New Dungeons & Dragons movie
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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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Post Posted: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:52 pm 
 

Deadlord36 wrote: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.


good one off's would be S3 or even S2

S3 would work to a pretty good film imo. nice mix of past and future involved

and i certainly think D1-2-3 would seriously rock...even S1 would prb make a cool one-off film



  


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

killjoy32 wrote:
Deadlord36 wrote: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.


good one off's would be S3 or even S2

S3 would work to a pretty good film imo. nice mix of past and future involved

and i certainly think D1-2-3 would seriously rock...even S1 would prb make a cool one-off film

Tomb of Horrors could be an incredible movie, if, and only if, the first set of adventurers all die horribly.  I envision the low rumble of many six-sided dice pencil scratching immediately afterward, and a "two weeks later" fade-in... :)

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 2:40 am 
 

The Gord the Rogue idea is a good one and I think that would be the best suited to becoming a movie (admittedly, I haven't read too many D&D novels others than the Gord books though . . . )

What would really be ideal is a TV series . . . 1 hour shows throughout a season.  Look at all the awesome episodes of Babylon 5 and Star Trek TNG there are.  Some episodes would have minor encounters, dungeons, discoveries of magic items, the young wizard could seek a master, the priests given a quest and the season could really follow a low level group as they advanced.

Next season:  A little higher level, more magic, a little more power, etc.

Some episodes can be used towards furthering an overall goal or ultimate bad-guy and some episodes are one shot deals.  Buffy the Vampire Slayer actually did a good job of this - the characters and bit players in episodes were never forgotten and could turn up at any time later.  There was a great sense of continuity and character/relationship development.  Not every episode furthered the season's plot . . . but there always was one that grew and kept you hungering for the climax.

With a movie, they would be forced to try and cram as much into a 2-3 hour story as possible.  All the little details and small quests that make D&D fun would be left out.

Sci-fi channel should be looking at something like that (and no comedy in the show!!!!!).


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Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 2:49 am 
 

beyondthebreach wrote:The Gord the Rogue idea is a good one and I think that would be the best suited to becoming a movie (admittedly, I haven't read too many D&D novels others than the Gord books though . . . )

What would really be ideal is a TV series . . . 1 hour shows throughout a season. Look at all the awesome episodes of Babylon 5 and Star Trek TNG there are. Some episodes would have minor encounters, dungeons, discoveries of magic items, the young wizard could seek a master, the priests given a quest and the season could really follow a low level group as they advanced.

Next season: A little higher level, more magic, a little more power, etc.

Some episodes can be used towards furthering an overall goal or ultimate bad-guy and some episodes are one shot deals. Buffy the Vampire Slayer actually did a good job of this - the characters and bit players in episodes were never forgotten and could turn up at any time later. There was a great sense of continuity and character/relationship development. Not every episode furthered the season's plot . . . but there always was one that grew and kept you hungering for the climax.

With a movie, they would be forced to try and cram as much into a 2-3 hour story as possible. All the little details and small quests that make D&D fun would be left out.

Sci-fi channel should be looking at something like that (and no comedy in the show!!!!!).


The TV idea is even better for the Gord line. They could then dedicate a lot more time to the character development and allow him to grow into his abilities. The Sci-Fi channel can do TV shows right. Just look at the new BSG. I like the idea of a B5 type of story arch where the entire series is written before it even begins. I have to admitt after watching B5 with its continuity going back to the Trek series of shows was kind of tuff. Since they knew where they were going the plot devices always seemed a lot less contrived. It might just be JMS's writing was just that much better.


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Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:13 am 
 

Tomb of Horrors could be an incredible movie, if, and only if, the first set of adventurers all die horribly.  I envision the low rumble of many six-sided dice pencil scratching immediately afterward, and a "two weeks later" fade-in...


