The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won 11 Oscars in 2004. 16 million people watched the premiere of season 7 of Game of Thrones this year. A serious interest in cinematic fantasy storytelling has steadily reached a fevered pitch and with the game D&D itself seeing a tremendous resurgence, this the perfect time for a Dungeons & Dragons movie or series that puts acting and story first. Like comic books before them, D&D the role-playing game is filled with stories, art, characters and world building that have been largerly left unused by television or film.
The previous D&D movies were bad, so were many of the previous Marvel films before the current Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hollywood’s approach to fantasy films has largely changed so many Dungeons & Dragons fans are now hoping this is the time we get vindicated after all of these years of waiting for a good D&D movie or show. Game of Thrones show runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss both connected over the fact they were former D&D Dungeon Masters and author George RR Martin himself was a Dungeon Master himself. Joss Whedon, Jon Favreau, Matthew Mercer, Vin Diesel, Deborah Ann Woll, Stephen Colbert, Patton Oswalt, Kevin Smith all current or former D&D players. The game has had impact on so many of the writers, actors, directors and show-runners making television and film today that is might not be a matter of if, but when.
Actor/Director Joe Manganiello is one of those people on a quest to get a decent D&D movie finally made. In the video above I spoke with him about what is key to making a Dungeons & Dragons movie that appeals to both hardcore fans and general audiences alike and why now is the time.