Expensive series are what is carried on television. Well, perhaps it is not the priority of conventional channels, which tighten budgets, but of content platforms that seek epic and recognized titles to gain a foothold and attract subscribers to the services. And which is the last to join the string of premieres? An adaptation of the game Dungeons and Dragons.
Those interested in cinema may be confused. There is a project in the works for movie theaters (if they survive the current pandemic, of course) with Paramount joining with Hasbro and his studio eOne, which is in pre-production and with Chris Pine (Wonder Woman, Star Trek) in talks for a role, but Hasbro and eOne are also developing a TV series to sell to platforms and channels.
It takes place in parallel to the Paramount film with Chris Pine in negotiations to play a role
At the moment, there is a name tied to the embryo of series: Derek Kolstad, the scriptwriter behind the action films John Wick with Keanu Reeves. As reported The Hollywood Reporter, is working on a creative proposal to move forward with the project, which will adapt the mythical game popularized in the eighties and which is set in a fantasy and medieval universe with humans, elves and orcs.
It seems that the interest of this Dungeons and Dragons comes from the new popularity that the game created in 1974 in times 2.0 is gaining: more and more fans are sharing experiences and live games through platforms such as Twitch or YouTube, which have allowed Hasbro to increase sales by 20% in 2019.
Considering the universe that Gary Gigax and Dave Arneson conceived, it is to be expected that it will be a television blockbuster. It joins, therefore, projects sounded for television such as The Lord of the rings by JA Bayona for Amazon Prime Video, which has just communicated the synopsis with the premiere for the end of 2021 and which is estimated to have a budget of 1,000 million to produce a minimum of five seasons.
What other blockbusters are on the platform table? Amazon also has The Wheel of Time In preparation, Robert Jordan’s fantasy saga with Rosamund Pike in the title role and Rafe Judkins (Agents of SHIELD) as showrunner, and the video game adaptation Fallout with Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan (Westworld) of creative managers after signing an exclusivity contract valued at 150 million dollars.
Fantastic or science fiction universes are sought with established fan communities and the possibility of creating derivative productions to consolidate platforms
On HBO, on the other hand, he has House of dragon, the prequel to Game of Thrones focused on the Targaryen dynasty and expected in 2022, in addition to the adaptation of the video game The last of us with the creative team of Chernobyl, director Johan Renck and screenwriter Craig Mazin, who won the Emmy for their work. From the Showtime channel they have the adaptation of Halo with Steven Spielberg in production.
On Netflix they are entertaining developing the universe of The Witcher with a second season of the warlock Geralt de Rivia and two other spin-offs, an adaptation of Assassin’s Creed Nor should we forget that David Benioff and DB Weiss are writing the television version of The three-body problem by Chinese science fiction author Liu Cixin. They also signed a millionaire contract: 200 million to work exclusively for Netflix and forget about Game of Thrones.
And, well, from Disney they have the advantage of developing universes of success in movie theaters with a string of Star Wars and Marvel projects, brands they own and from which series such as Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Loki, Mrs Marvel, Hulka, The Book of Boba Fett or the series of Obi Wan Kenobi.
The fashion is this: fantastic or science fiction universes, with a multitude of fans and expectant onlookers, gigantic budgets (unless you want to make a fool of yourself compared to rival series) and consolidated creative teams to ensure a phenomenon that justifies the monthly and with the potential to create derivative productions such as spin-offs and prequels. In such a competitive environment, loyalty and focus is key to attracting subscribers.
In the case of Dungeons and DragonsHowever, it remains to be seen which studio will be interested in acquiring the episodes.