New Dungeons & Dragons movie
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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 12:46 am 
 

bbarsh wrote:Both films took the approach of using high level characters and or situation/events. Big mistake. Power D&D is boring D&D - as far as story-telling goes for movies.

A far more compelling movie would feature novice characters 1st level that gather and hit their first adventure. Movie goers can relate to characters/heroes that have flaws, weakness and problems. Simply put, I don't need a D&D movie where the story is about saving the universe from the ultimate demon, wizard, dragon lord of infinite darkness.

Give me low level adventurers against a mysterious villian or group of villians and nonlinear adventure and I am going to be interested and compelled to watch. Give me the lich dragon and I am going to be bored to tears because the end result is going to be obvious and suck.


Amen!  While most of us probably agree that this second D&D movie was better than the first one, that would be just a backhanded compliment of very feint praise.  
I'd love to see a group of low level adventurers take on a Hommlet, In Search of the Unknown, Saltmarsh type adventure.  And then the sequels could build them up.  But I doubt it will ever happen as the conventional wisdom seems to demand a "save the world from the ultimate badass" script.  Oh well...

  

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 12:55 am 
 

Well, anything with a Wayans brother in it cannot be all bad, can it?   :x

    What the makers of fantasy films never seem to be able to do is add any emotional appeal to their products.

    The Lord of the Rings succeeded as movies because the movies managed to be about characters rather than goofy costumes and special effects.  The only exception was Gimli, who was consciously chosen as the film's honorary Wayans brother.

    (Still...as a miniatures painter I would like to have helped them fix up their models...especially Isengard...I wanted to reach up to the movie screen and help them with a bit of better drybrushing and maybe some color besides gray.  "Let me help you a bit there, boys!" 8) )

    But the key to a D&D movie would be HORROR.  Rather than focus on WONDER (and everything else stupid) the movie ought to focus on the fact that the characters are confronted with horrifying creatures which they must face alone in the dark.  Scare the hell out of the audience and you will have a movie with emotional impact.

    Also...producers should note that the Lord of the Rings movie managed to handle the tired cliche of a woman warrior with considerably more grace than the genre usually gets.  I would dearly love to see a D&D movie where the gorgeous female smartass-in-a-thong makes her first smartass remark...and then is ripped apart by an umber hulk as her companions flee screaming...and then we get on with the rest of the movie without this particularly stupid cliche.    :lol:  :lol:


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:55 am 
 

so if you were given the funds to make a low budget D&D film, with possibly a follow up, what would you base it on and who would you have as characters and who would play them.....

bear in mind its low budget so you couldnt have mega-stars

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:43 am 
 

The idea of the low levels starting out and then building up in a series of sequels would be great. They could all be interconnected with a villian that starts off considerably stronger than them but grows as well.

The other route would be too make one shots like they have but not been the save the world. There are some great modules that could be adapted to movies for this if they wanted to pay homage. UK1, X2 U1 (as mentioned earlier), or almost any of the B series. The idea is to keep the plot small but perhaps build on the underlying story and add character developement. Something akin to the Joel Rosenberg (spelling) books.

The only other real comment I can think of at this time is that even though it is called Dungeons & Dragons not every movie needs a dragon...perhaps a passing shot of one or something...but tying them into the plot forces the heroes to be top shelf as it were.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 10:53 am 
 

killjoy32 wrote:so if you were given the funds to make a low budget D&D film, with possibly a follow up, what would you base it on and who would you have as characters and who would play them.....

First and foremost, please do not define everyone's class!  This most recent feeble D&D movie attempt lays out each character's role in the first 10 minutes.  Let the audience figure it out.  If they're D&D fans, it won't take long and if it does, great, because they won't be stereotypical characters.  If they're not D&D fans, they won't give a shit.

I would like to see a druid and cleric who don't care for each others' religious beliefs and an unconventional monk (perhaps a Scarlet Brotherhood member with some corrupt agenda) on the big screen, if the story allows.  (A religious gathering of some kind?)

Secondly, I really like the aforementioned ideas about power progression a la the game, but how about starting it like this…?  Have a beefy paladin or some such gather a group of somewhat disinterested low-level types for some kind of mission.  You get the idea that this guy is going to be the main character.  Get a well known actor to play the role.  He leads them into the "dungeon" (whatever form that takes) and then gets slaughtered in the first major combat.  Have the rest of the group unable to leave the way they came and just fighting to get out alive for the rest of the movie.

ToEE would seem to fit the bill and probably most of the D&D community would love the theory, but in practice I think it would be too cliché.  The same goes for Saltmarsh, though I enjoy the series.  The same could also be said for Slavers, but there are some great situations in that series and you could actually factor in a significant political statement if the writing was up to par (who am I kidding?).  I think Against the Cult of the Reptile God would be a good one to start with.  Of course, A1-4/G1-3/D1-2/Q1 would be the ultimate, but I'd shudder to give it to anyone but Peter Jackson right now, lest the idea be forever corrupted by some incompetent director.  Can you imagine Q1 done well with a big budget, though?

