MOVIE NEWS – While the latest Dungeons & Dragons movie is set to hit cinemas in 2023, eOne has a whole universe in the pipeline.
Although filming for the new Dungeons & Dragons movie wrapped in August this year, fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Contrary to earlier rumours, the film will not be a standalone reboot of the franchise, but part of a much bigger project, as eOne (Entertainment One, which Hasbro bought last year) is planning a series of TV series for the small screen. Michael Lombardo, president of global television for Hasbro’s entertainment division, revealed in a recent interview that one or more D&D series could be among the many Hasbro-based projects in the not-too-distant future.
Dungeons & Dragons has had a diverse career in television and film: the 1980s animated series had only a very loose connection with its namesake but was hugely popular when produced by TSR and Marvel Productions. In contrast, the 2000 live-action film starring Jeremy Irons, Marlon Wayans, Thora Birch and Justin Whalin was panned by critics and failed to recoup its $45 million budget.
This time around, both the new film and the planned series hope to present the world of D&D in live-action more successfully than the last time they tried. (And that’s not to mention the even less enjoyable TV productions that follow…)
“Our big focus right now is Dungeons & Dragons,” Lombardo told Deadline.
“When I initially sat with Darren [Throop, eOne’s CEO] and Steve [Bertram, eOne’s President of Film and Television], knowing that Dungeons is part of the Hasbro portfolio was incredibly exciting to me. It’s a world and part of that is, its challenges are wow, where do you start? We don’t want it to just be one show so we are building out, developing out a multi-pronged approach for television, a number of scripted shows and unscripted, and we hope to be taking this out to the marketplace early next year.”
Lombardo also admitted that he himself doesn’t play the game, but he has found many incredibly passionate filmmakers about this universe. “I was not a Dungeons & Dragons kid, and maybe I’m too old for it, but the people that played it, they continue to play it, it’s so meaningful. They’re so passionate about it, and we have had numerous discussions and a lot of interesting filmmakers, it’s just finding the right team that has legs, that feels fresh in this moment.”
“We have a big movie that’s in post right now that will come out first so, we’re trying to also navigate the brand more holistically so that the movie feels not apart from but connected somehow to a bigger universe.”
Although there are currently a lot of new projects coming from eOne for D&D fans, such as a pre-written unscripted series, Dungeons & Dragons Presents: Call to Adventure, in which the characters in the series play D&D in real-time with audience participation – you can see this on G4’s Twitch and YouTube channels.