Warner Bros.’ Dungeons & Dragons Movie In Trouble As Universal Says “Back Off, We’re Already Making One”
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It was only on Tuesday we heard the news that Warner Bros. has acquired the film rights to Dungeons & Dragons and is hoping to make movie that won’t cause eyeball bleeding. But now a dispute over those rights makes it look like they’ll have to fight a legal battle before getting to the swords and magic one.
What happened is that after Warner Bros. acquired the rights, Hasbro said “Nuh-uh, we own the rights—and we’ve already started setting up our own movie at Universal, so nyah.” Hasbro’s claim for the intellectual property rights to D&D comes from their 1998 acquisition of Wizards of the Coast, but according to Warner Bros. insiders the claim’s been brought up before, and in a binding arbitration decision their side was determined to hold the rights.
So. There are two Dungeons & Dragons movies now. Let’s pit them against each other in a game of Which Movie Do I Want to Avoid Least?.
First, the Warner Bros. movie: It’s being written by David Leslie Johnson, who wrote Wrath of the Titans, 2011’s Amanda Seyfried-starring Red Riding Hood, and Orphan. The script, titled Chainmail, is based on another game created by D&D‘s Gary Gygax and is being adjusted to fit the more popular game. It’s to be produced by Roy Lee (How to Train Your Dragon, The Lego Movie, Spike Lee‘s Oldboy remake) and Courtney Solomon, who directed the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons movie that you probably wanted to forget. I apologize for mentioning it.
As for the Hasbro/Universal movie, we don’t know the writer, but we know the director: Chris Morgan, who wrote the last five movies in the Fast and the Furious series, Wanted, and Keanu Reeves‘s upcoming samurai flick 47 Ronin. Dungeons & Dragons would be his directorial debut.
My oh my, that is an… er… abundance of riches, huh? If the legal argument goes on so long that neither movie gets made, I think I’d probably be OK with that.
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