Going back to the paladin idea, I'd love to see Vin Diesel do it.  He plays the game and might take to the idea of being the badass hero that gets his ass handed to him before the movie is even half over.  Torn apart by an iron golem, bludgeoned to death by a furious ettin, sucked dry by a dozen stirges (too Pitch Black?) and eaten by a troll are a few ideas that come to mind.  Or maybe he loses a battle with wights and he becomes the antagonist!

Lastly (do I really even have to say it?), have it occur in GREYHAWK (Flaeness).


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 1:11 pm 
 

DnDGeek wrote:Going back to the paladin idea, I'd love to see Vin Diesel do it.


Personally I'd love see Bruce Campbell as a paladin.

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 1:56 pm 
 

Q1 might work . . . in my opinion, I think that if there was to ever be a fantastic D&D movie there would need to be some compromises made with Hollywood and what the general public wants to see. To make a kickass movie you need a huge budget . . . to make sure that movie makes money, you have to cater to a very wide audience (like Spider-man or Lord of the Rings).

So . . . like it or not, there have to be two main elements that are employed: There has to be a romance and there has to be a main (and powerful) evil foe. That doesn't mean the movie will suck (I loved the two above mentioned films), but it does mean you don't have a Yeti's change on Nessus of seeing a high budget, well scripted D&D film without it.

Along those lines, there can be many cool plots . . . low-level characters would be ideal and there are countless examples of stories where inexperienced warriors/wizards ovecame insurmountable odds to defeat their foes. Of course, maybe a mix would be a little better (after all, we need to see some cool spells, intense fights and divine healing). That really is one of D&D's strengths - Magic is not as rare or obscure as many fantasy novels/movies make it seem. Magic is right out there playing a major role in the lives of the characters.

Q1 would be a good choice as you have a main foe in Lolth and a host of evil underlings to be combated. However, unless the setting was drastically changed, the extraplanar nature of it would cause a tremendous loss in the telling of a story as the characters would never be in the "real" world.

Two main villains come to my mind - both of which are well-known to most hardcore and casual fans and can easily be related to those who know nothing of D&D (the majority of moviegoers).


There's Vecna and there's Iuz. There's a hollywood story for you . . . The Eye and Hand of Vecna have been found. The King/Lord/Duke of wherever in Greyhawk has the Hand already and the movie opens up with an exiciting prologue where the Eye is recoverd by his minions and finally brought to him. He is already wholly evil and the power of Vecna stirs again. The land is being readied for war and evil is on the rise.

Of course, there is the Ancient archimage who is able to assemble an inexperienced group of adventurers. He is too old himself, but he entrusts them to the leadership of a female cleric (one who carries with her a grave and powerful sadness). They need to seek out a great warrior - a paladin who has fallen frace grace and left behind the world he knew to live as an anchorite (hermit).

Perhaps if he can be found - he can be atoned and redeemed if he can retrieve a legendary sword - a Holy Avenger with which he could hope to face the evil of the King and Vecna (okay well, Vecna is Neutral Evil and not Chaotic Evil, but we won't tell :wink: ).

There is much room for drama and little room for nonsense humor. The female cleric . . . why, it was the doomed love between her and our fallen paladin that caused his dishonor. But, in the face of such evil, can the gods forgive their servants?

Can evil be defeated? And, perhaps, atonement can be found as death claims both the good and evil of this world.



Or something like that . . .

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 2:06 pm 
 

404 - File or directory not found.

Was at this GenCon and seen the video feed later on about the DragonLance Movie rights...this would be worth seeing (also because Weis, Hickman, etc said they did not sell to that director/studio of the 1st D&D movie)

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 4:53 pm 
 

NetRodent wrote:Personally I'd love see Bruce Campbell as a paladin.

That's a fantastic idea!  I would want him to stick around for the rest of the movie, though.  I mentioned Vin just for the situation I was speaking of.  How slim would the odds of survival seem if the big, burly, decorated hero got axed in the first room?


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 5:31 pm 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:To make a kickass movie you need a huge budget.

I disagree.  Bram Stoker's Dracula (yeah, I'm back on that subject again) was made for less than $10mil with Gary Oldman, Keanu Reeves, Anthony Hopkins, Winona Ryder and Cary Elwes in the cast!  Of course the movie was made before a lot of their biggest roles, but they weren't exactly unknowns at the time either.  And there weren't alot of magical effects per se, but I actually prefer the style used to achieve the many effects that were in the movie.  Granted, this example is an exception to the rule, but I don't think you necessarily need a Spider-man/LotR-sized budget either.  Hell, I could even look past the CGI in D&D2 if the writing wasn't poor and the acting just plain crappy.

beyondthebreach wrote:Q1 would be a good choice as you have a main foe in Lolth and a host of evil underlings to be combated. However, unless the setting was drastically changed, the extraplanar nature of it would cause a tremendous loss in the telling of a story as the characters would never be in the "real" world.

