Dungeons & Dragons is a movie based on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise and currently in production by Paramount Pictures and due for release in 2023. It is written and directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley and stars Hugh Grant, Chris Pine, and Michelle Rodriguez, as well as Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Regé-Jean Page, Chloe Coleman, and Jason Wong. It is rumored to be set in the Forgotten Realms.

Production[edit | edit source]

After a long period with little news on the Warner Bros. Dungeons & Dragons movie, on December 18, 2017, Paramount Pictures suddenly announced a Dungeons & Dragons movie to be released on July 23, 2021. This was alongside other movies based on other Hasbro properties, including G.I. Joe, Micronauts, and one other, as part of a Hasbro-based shared universe with Hasbro's Allspark Pictures.[1][2] Warner Bros., meanwhile, confirmed it was no longer developing a Dungeons & Dragons movie.[2] It is unknown if this is the same project as in the above reports or outlined below.

On February 20, 2018, Variety reported as an exclusive that Chris McKay (director of The Lego Batman Movie and the upcoming Nightwing) was in negotiations to direct the D&D movie. Furthermore, it would be produced by Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis of Hasbro, and scripted by Michael Gillio.[3] On March 8, 2018, Omega Underground reported that Paramount was considering filming in the United Kingdom.[4]

After a long period without news, on November 2, 2018, it was reported that principal photography was set to begin in summer of 2019. This suggested that McKay had signed a deal. Furthermore, Shari Hanson (a visual effects producer for many Paramount movies) was added as a producer. Ansel Elgort was mentioned again, but it is unclear if he is still included.[5]

On March 12, 2019, it was reported that a new script had been submitted by Gillio, and that Paramount was so satisfied that, while final revisions were being made, they would begin looking for a new lead actor, whom they would attempt to select from a shortlist of ten A-listers, naming Dave Bautista, Josh Brolin, Johnny Depp, Vin Diesel, Joel Edgerton, Jamie Foxx, Matthew McConaughey, Chris Pratt, Jeremy Renner and Will Smith as their targets.[6]

On July 30, 2019, Variety reported that Chris McKay had moved on to focus on another movie and been replaced as director of the D&D movie by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, who'd recently left The Flash movie. Goldstein and Daley previously directed Game Night and co-wrote Spider-Man: Homecoming. Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis of Hasbro are still understood to be producing, with the script from Michael Gillio.[7]

On November 27, 2019, Comicbook.com exclusively reported on the movie's plot elements (see Story, below), giving character names and details that tallied with the earlier Tracking Board and Ain't It Cool News reports pertaining to the Warner Bros. project. It also revealed the iconic Eye of Vecna (of the Greyhawk campaign setting) is the target of a quest, mentioned the Triadic knights are involved, and that a male actor was sought to voice the dragon Palarandusk—the latter two confirming the movie is set in the Realms. It reiterated Zeman and Middleton as executive producers, Goldstein and Daley as directors, and Johnson and Beer as script-writers. The article also speculates about future tie-ins and how the movie is incorporating classic D&D source material to appeal to fans.[8] Two days later, on the 29th, a source told wegotthiscovered.com that Goldstein and Daley were trying to get Zac Efron to play as an important character named Malanthius, a big but not leading role.[9]

Eventually, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic causing studio closures and filming delays and difficulties, on April 24, 2020, Comicbook.com reported that the Dungeons & Dragons would be delayed, moving from November 19, 2021, to May 27, 2022, though this would put it in the middle of blockbuster movie season. It also noted Goldstein and Daley had taken over scriptwriting.[10] On May 7, 2020, it was reported that Jeremy Latcham, a producer of several movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, had signed on with Hasbro's Entertainment One (eOne) studio and would work on the Dungeons & Dragons movie.[11] On May 28, 2020, The Hollywood Reporter published an interview with Goldstein and Daley, in which they discussed how the pandemic lockdown affected their plans for the D&D movie, among other things. Their plans to scout locations in the United Kingdom in March were curtailed by the shutdown of travel, and they wrote the second draft while in isolation, while large crowd scenes were being reconsidered. Goldstein said "We want it to be fun. It's not an out-and-out comedy, but it is an action-fantasy movie with a lot of comedic elements and characters we hope people will really get into and enjoy watching their adventures." while Daley said "D&D is such a unique look at the fantasy genre where it is contemporary in terms of the people playing it and the way they speak to each other. So we never wanted to spoof the genre of fantasy or take the piss out of it. But we did want to find another way into it that we hadn't necessarily seen before. Just the format of Dungeons & Dragons is so interesting and fun and all about critical thinking and thinking on your feet and figuring out ways to make things work after they fall flat. There's a lot of the spirit of that that we're trying to inject into the movie itself."[12]

