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‘Dungeons & Dragons’ (2000) | Remember the DISASTER First attempt to bring the famous RPG to the big screen



Recently, the world of movie pop culture has been receiving plenty of previews of its upcoming big releases. Trailers like these were enough to heighten fans’ anticipation and leave them in an uproar of anxiety. These are productions for the second half of 2022 and also some for the beginning of next year. One of the coolest and ones that positively surprised audiences was Dungeons & Dragons, a new investment in a classic and much-loved property. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Rebels is produced by Paramount Pictures, has actors such as Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Sophia Lillis and Hugh Grant leading the project, and is directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the duo responsible for the script of Homem -Spider: Homecoming and for the realization of the hilarious Game Night.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Rebels is set to release on March 3, 2023, but what really surprised fans was the quality of work shown in its trailer. We know that these previews can be misleading, for better or for worse – a fact that often happens. But a trailer’s job is to pique the viewer’s interest in wanting to watch such a movie, and the preview for the new Dungeons & Dragons accomplished that brilliantly. This is one of the funniest and most eye-catching trailers of recent times and we really hope it captures the true spirit of the film. The most educated fans of this universe know very well the origin of this story – even taken up in other current products, such as the Stranger Things series.

The first obstacle to any ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ adaptation is not adapting the ‘Dragon’s Cave’ cartoon.

As mentioned in the title of the article, Dungeons & Dragons established itself as a board game, which became a real phenomenon, being released in 1974. Unlike other board games, Dungeons & Dragons or D&D (abbreviated) – and Dragons” (in free translation) is an RPG, or role-playing game. This means that it is a game where players act as characters. Transforming into children is like a glimpse of video games before the advent of video games. Today, every player has an avatar when playing online. The RPG is exactly that, but done in a more “roots” way and simply using players’ imaginations. In the case of D&D, focused on a fantasy adventure, full of beings from medieval mythology, such as dragons, monsters, supernatural creatures, wizards, wizards, knights, barbarians and mystical weapons. The “joke” was created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, got serious, and continues to pay off in today’s pop culture, with products even bigger than the duo’s original creation.

For the generation of the 80s, one of the coolest “derivatives” the game ever had was the cartoon Caverna do Dragão, which was a hit with children and teenagers at the time, especially in Brazil where it was taken over to the point that everyone decorated it. .the episodes and their dialogues. Many may think that the animation lasted a considerable amount of time, but the truth is that it only aired for two years, from 1983 to 1985, in an unprecedented way – totaling 3 seasons and “only” 28 episodes. The show didn’t even have an ending, never showing a final episode in the plot of teenagers who were transported to a magical world after entering an amusement park ride. There, the group of six children acquired magical weapons to fight the forces of evil. For decades, nostalgic fans have dreamed of an adaptation of this cartoon, which has yet to come to fruition. As a consolation, it is reported that characters from the 80s cartoon will appear as cameos in the new film. Which makes it even better.

Jeremy Irons is the villain… Profion (not Avenger) and he’s extremely cartoonish.

But the road to Dungeons & Dragons in pop culture isn’t all glories. And 22 years ago, the wildly popular franchise hit the lowest point in its trajectory — its personal bottom. Of course, I’m referring to the first live-action film adaptation of the D&D product, subtitled The Adventure Begins Now, from 2000. In the beginning, as with this version now, the first collective displeasure was that the adaptation wasn’t aiming for the classic animated cartoon – which nostalgic fans would like to see. Here, however, new characters were introduced. The plot involves themes of betrayal, political intrigue, conspirators trying to dethrone regents and the usual court antics, all set in a realm of fantasy, magic, creatures and dragons. Themes that will be explored with meticulousness and care the following year in productions like Harry Potter and especially The Lord of the Rings, and 10 years later in the Game of Thrones series. It is precisely for this reason that we can say that D&D – The Movie just missed the mark, since it was created a year before the real explosion of the genre – which would certainly benefit it.

