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In a nutshell: If you are looking forward to the upcoming theatrical release of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, then you might be pleased to learn that Paramount has just agreed to bring a live-action D&D series to the small screen via its streaming service. The pilot is in very early production, with Rawson Marshall Thurber writing and directing.
Deadline reports that Paramount+ has won a bid to produce a television series based on the Dungeons & Dragons franchise. The streaming service has partnered with Entertainment One (eOne) on the project and tapped Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story director Rawson Marshall Thurber to write and direct the pilot.
Production company eOne shopped the idea around back in November. Competition to land the show was fierce, with Paramount ultimately having the highest bid (undisclosed). It would appear that Paramount and eOne are doubling down on the D&D franchise even though their co-produced full-length motion picture adaptation, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, doesn't hit theaters until March 31.
Dungeons & Dragons' IP holder Hasbro acquired eOne in 2019 with apparent aspirations of adapting some of its properties for television. President of Global Television Michael Lombardo's vision is for the series to be just the beginning of an entire live-action D&D cinematic universe, with other "scripted and unscripted" shows and movies yet to be announced.
The producers have not cast the series yet, but seeing Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's name pop up would not be surprising. Thurber worked with Johnson in his last three films, Red Notice, Skyscraper, and Central Intelligence. However, Thurber's brief resume showing he has only directed six movies between 2004 and 2021 leaves questions about the quality of the production. All six of Thurber's films received mediocre reviews from critics and viewers. However, Red Notice reportedly broke Netflix viewership records, and Thurber has already signed on for a sequel.
One thing the show does have going for it is the resurgence of interest in tabletop D&D gaming brought on primarily by its use as a prominent prop/theme in the wildly popular Netflix hit Stranger Things. What was once a geeky, albeit fun, game played in our mom's basements is now a trendy pastime with podcasts, websites, live-streamed sessions, and non-gaming merchandise dedicated to the brand. Maybe that momentum will be enough to propel the series to success. A good box office showing for Honor Among Thieves would also help.