A new movie based on the lore and playstyle of Dungeons and Dragons is in pre-production. With a release date set for July 2021, there is already a great deal revealed about the plot and characters of the movie.
Dungeons & Dragons will be helmed by Paramount Pictures and directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. They are both known for directing Game Night and Vacation, and serving as writers for Spider-Man: Far From Home. Executive producers are Allan Zeman (2000’s Dungeons and Dragons) and John Middleton (The Disaster Artist and The Lego Movie). Scripts writers are David Leslie Johnson (Orphan, Aquaman) and Lindsay Beer (The Magic Order).
The plot is centered on a quest for the magic object, the Eye of Vecna. D&D players will know this eye can provide as much power to the wielder as it can curse them, and once belonged to legendary D&D villain, the undead lich turned new god, Vecna. The artifact is one of a pair in D&D lore, going along with the Hand of Vecna. Both very dangerous to use.
We have a cast of characters, as well. Warrior Raven Hightower, Dragonborn Hack Karroway, gnome thief Olivan Trickfoot, and masked warrior Alyssa Stellstrong. There is also a dragon named Palarandusk, who is iconic in the Forgotten Realms setting. Rumors are that Zac Efron is being eyed for the voice of Palarandusk. Named villains for the movie are male drow Razer Horlbar, female tiefling Damala, and a barbaric warrior known as “The Beast”. It’s also known that Raven Hightower and his diseased sister were once slaves to the drow.
There is major fear from fans, of course, that this movie will flop like the other attempts at turning Dungeons and Dragons into a cinematic story. So far it feels a little . . . lackluster? It’s a very male-dominated cast and crew, and so far seems to fall heavily back on epic fantasy tropes instead of being more innovative. The pursuit of the Eye of Vecna may foreshadow Vecna as an overall villain, however, this has already been done well in Critical Role, as Vecna was the lead villain for Campaign One.
But, going back to original Dungeons and Dragons lore and settings is an excellent way to win over fans and stay true to the core of the RPG tabletop game. Time will tell if this movie finally does the wildly popular game justice.