Both The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline reported on December 14 that Chris Pine, a star of movies like Star Trek and Wonder Woman, was in negotiations to star in the D&D movie. Deadline added that it was planned to begin filming in Belfast, Northern Ireland in the first quarter of 2021.[13][14] This is to be at Titanic Studios, where Game of Thrones was filmed.[15]

Later, on February 8, 2021, it was reported that Michelle Rodriguez, of the Fast & Furious and Resident Evil franchises among others, and Justice Smith, of Detective Pikachu and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, had also closed deals to star in the movie, while Chris Pine seems confirmed.[16][17] Regé-Jean Page of Bridgerton and Mortal Engines was added a week later, on February 16.[18] Hugh Grant, star of countless films, and Sophia Lillis were later reported to have joined the film, as an exclusive from Deadline on March 2nd. Grant was stated to be playing a villainous role.[19] Various news sites added the rumor that Grant's character would be named "Forge Fletcher" and Lillis's "Doric", but the source of this is unknown.[20]

On April 4, 2021, Paramount announced that ten of its movies were having their releases delayed, including the Dungeons & Dragons movie, which was being pushed back from May 27, 2022 to March 3, 2023.[21] Despite this, filming had already begun in South Iceland, supervised by Truenorth Productions, as reported on April 7. Some 60–70 people were involved, using Icelandic stand-ins for the main cast who couldn't attend due to pandemic restrictions, and 15 visitors from overseas. The landscape of Iceland itself is expected to be important.[22] Meanwhile, on April 19, Regé-Jean Page arrived in Belfast ahead of filming there.[23] Chloe Coleman of My Spy and Avatar 2 was added to the cast on April 21.[24] Filming began in Belfast on April 29, with Goldstein posting a picture of the movie clapperboard for the first scene on May 1 on Twitter, saying "The campaign begins. #DnD".[25]

Jason Wong was reported on May 13 to be playing a character called Drallas.[26]

Story[edit | edit source]

Comicbook.com reported the movie will be based around a quest for the Eye of Vecna and include the dragon Palarandusk as leader of a group of Triadic knights. It gave other details matching those of the earlier Warner Bros. movie, so it is unclear if the story has been reused, if reports of the two movies have been conflated, or if it is all completely wrong.[8]

Characters in the movie are reported to be:

  • Forge Fletcher, played by Hugh Grant[20]
  • Doric, played by Sophia Lillis[20]
  • Drallas, played by James Wong[26]
  • Raven Hightower, a warrior with a flaming sword. He and his sister were once slaves of Razer Horlbar, and he is haunted by his sister's death.[8]
  • Olivan Trickfoot, a gnome thief.[8]
  • Hack Karroway, a half-dragon.[8]
  • Alyssa Steelsong, a masked warrior set to take Palarandusk's place after his death.[8]
  • Malanthius, a mage and potential ally of the main characters.[9]

Villains are said to be:

