Friday, May 10, 2013

D&D Movie(s)

Looks as if two D&D movies may head into production, or more likely into court to determine who has the rights to them.  Warner Brothers announced Tuesday that it has acquired the rights to make yet another D&D movie and has moved fairly far along on it, prior to the announcement, with a script by the writer of last year's remake of Wrath of the Titans, David Leslie Johnson.  Apparently Johnson based his original script on E. Gary Gygax's original Chainmail game.  Warner's bought the script and has had him rewrite it to better fit the Dungeons & Dragons property.

Not so fast, says Hasbro, which publishes the D&D game through its WOTC division.  Hasbro claims movie rights to Dungeons & Dragons and has announced its own D&D movie as a vehicle for first time director (and writer of the last 5 Fast and the Furious movies) Chris Morgan in conjunction with Universal Studios.

However, Warner Brothers has an ace in the hole in that the studio has Courtney Solomon as one of the producers on its version of the movie.  Why is he important?  Solomon directed the 2000 Dungeons & Dragons movie and, at the time, according to both his and Warner's lawyers, acquired indefinite rights to the Dungeons & Dragons name, with no rights reversion clause.  This means Hasbro can make movies set in the Dragonlance world or the Forgotten Realms, but is on shaky legal ground should it want to make a "Dungeons & Dragons" movie.