Fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons is the most popular version of the 46-year-old tabletop roleplaying game. This is thanks in large part to the nostalgic shoutout in Stranger Things and the popularity of actual-play shows like Critical Role and The Adventure Zone. A D&D movie has been in the works for a long time now, and it looks like it finally has a star attached.
Chris Pine is in talks to take the lead in D&D. I mean, just look at the guy. His dashing leading-man looks just scream, “My character is named Sir Christopher Pain and he is a Human Fighter.” Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley are attached to write and direct. Goldstein and Daley co-directed Game Night and were credited writers on Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Goldstein and Daley’s script is from a draft by Michael Gilio, which probably means that the Joe Manganiello D&D script is no more. That film was going to be an adaptation of the D&D novel Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Drangonlance creators Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The adaptation probably wouldn’t have happened anyway given the recent lawsuit against D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast over new Dragonlance novels.
Pine’s name should give this project a boost, though I’m more interested in Goldstein and Daley. Game Night was a rollicking comedy-thriller, with solid gags and surprisingly well-executed action scenes. It makes me wonder if this D&D movie will be an action-comedy about people playing Dungeons & Dragons rather than a Lord of the Rings-style adventure or the abysmal Dungeons & Dragons movie from 2000.
I’m also curious what lore and characters may wind up in the D&D movie. Will we see R. A. Salvatore’s Drizzt? Since Wizards of the Coast published a Wildemount book, will Critical Role characters make an appearance?
And as a nerd who’s played D&D since high school, what is the film’s party composition? There’s got to be a wizard who casts Fireball, but will they have someone rock a warlock who spams Eldritch Blast? What kind of cleric is in the party? Will we get Jesse Plemons as a sad paladin pining for his ex-wife? Also, who’s going to be the guy who plays an overpowered homebrew class? What kind of problem player will be at the table? Will a character in the film show up late because their wifi sucks and they had trouble logging into Roll20?
These are questions you’re probably asking as well. Right?