It's turning out to be a good time for fantasy nerds. Not only do we get to look forward to a Lord Of The Rings TV series, but we also never have to talk about Game Of Thrones ever again. And now Paramount has given us solid proof that their mythical big-budget Dungeons & Dragons movie is finally going to happen. But the latest news has us worried, as we're reminded that it has very big boots of elvenkind to fill.
With the game never having been more popular, spawning a slew of successful shows, it seems that Dungeons & Dragons is finally ready to make the Jump (1st-level abjuration, touch) to the silver screen once again. Deadline has announced that Paramount has tapped directing men (or DMs) Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley to helm. The pair are best-known for writing Spider-Man: Homecoming and making Game Night, which prove that they're ideal for a movie based on a game centered around insecure teenagers and yelling about rules over a cardboard map.
And while little is known about the much-retooled script, this choice of directors suggests it will lean toward being a lighthearted comedy adventure. That might seem like a good idea on graph paper, but it means that it could be doomed to fail. Because this movie will never live up to the glorious comedic Miracle (9th-level evocation, self) that was 2000's Dungeons & Dragons.
Make no mistake, Dungeon & Dungeons is one of the worst movies ever made, and has so little to do with the game or its settings that they could've called Monopoly and it would've made as much sense. But for all its flaws (looking at you, Marlon Wayans), the movie did roll a critical hit -- or natural 1, depending on you look on it -- in casting Jeremy Irons as the villain. Irons plays a wizard who clearly multiclassed into Nicolas Cage at an early level, spending all of his screen time chewing so much scenery that it explains why they had to replace it with a lot of terrible green-screen CGI.
But by channeling so much Irons, the movie might have cursed (3rd-level necromancy, touch) any future D&D adaptation. Especially one that might try to out-funny Irons dressed like a third-rate Star Wars cosplayer screaming at a guy with lips so blue that he looks like he came from a Smurf orgy.
Of course, the new movie could be smart and avoid the fantasy altogether, instead being about playing Dungeons & Dragons. Imagine the possibilities. It could be a Waiting For Godot-style introspection wherein a lonely DM waits forever to successfully schedule a session with their married friends. Or an intense three-hour epic that's just the first six rounds of a battle. Or even a Mazes & Monsters-style morality play set during the '80s Satanic Panic, in which parents hire a deprogrammer to convince their child he's not a level 10 dwarf paladin. It doesn't matter, as long as they cast Jeremy Irons in every role.
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