Which Hollywood creative will have the strength, dexterity, constitution, wisdom, intelligence, and charisma to finally bring Dungeons & Dragons to screen in a post-Lord of the Rings/Game of Thrones landscape? A new update provided by Wizards of the Coast to Polygon suggests the gaming company has a multisided plan to make sure the property comes to life in some shape or form.
This week, entertainment company eOne, now owned by Hasbro in order to develop the toy conglomerate’s IP for film and television, confirmed that Red Notice and Skyscraper writer-director Rawson Marshall Thurber was in the early stages of developing a Dungeons & Dragons television series. Thurber is set to write and direct a pilot for the series, though there’s no confirmation on where the project’s focus will ultimately lie.
Last May, during the summer kickoff event, Wizards of the Coast floated the idea that a live-action D&D show would likely focus on Drizzt Do’Urden, the drow, first introduced in R.A. Salvatore’s novel The Crystal Shard. At the time, many assumed the show in question was a series reportedly pitched to Hasbro, eOne, and Wizards of the Coast by John Wick and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier writer Derek Kolstad. But while a representative for Wizards of the Coast can’t confirm or deny if that project is in development, Polygon has learned that Kolstad’s project remains just a pitch. For now, Thurber’s series is the only one in confirmed development.
Wizards of the Coast’s attempts to crack a Game of Thrones or Wheel of Time equivalent for D&D won’t impede the company’s big-screen ambition. A Dungeons & Dragons movie, written and directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, the duo behind Game Night, is already in the can. Chris Pine leads the cast, with Bridgerton’s Regé-Jean Page, Fast and the Furious’ Michelle Rodriguez, and Paddington 2’s Hugh Grant in the mix.
With the tabletop business roaring, and successful actual play brands like Critical Role finding a way to adapt their adventures into screen stories — see Amazon’s new animated series The Legend of Vox Machina — it’s only a matter of time before Wizards of the Coast gets one of its projects in front of audiences, and finally relieves Jeremy Irons of whatever horrible memories from the 2000 movie version continue to haunt him. Eep!