Paramount has announced that a Dungeons & Dragons movie will be released on July 23rd 2021.
Beloved by tabletop gaming geeks since 1974, D&D has seen a comeback in recent years and has been ingrained back into mainstream pop culture, in part thanks to the kids of Stranger Things and a growing list of celebrity fans such as Vin Diesel and Drew Barrymore.
The franchise is no stranger to the screen. A cartoon series ran for two years, and is remembered fondly by many as a highlight of cheesy 80s kids’ TV. Less succesfully, a live-action movie was released in 2000, and managed to spawn two direct-to-TV and DVD sequels. It somehow bagged the talent of Jeremy Irons for its villain, but nonetheless, these movies all ended in disaster, being thoroughly panned for wooden acting, cheap effects and clichéd storytelling.
The joy of D&D lies in telling a tale created by you and your friends (and a few strange-looking dice) – perhaps it’s understandable that the movies fell flat trying to capture the experience of shaping a story yourself. Paramount has definitely set itself a challenge, but it seems they’re rising to it, with a release date suited to a summer blockbuster. And in recent years, so many other things that were once the domain of the reclusive 70s nerd have become cornerstones of the entertainment industry. This might just be the perfect time for D&D‘s return to the big screen.
Check out the highlights from the original cartoon series below: