buy a ticket to see the movie. Certainly there will be beholders and mindflayers and Tanis Half-Elven shaking hands with Drizzt Do’Urden on an airship crashing into the Dark Sun of Athas while Dungeonmaster hands out magic items to the guys from Penny Arcade and Vin Diesel, who is fighting off the likes of Baron Strahd, Lord Soth, and a flumph blackguard.

But just give me one Carlos the Dwarf reference and I’ll be happy.

The third Dungeons & Dragons movie was actually good.

I’d even be happy with something that’s like the VHS that came with Dragon Strike.

I don’t know why but I immediately thought of this moment (at 1:59) from this random lonely island demo and figured I’d share just in case someone else can enjoy it:

Okay, I had not seen that, and it is freakin’ hilarious.

Your semi-regular reminder that a good, wildly popular D&D movie has already been made. It just happens to be called Guardians of the Galaxy.

I’m not following. Wouldn’t that logic make Star Wars a D&D movie?

Kramer vs Kramer was also an amazing D&D movie.

Let’s see:

  • A ragtag party of five misfits from not just different backgrounds but indeed completely different species team up to steal a wildly powerful ancient artifact that nonetheless fits easily into a backpack.
  • The team includes:
    - a big strong dumb guy whose job it is to be big dumb and strong,
    - a weird character from some splat book who is functionally the same as the big strong dumb guy, but who, because of their species, has two bizarre special abilities that are situationally useful,
    - a physically unimpressive character who maxed out INT and whom the players are happy to fall back on whenever an INT roll is required (but whom they still make fun of for being physically unimpressive,)
    - a super-ninja assassin with a backstory that ties them to one of the universe’s most powerful beings - a backstory they chose because they thought it made their character super awesome, and that the DM let them get away with because it moved the plot along.
    - a character who isn’t especially good at anything at all, because the player didn’t bother to read the character creation rules, but whom nonetheless believes he is the baddest ass in the universe. The DM indulges this character shamelessly because the player is just so gosh darn charming (meaning he talks over all the other players, often to say the stupidest shit.)
  • We start out by exploring an ancient ruin to get the artifact.
  • We then head to a major city where we can get a bunch of exposition and put the party together.
  • A major scene involves breaking out of a jail.
  • Another major scene involves the characters going off to a tavern to do their own thing, and ending in a major fight which doesn’t really advance the plot. But hey, are the characters going to go to a tavern and not have a big fight?
  • The end of the campaign involves an elaborate assault on the big bad’s fortress that the characters spend a bunch of time planning. When it actually happens, the first part is kinda anti-climatic because the opponents turn out to be one-hitpoint mooks that go down instantly. That’s because the DM fiats the second part, making a hash of the character’s elaborate plan by invoking the big bad’s superpowers in order to set up the DM’s setpiece final encounter, where the players need to figure out the special gimmick needed to defeat the big bad.

Sure sounds like D&D to me.

And so does, say, the first Star Wars. But that doesn’t make just any movie a D&D movie. The last two-thirds of Lord of the Rings - yes, Lord of the Rings - isn’t really D&D. The party is split up most of the time; there are too many characters and disparate plot threads to feel like D&D. Fellowship of the Ring, by contrast, is absolutely D&D because it’s about a party. Game of Thrones - not D&D, because again no party, and too many plot threads. James Bond or Indiana Jones - not D&D, because they are fundamentally solo characters. Despite half-hearted attempts to give them sidekicks, there’s never a party, just James/Indy and whoever happens to be their NPC sidekicks for that adventure.

(This is really a response to some dude on Reddit who said you can’t make a good D&D movie because it’s just generic fantasy with nothing specific for a filmmaker to get their teeth into. That’s wrong, partly because there is indeed a vast amount of specific D&D lore - the real issue is choosing the flavor of lore you want - but mostly because a party-based cooperative game based on characters with very different backgrounds and abilities creates a set of specific storytelling tropes flowing directly from the structure of the game.)

It’s not that I don’t see the analogs exactly, more that I would have thought that one might expect a D&D movie to contain, at minimum, a dungeon and/or a dragon.