Paramount+ has reportedly rolled the dice for an 8-episode TV series to adapt Hasbro's wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.
Amidst an ongoing controversy between Wizards of the Coast and its fans and third party creators due to the changes with the Open Gaming License (OGL), the D&D brand is apparently expanding its mainstream projects. Red Notice filmmaker Rawson Marshall Thurber wrote the script and will direct the first episode of the Dungeons & Dragons TV series. It will be a co-production between eOne and Paramount Pictures.
Deadline reported that eOne will oversee the project which was shopped in Hollywood in November, 2022. After negotiations with potential companies, Paramount+ finally landed the winning bid.
Paramount Pictures will be teaming up with eOne on the production of the Dungeons & Dragons TV series, after co-producing and co-financing the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount+ has given an eight-episode, straight-to-series order to an adaptation of Hasbro’s wildly popular ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ fantasy role-playing game franchise https://t.co/w74hs1aFgo
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) January 10, 2023
The Dungeons & Dragons television series will be joining another popular game adaptation, the HALO TV series, which is one of the Paramount+ service’s most popular original programming. Adapting Dungeons & Dragons for television has been a major focus for eOne under Global Television President Michael Lombardo after Hasbro acquired the company in 2019.
According to the Deadline report, the live-action series is billed as the biggest TV project to date by the studio, potentially kicking off a "Dungeons and Dragons cinematic universe", spanning multiple scripted and unscripted shows. The last television project that was directly inspired by Dungeons & Dragons was the 1983 animated series of the same name.
Rawson Marshall Thurber is the writer, producer, and director of Red Notice. The Netflix original film starred Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot, which has become the all-time most watched production on the streaming giant. Thurber is also currently writing two Red Notice sequels for Netflix and recently sold a feature film adaptation of the classic animated series Voltron to Amazon. The D&D TV series will have eOne EVP for Scripted Television Gabriel Marano to supervise and oversee the production.
On that note, Hasbro is looking to sell eOne's film and TV business, which includes the Lombardo-run TV operation that was responsible for developing and selling the Dungeons & Dragons TV series for Paramount Plus. It is currently unclear if a successful sale of eOne will affect the D&D TV series in pre-production.
Dungeons & Dragons is the world’s most popular tabletop roleplaying game, with players taking on the role of humans, elves, orcs, and other fantasy creatures involved in treasure hunts and adventuring campaigns. Created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, Dungeons & Dragons has grown to an estimated 50 million players since its launch 49 years ago. D&D is one of the biggest selling brands under Hasbro, alongside Magic: The Gathering.
The D&D franchise has expanded into video games and live entertainment on Twitch and YouTube. It has been referenced in pop culture, including shows like The Big Bang Theory and Stranger Things on Netflix, as well as inspiring an upcoming big screen production titled Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
It is currently unknown if the Paramount+ Dungeons & Dragons TV series will be based on the existing lore from the game’s various settings, such as the Forgotten Realms, Eberron, or Dragonlance. However, given the details revealed so far, it may have connections with the live action movie.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves starring Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Hugh Grant, Justice Smith, Regé-Jean Page, and Sophia Lillis will be casting its spell to theaters on March 31, 2023.