Sunday 28 March 2021

Writer compares Dungeons & Dragons to Star Wars

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) has become a gateway into role-playing games (RPG) for generations of fantasy fans (myself included)!

The first I became aware of TSR's tabletop franchise (not namechecked) was in Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. Subsequently, Marvel Comics' animated series became an afterschool staple and my parents bought me licensed LJN action figures, which were soon integrated into Masters of the Universe and Star Wars toy stories.

The Fighting Fantasy books, Krull, Jim Henson's Labyrinth and ITV's live-action children's series Knightmare (streaming exclusively on BritBox), along with Citadel Miniatures and video games, further expanded the fantasy lore in popular culture.

Netflix's Stranger Things introduced a new generation to D&D, and Hasbro's Entertainment One (eOne) is producing an official film and television franchise to capitalise on this renewed interest and the success of Game of Thrones.

Screenwriter Derek Kolstad (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) recently spoke to Collider about his approach to the upcoming television spin-off series:

"In the first Star Wars, you heard about Jabba the Hutt and you don't see him until the third one because you earn at that point, and whatever the budget was for the third one compared to the first one, who cares, right? And I think in Dungeons and Dragons, who has this massive, dedicated community of acolytes, I don't want to suddenly throw everything on screen and say, 'Here's the buffet.' You'd much rather keep the story intimate," Kolstad told Collider. "When you think of our favorite movies, I'd rather do the First Blood version. It's a guy in the woods being hunted. And it's very small, but you allude to the other things through conversation. You have your USS Indianapolis [in Jaws], you see something in the background. You hear a name that 3% of the audience is like, 'Ho ho, I think we're going to see him soon.' I think the thing is just to take a deep breath, to go into it slowly, and to just respect the world, and as you adapt, certain things need to change. But you better not touch the heart and soul of why people love this thing."

Are you excited about Kolstad's take on Dungeons and Dragons? Let me know in the comments below.

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