Eureka co-creator and Boom! Studios co-founder Andrew Cosby is officially working on the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons television series. The announcement was made Friday during a prerecorded panel at San Diego Comic-Con.
“I’ve designed the series to basically be a campaign,” Cosby said. “I got to sit down as an adult professional and design a Dungeons & Dragons campaign that I’m being paid to do that will ultimately have hundreds of people working on it.”
While Cosby did not announce his title, it seems like he could be head writer or even showrunner on the project. He’d previously mentioned on Twitter that he was working on the series, hinting that the setting would include a fantasy version of Las Vegas. The show is being produced by eOne, Hasbro’s entertainment subsidiary. This is in addition to the film version of Dungeons & Dragons that’s already in the works, starring Chris Pine, Hugh Grant, Michelle Rodriguez, and others.
“There’s an amazing team at eOne that Hasbro has put in charge of the film and the television show,” Cosby said. “The people I’ve been working with get Dungeons & Dragons at a level that is difficult to believe. It feels like being at a D&D table. It’s a bunch of creative people sitting in a room and saying, ‘What if we did this? What if we did that?’”
Cosby discussed how influential D&D has been on his career as a writer and showrunner. While he said he originally wanted to make movies, he found he loved television because leading a writers room felt most like being a Dungeon Master.
“I wouldn’t do what I do, I would not be where I’m at, if it had not been for D&D,” he said. “I can say that without a doubt. That’s where I learned to tell stories. I love playing, but I was always into it to be the DM. I always wanted to be the storyteller.”
Adventure-game author Luke Gygax, son of D&D co-creator Gary Gygax, expressed his relief that the series was being led by someone with a deep appreciation for the game, given that the previous adaptations were largely panned.
“One would think this would be easy,” Gygax said. “You get to make an adventure. Pick anything you want. There’s a ton of stuff that you can pick from. Make a story. Make some characters. Have fun with it. The movies thus far may have been noble attempts, but they haven’t been good.”
D&D’s 5th edition launched in 2014 to rave reviews, and has been buoyed by a vibrant performance scene filled with actual-play shows and podcasts like Critical Role and The Adventure Zone. It all adds up to more popularity for the game than ever before, and Cosby said he wants to make a show that respects those fans and their passion for the genre. He’s modeling his approach on the way that comic book movies came to enjoy mainstream popularity.
“There’s a big difference between laughing with someone and laughing at someone,” he said. “Comic book movies didn’t hit their pinnacle until we stopped apologizing for them being comic book movies. Everyone in the world loves these stories. They live and they thrive for a reason. I want to be a geek and try to create something that those [millions of] players will watch and say, ‘That’s so awesome.’”