You would definitely have to have a build up to that, because you're right about the story.  Maybe first movie: G-series, second: D-series, third: Q1.  Say it with me now: Giants and Drow and Lloth, oh my!

beyondthebreach wrote:There's Vecna and there's Iuz.

How about Ivid?  He must be CE.  There's much to work with in around the dying Great Kingdom, too: Ivid the Undying's terminal disease (ironic, ain't it?), Xayene, corrupt nobility, demonic minions, political intrigue, the annihilation of nations...and the Tomb of Horrors is just around the corner!


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 6:29 pm 
 

I don't disagree that some pretty good movies are made on a limited budget, but you aren't going to make a cool D&D movie without a lot of cash  . . .

A good D&D movie is going to need extensive custumes, major computer effects (spells, monsters, backgroud scenery, etc.).  Actors will have to be trained in the use of weapons to add realism . . . the costs will add up quickly.

Others would make good villains . . . I just chose what I thought were some of the more recognizable names.  Ask a former D&D player who hasn't touched or thought of the game in 15 years to name a few notable villains . . .who might they remember?  Asmodeus, Demogorgon, Orcus, Tiamat, Vecna, Lolth  and Iuz?  A few others, to be sure, but it's important for the audience to relate to the villain as well.  Vecna is the quintessential enemy - a lich - a powerful evil monster that all players can remember.

And don't forget the romance!  I'm not kidding here - there won't ever be a hollywood backed movie without it . . .


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 7:20 pm 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:And don't forget the romance! I'm not kidding here - there won't ever be a hollywood backed movie without it . . .

Sadly, this is true to the point of nausea.  Doesn't anything ever happen in life (or fantasy) that doesn't involve a love interest?


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 7:24 pm 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:And don't forget the romance! I'm not kidding here - there won't ever be a hollywood backed movie without it . . .


yeah i can see it now:

Actor: "so um what class is my character again"

Casting producer: "well we thought it would be cool for you to be a 3rd level valentino"

tsk tsk


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 7:48 pm 
 

Romance ruins movies. If you throw in romance, might as well make it the typical Hollywood piece of shyte.

Successful non-romance movie? The 13th Warrior. Cost almost nothing to make, very few special effects, and yet so realistic it was scary. All no-namers except Banderas, and as usual the no-namers turn out to be ten times better actors than the run-of-the-mill steroid chumps like Diesel and Rock. I've seen the movie at least 50 times, and I could see it another 50.

Effects costing money? Perhaps the cost of a few top-end workstations, some programmers, and a great CGI program.

Villians? If you're going to throw Asmodeus into the 1st movie, might as well make it a one-shot deal and scrap any ideas of a sequel, unless it's Odin. Start out with a semi-powerful figure, like the wizard on Bone Hill. Then subsequent movies could be attached, perhaps with the theme that the party is eventually going to save the Prime Plane from disaster (H series). By the time it was done, at least 6 or 7 movies could be done, and I am sure it would end up with the same cult following as Star Wars or the Night of the Dead series, though possibly not so numerous.

No, I don't think it will ever be done. Hollywood cannot produce anything original, and virtually all producers and directors there suck ass. Name me one movie in the last 5 years that hasn't sucked and I'll name 30 that have. It would have to be done in and by another country. If I had the resources to do it, I wouldn't hesitate, not because I like D&D, but because the potential is enormous. And if it DOES flop, so what? It isn't like Follywood doesn't produce flops on a weekly basis.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:05 pm 
 

I think we have forgotten there is a good story and great character in a series of novels that could be adapated. What if they got permission from Gygax and made the Gord series into a movie. He starts out a low life nothing and end up an epic hero. The settings grow as the series expands so they could allocate more money to the effects, locations and scenery if the series was succesfull.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:20 pm 
 

Marlith wrote:I think we have forgotten there is a good story and great character in a series of novels that could be adapated. What if they got permission from Gygax and made the Gord series into a movie. He starts out a low life nothing and end up an epic hero. The settings grow as the series expands so they could allocate more money to the effects, locations and scenery if the series was succesfull.


I weas actually thinking along those lines as well. Gygax was not grammatically the best writer, but I think that the Gord novels were awesome as far as the story line & back story went. I also think that they would translate very well into a movie script for several movies and you could have a lttle bit of everything in it for everyone. Just imagine the opening to movie# 2 "Artifact of Evil" with all the forces of good storming the castle run by the Scarlet Brotherhood, with all the humans taking on all the Trolls, Ogres, & Bugbears, LOTR style. Besides who better to write the movie then the creator himself? :)


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 8:43 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote:Successful non-romance movie? The 13th Warrior.

I was going to use that as an example of a "no love interest" movie myself but then I remembered, there is one.  Not much of one, but it's there.  If they could keep it to that level, though, I'd be happy.  It certainly conveys the mood of what a D&D flick should have, however.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:13 pm 
 

The series is almost a copy of what I said. Minor adversaries at first, leading up to Tharizdun. He doesn't really get romance until near the end, although he does tag a few does along the way.


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