Margaret Weis, who with Tracy Hickman is responsible for the beloved Dragonlance Chronicles series of Dungeons & Dragons novels, has confirmed to Polygon that a secretive project to create a streaming television series set in the world of Krynn will not move forward. The news broke Wendesday at ComicBook.com, and included an emotional interview with its champion, actor Joe Manganiello (True Blood, Justice League).
“Everything happened exactly as he said,” Weis said in an email. “The rumor is floating around that a pilot was actually filmed. That did not happen and Joe doesn’t say that it happened. The project never got that far.”
Rumors of a live-action English-language adaptation of the Dragonlance setting have circulated for years now, but things came to a head early 2023. That’s when Manganiello, speaking during a D&D livestream presentation, seemed to indicate that he was working on a Dragonlance TV project in earnest. On Wednesday he confirmed to ComicBook.com that the project was real, and that it wasn’t moving forward following the sale by Hasbro of its eOne entertainment arm to Lionsgate. That’s a move that Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks had been telegraphing to the company’s investors for years.
“Tracy and Margaret were all about it,” Manganiello said of the project, which had a completed script for a pilot episode. The actor, clearly in mourning, said there was a 1,000-page lookbook created featuring concepts for arms and armor, as well as unique takes on the franchise’s iconic dragons.
“I [even] offered to buy Dragonlance [from Hasbro],” Manganiello said.
In addition to the sale of eOne, Manganiello points to the lackluster performance of last year’s Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen adventure module. Following a fractious legal battle over a new series of Dragonlance novels, neither Hickman nor Weis were invited to participate in its creation. Manganiello, clearly frustrated, also said that the module was weighed down by what he calls a “failed” board game, Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn, designed by Rob Daviau (Risk Legacy, Pandemic Legacy) and Stephen Baker (HeroQuest, Battle Masters).
Last we heard, Paramount Plus was said to be working on a D&D streaming series with eOne. It’s not known to have had anything to do with Dragonlance. Fans still have some exciting new content on the horizon, however: Dragons of Eternity, the third volume in the Dragonlance Destinies series by Hickman and Weis, is due out on Aug. 6. Pre-orders are available now, including at Amazon. You can read excerpts of the trilogy’s first two novels, Dragons of Deceit and Dragons of Destiny, on Polygon — alongside in-depth interviews with the authors.