Tomb of Horrors would work quite well.  It has name recognition (anyone whose ever played D&D has pretty much heard about it), a nasty villain (Acerack)  and lots of room for messing around with (you could include some of the original dungeon but include whatever the writer/director wanted as foes/traps).  The DemiLich could have physical form to give it a nice bad ass final battle (I like the Paladin looking for redemption storyline, would work well here).
    I like the idea of sending the first guys in and having them get wiped out in the first hallway or so.  You could pitch it "Indiana Jones with Magic" or whatever to get the point across.  The DemiLich's tomb has an artifact needed for something, this gives you an out for a sequel, plus sets up motivation for your typical mismatched misfits to adventure with the requisite love intereste, humor duo, hidden past, one guy is a traitor, that sort of crap.  I think that would work if done right.
    But why are we fooling ourselves.  If a guy is looking to make a D&D movie and wants to get financial backing, he'd be crazy not to buy the rights to Salvatore's Drizzt line of books and go from there.  The name recognition is gigantic, the books have been on the best seller lists for 15 years.  The storyline has a hero with the required unrequited love/love triangle, he's hated and feared but deep down really a nice guy, he's an outcast who comes from a troubled background, he's got two badass scimitars that he can whirl around, he's visually arresting, etc.  He's got a ready made group in his sidekicks Wulfgar, Cattie, Regis, Bruenor, a nemesis/villain (more than one actually, there are the drow and the assassin Artemis, plus isn't there a demon there somewhere).  There's something like 20 books now to mine for plotlines and ideas (tons of potential for sequels).   It's really very hard for me to believe that someone dosn't own the rights to this (I'm sure someone does, Salvatore himself may for all I know, I bet anything he's either written a treatment at some time or been approached for one).  If I had to bet money on what the origins would be for the next D&D fantasy type movie (If one is ever made), I'd have to place everything on this series as it would definitely fill the bill.  If a guy walks into a meeting with a producer trying to get financing for a D&D movie and says it's based on something called Gord the Rogue (which has been out of print for almost 20 years) or something called Tomb of Horrors (ditto), they are going to have a long uphill battle.  However, if they present the idea of "Drizzt the Drow" and include the fact he's been around for 15 years, has had a dozen or so books on the New York Times top ten list, has some cool storyboards of the dark elf and his companions drawn by a major fantasy artist, plus they can coordinate the movie release with a brand new trilogy written by Salvatore at the same time to increase exposure, plus the fact that the crossover appeal is great (its not just D&D fans interested, it's fantasy fans in general and younger ones at that), of course toss in a few references to Jackson's Middle Earth "See, it's like Lord of the Rings underground with black guys!" or whatever, you might pique some interest.  If done right, this concept would make tons of dough I think (the most important consideration in Hollywood), besides being a passable fantasy movie if they did it right.  Of course, it would also lead to way, way too many power gaming 3rd ed munchkins trying to roll up their own mini-Drizzt for play in campaigns ("And I want to give him a Kewl as hell +5 curvy sword like Drizzt, that's way wicked!")............

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Post Posted: Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:36 am 
 

Badmike wrote:
Tomb of Horrors could be an incredible movie, if, and only if, the first set of adventurers all die horribly. I envision the low rumble of many six-sided dice pencil scratching immediately afterward, and a "two weeks later" fade-in...


Tomb of Horrors would work quite well. It has name recognition (anyone whose ever played D&D has pretty much heard about it), a nasty villain (Acerack) and lots of room for messing around with (you could include some of the original dungeon but include whatever the writer/director wanted as foes/traps). The DemiLich could have physical form to give it a nice bad ass final battle (I like the Paladin looking for redemption storyline, would work well here).


BTW, one of my best friends is an entertainment lawyer in Hollywood for soemthing like the last 20 years.  He's been friends with Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Last Boy Scout, Last Action Hero) almost that long, and actually roomed with Black's best friend/assistant for two years before he was married.  He's known a lot of screenwriter/producer types during that time, and the reason the "pitch" scene in The Player is so funny is because that's pretty much EXACTLY how it's done there.  If you dont' go in with high concept/low budget talk and how it's "Indiana Jones crossed with Lord of the Rings and a dash of Road Warrior" or have a specific targeted popular actor for a certain part (whoever's on the cover of People or Us magazine the last few weeks) you'll get shown the door.  Most producers are moronic fools who don't read and trust the person pitching to break down the screenplay/idea into fragments a 4 year old could understand. It doesn't hurt to have someone with some clout interested, whether it be a director, screenwriter or actor, so maybe the solution is just to find someone in Hollywood that was a D&D geek at one time, it could be that easy, maybe Nick Cage rolled up a halfling fighter or two during the early 80's, or the Coen brothers once DM'd the G-series back in 1979, who knows.......
  Just got to laughing MAO thinking about my buddy and he'd pitch this to a producer...anything outside their general experience (living in LA is about it for most of them) completely baffles and puzzles them, it would be funny to be a fly on the wall and hear the questions they would ask about "what is Dragons and Dungeons or whatever" and having one of us have to patiently explain the entire concept of fantasy gaming... it would be so much easier just to name drop Lord of the Rings 50 or so times, which I'm sure anyone wanting to make a fantasy film has to do nowadays anyway.
    Anyway, the entire idea of a D&D movie that is decent someday may rely on a great pitch, combined with a popular idea and an influential director or actor backing the project.  If I had to put money on it happening someday that's why I'd pick the Drizzt idea, it's got an easier ride than some of the other concepts...

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