Curious Thoughts Percolating in My Brain on this Stormy Thursday Morning
According to EN World there's a rumor going around that Wizards of the Coast has settled the movie lawsuit and is now attempting to shop around a television series. Putting aside for the moment the reality that this is probably just some guy talking out his neck; I don't know how to feel about that sort of move.
If Wizards had capitalized on the success of the Lord of the Rings and released a series back during the height of its popularity I think that the series would have launched with a rather large groundswell of attention. Yet at this time it seems more like launching another zombie movie to the straight to DVD bin. Don't get me wrong if Wizards can manage to get the right people together they could create an engaging storyline and provide the wider audience with the sort of show they've been craving for years, but I just don't know if Wizards is capable of doing that. Certainly Hasbro is capable; we've seen G I Joe, Transformers, and even My Little Pony become media sensations in recent years. But could they make Dungeons and Dragons a similar sensation?
With forty years of stories, adventures, and products out there you might be forgiven for thinking that somewhere in there must be the great tale a movie or series needs to be successful. Yet I couldn't point to a single one that might be compelling for a wider market. Whether we're talking about the Dragons of series or those Drow and companions books from R.A. none of it holds up. It's all stilted by trying to shoehorn game mechanics in to the stories. As a result, it all sucks.
All of it.
It seems that if you're going to get people to actually sit down and watch the series you'd have to start with something fresh. Yet there's a danger that in doing so you'll end up with something like the first Dungeons and Dragons movie. Of course you could use the J.J. Abrams method for the series and use explosions instead of words. Then it wouldn't matter how awful the script is - I mean we've all seen the first Transformers and it's a terrible script, good action though. It seems that the only way a move like this would make sense is if you could find a cast and crew that got the story right without turning it into the sort of regretful noise we've suffered through in practically every fantasy movie and show from the last fifty years.
Yet even if you get the crew and cast together, and they're fantastic, where to put the series? The networks have shown themselves to be willing to experiment in recent years with shows like Almost Human, Grimm, and Once Upon a Time but they've also shown that they'll eventually remember that they're a network and fuck it up. So do you go to Netfilx or Hulu? Or maybe you make a webseries?