  • Razer Horlbar, a male drow who once enslaved Raven and his sister.[8]
  • Damala, a female tiefling.[8]
  • The Beast, a brutish warrior.[8]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Patrick Cavanaugh (2017-12-18). Dungeons & Dragons Movie Gets 2021 Release Date. Retrieved on 2017-12-19.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Aaron Couch (2017-12-18). Paramount Sets 'G.I. Joe,' 'Dungeons & Dragons' Release Dates. Retrieved on 2017-12-19.
  3. Justin Kroll (2018-02-20). 'Nightwing' Director Eyed for 'Dungeons & Dragons' at Paramount and AllSpark Pictures (EXCLUSIVE). Retrieved on 2018-03-20.
  4. Christopher Marc (2018-03-08). Chris McKay's 'Dungeons and Dragons' Movie Might Shoot In The UK. Retrieved on 2018-03-20.
  5. R.A Karthik Prasad (2018-11-02). New Dungeons & Dragons Movie Expected To Begin Filming In Summer 2019. Retrieved on 2019-03-14.
  6. Charles Murphy (2018-03-12). EXCLUSIVE: Paramount’s ‘DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS’ Gets a New Script, Search for Lead Begins. Retrieved on 2019-03-14.
  7. Justin Kroll (2019-07-30). Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley in Talks to Direct ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Movie. Retrieved on 2019-07-30.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 Christian Hoffer (2019-11-28). Dungeons & Dragons Movie to Focus on the Eye of Vecna, Will Feature a Forgotten Realms Character. Retrieved on 2019-11-27.
  9. 9.0 9.1 David James (2019-11-29). Zac Efron Being Eyed For Big Role In New Dungeons & Dragons Movie. Retrieved on 2019-11-29.
  10. Christian Hoffer (2020-04-24). Dungeons & Dragons Movie Delayed Until 2022 Due to Coronavirus. Retrieved on 2020-04-24.
  11. JJ Broson (2020-05-07). Dungeons and Dragons Movie Adds Former Marvel Producer. Retrieved on 2020-05-09.
  12. JJ Broson (2020-05-28). How I'm Living Now: Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, 'Dungeons & Dragons' Filmmakers. Retrieved on 2020-05-29.
  13. Borys Kit, Mia Galuppo (2020-12-14). Chris Pine to Star in 'Dungeons and Dragons' Movie for Paramount, eOne. Retrieved on 2020-12-15.
  14. Mike Fleming Jr (2020-12-14). Chris Pine In Talks To Star In ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ For eOne And Paramount; Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley Direct. Retrieved on 2020-12-15.
  15. Nia Daniels (2021-04-28). Dungeons & Dragons to film at Game of Thrones studio in Belfast. Retrieved on 2020-12-15.
  16. Borys Kit (2021-02-08). Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith Join Chris Pine in 'Dungeons & Dragons' Movie. Retrieved on 2021-02-09.
  17. Justin Kroll (2021-02-09). Michelle Rodriguez And Justice Smith Join Chris Pine in Hasbro And Paramount’s ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Movie. Retrieved on 2021-02-09.
  18. Mia Galuppo (2021-02-16). 'Bridgerton' Breakout Rege-Jean Page Joins 'Dungeons & Dragons' at Paramount (Exclusive). Retrieved on 2021-02-16.
  19. Justin Kroll (2021-03-02). Hugh Grant To Play Villain in Paramount And eOne’s Untitled ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Pic; ‘It’ Star Sophia Lillis Also On Board. Retrieved on 2021-03-02.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Adam Bentz (2021-03-07). Hugh Grant Cast As Villain In Dungeons & Dragons Movie. Retrieved on 2021-03-02.
  21. Jordan Moreau (2021-04-09). ‘Top Gun: Maverick,’ ‘Mission: Impossible 7’ Among Latest Paramount Delays. Retrieved on 2021-04-10.
  22. Justin Kroll (2021-04-12). Part of ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Filmed in Iceland. Retrieved on 2021-04-28.
  23. Maureen Coleman (2021-04-21). Bridgerton star Rege-Jean Page arrives in Belfast to film Dungeons and Dragons. Retrieved on 2021-04-28.
  24. Justin Kroll (2021-04-21). ‘My Spy’s Chloe Coleman Joins Chris Pine In Paramount and eOne’s Untitled ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Movie. Retrieved on 2021-04-28.
  25. Jonathan Goldstein (2021-05-01). The campaign begins. #DnD. Retrieved on 2021-05-01.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Justin Kroll (2021-05-13). ...Jason Wong Joins Untitled ‘D&D’ Movie. Retrieved on 2021-05-13.
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