In the casting, only the veteran Jeremy Irons is an eminent name, even if he pays here the mickey of his career. The actor plays the story’s villain, the sorcerer Profion, who conspires to oust Empress Savina from power (the role of Thora Birch, then out of the hit American Beauty the previous year). Irons’ cartoonish performance in the film was quite satirized at the time and would certainly become a meme today. When asked why an actor of his stature agreed to take part in this production, he simply replied that he had just bought a castle and that he had to pay for it somehow – a similar answer given years earlier by fellow countryman Michael Caine when asked about his participation. in the horrible Tubarão 4 (1987).

Enjoy watching:

Daughter Thora Birch, of the hit ‘American Beauty‘, saw kind Empress Savina.

Yes, since you noticed that the D&D movie quotes aren’t very complimentary. On the contrary, it is a difficult mission to find a defender of the work. It’s one of those rare, unanimous productions that doesn’t even seem to find an advocate – in fact, if you know of one, let us know. The truth is that when a movie fails, it’s not good for anyone. It’s not good for those who produce it and have to bear the financial loss – and in the case of artists, it can mean the end of a career. And that’s not good for the fans, who are left without their beloved product. Here in this first adaptation of D&D for the big screen, we have to trace the steps back to a central figure: director and producer Courtney Solomon.

Little expressive in the field of the seventh art, the Canadian Courtney Solomon was only 19 years old when he managed to acquire the rights to adapt a D&D film. A fervent fan of the board game and all the mythology that surrounds this universe, Salomon contacted the publisher TSR, the company in charge of taking care of D&D publications – whether for the game or the books and all the printed matter. . Through negotiations and his passion, Solomon secured the rights to bring the idea to life in film. For years, the young producer searched for partners who could help him with this endeavor and without a studio behind him at the time, but managing to raise around $3 million for the film’s budget from investors, D&D – The Adventure Begins Now would make it the most expensive independent film in history. Shortly after, Solomon would again remove the cast from New Line – which the following year would also produce The Lord of the Rings.

Protagonist Ridley was played by young Justin Whalin, photographer Jimmy Olsen from the ‘Lois & Clark‘ series.

Showing incredible cant language, the young producer almost made a deal with big names in the industry to order the film, such as directors Francis Ford Coppola and James Cameron, in addition to a possible involvement of the regretted Stan Winston for the effects. . The thorn in Solomon’s side, however, was precisely his contract with the TSR company, which was full of clauses and ended up not allowing negotiations with these bigwigs to progress. Eventually everyone gave up, and TSR demanded that a film be produced on schedule so the producer wouldn’t lose the rights, going to the publisher – perhaps that was TSR’s real goal. The maneuver forced Solomon himself to get down to business and direct the film himself, with no experience in the role. Solomon would still cast the unimpressive Justin Whalin as his protagonist, the flirtatious thief Ridley. The director thought his actor had star potential – at the time Whalin was best known as teenage Andy in Child’s Play 3 (1991) and as photographer Jimmy Olsen in the sitcom Lois & Clark (1993). ). Whalin’s career will unfortunately never take off. Closing out the main cast, Marlon Wayans lived through comic relief and the protagonist’s partner Snails.

The cast also featured Marlon Wayns as comic relief snails and Kristen Wilson as Norda.

Rushed production had to cut several snippets of special effects and action scenes – in addition to being forced to work with an early script and not a new and improved treatment (another contract requirement). In the end, the behind-the-scenes nightmare was reflected in the film’s outcome. Among other things, the visual effects, which create for example the design of the dragons, were considered of poor quality even for the time, taking into account the fact that Jurassic Park (1993) and its sequel (1997) had created gigantic creatures much more convincing years ago. before. Fans were also disappointed to find no plot similarities to their beloved universe, characters, and concepts. And those unfamiliar with the story perceived D&D – The Movie as a mediocre and unattractive medieval fantasy adventure that was wildly generic. Fortunately, the following year, much more full-bodied films will save the genre. And for Dungeons & Dragons, perhaps redemption will be in the new Honor Among Rebels, which promises a similar spirit to the original Guardians of the Galaxy in terms of its character interaction and work that’s more faithful to its source material. Let’s wait.

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