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Dungeons And Dragons Movie Release Date, Cast And Plot

After surviving overwrought prejudice during the Satanic Panic of the '80s, the tabletop RPG Dungeons and Dragons has never been more mainstream and popular. Where once it was dismissed as the empty pastime of social misfits, today it boasts several high-profile podcasts devoted to it, as well as the patronage of A-list Hollywood talent. With popularity comes record revenue, and with that money comes the possibility of film deals. Hasbro, owner of the publisher Wizards of the Coast that releases D&D game materials, decided to take the leap in 2015 and try to get a film off the ground with Warner Bros. Ansel Elgort was eventually tapped to lead, and all seemed relatively well.

But after a few years of struggle to bring the project to fruition, the rights were awarded to Paramount instead. Now, it appears that the wheels are primed to stop spinning in the mud and make real progress.

After the distributor switch, Paramount put screenwriter Michael Gilio to work, and the script he turned in was reportedly so encouraging, executives kicked into high gear looking for a new director after Chris McKay left the project in early 2019. Just a couple short months later, news came down that Paramount had found a pair of co-directors: Johnathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. In May 2020, the project acquired Jeremy Latcham as a producer as well; this normally inscrutable business agreement stands out for the fact Latcham used to work for Marvel Studios (notably on Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Avengers, Age of Ultron, and Guardians of the Galaxy). This provides the franchise with the opportunity to recover its movie reputation in the wake of 2000's dreadfully-reviewed Dungeons & Dragons — and given Hasbro's history with its Transformers films and the hiring of former Marvel brass, we can only assume they're interested in franchising it as well if the film is successful. 

Here's what we can tell you so far about the coming Dungeons and Dragons movie.

What's the release date for the Dungeons and Dragons movie?

After Paramount took over, the studio originally announced that the Dungeons and Dragons movie had a projected release date of July 23, 2021. That was all the way back in 2017, so the company's brass has shown some wisdom in putting it so far ahead in time. But 2020 sure came up quick for them, and despite having new directors secured, a movie that will inevitably require a ton of post-production would be somewhat rushed even with a year and a half yet to go. 

That timeline might have been workable, but there's no telling if any production can get off the ground in 2020 given how many other movies and television shows that are much further along in production have had to shut down in the face of coronavirus quarantines. Thus, the release date for the Dungeons and Dragons movie has been moved to May 27, 2022. This should hopefully give the directors the time they need to fulfill their creative vision in pre-production.

Who's in the cast of the Dungeons and Dragons movie?

For now, there are no actors officially attached to or even in talks for the Dungeons and Dragons film, but we have gotten some idea of what Paramount is looking for. That Hashtag Show previously reported that the studio was allegedly pursuing a laundry list of actors: Will Smith, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Matthew McConaughey, Jamie Foxx, Joel Edgerton, Dave Bautista, Jeremy Renner, and Johnny Depp. 

While all these actors have worked in genre media of one kind or another before, it's difficult to tell if this list is supposed to represent a concept for a team (since D&D typically operates with a party working together as co-leads), or if these men are Paramount's primary choices for a single protagonist to draw audience with name recognition. Each of them come from very different backgrounds and represent different kinds of acting on the comedic-dramatic and protagonist-villain scale, further muddling what this information means for the film's tone — at least until one of these people or another lesser-known actor is officially announced as part of the project.

What's the plot of the Dungeons and Dragons movie?

As of March 2019, a semi-final draft of the script was reportedly turned in to Paramount, according to the same reporting by That Hashtag Show about potential front-man casting. No details about the plot emerged as part of the article, though the studio apparently found the work very exciting. Paramount's reported enthusiasm may have expedited the later hiring of John Francis Daley and Johnathan Goldstein as directors of the Dungeons and Dragons movie, as that was announced just a few months later that July.

It's difficult to say what the plot of a D&D film might be. The entire point of the tabletop game is that Dungeon Masters are empowered to create their own worlds and narratives for the players to participate in. That said, there are books made for the gaming system. These self-contained stories serve as a kind of primer for new players, or an out-of-the-pre-manufactured-box option for simplicity. For example, the current 5e system for D&D has the Curse of Strahd book that was released in 2016. It's a pre-made adventure in which a local lord-slash-vampire invites players to his castle for dinner; how players interact with him and the locals of the village he rules determines the success of the party. 

Since one of the production companies on the Dungeons and Dragons film, Allspark (formerly titled Hasbro Studios, LLC), is a subsidiary of Hasbro, who also owns D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast, all pre-existing IP is likely available to use in a script. Hopefully all this positive momentum will continue; check back soon for more.