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The last time someone tried to make a Dungeons & Dragons movie the result was devastatingly bad. Not only was the film, directed by Courtney Solomon, a critical disaster - scoring only a 10% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes - it was an incredible box office flop. While the project had been made with a reported $45 million budget, it tanked on its opening weekend, placing fifth and making only $7 million. By the end of its run it only managed to make $33 million worldwide.
And yet because everybody recognizes the name of the role playing game, Hollywood insists on giving the property another shot.
Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. has picked up the movie rights to Dungeons and Dragons and is now planning a new film. What's interesting about this new report is how far into development the project already is. The studio is planning to take a pre-existing screenplay called Chainmail - scripted by Wrath of the Titans and Red Riding Hood screenwriter David Leslie Johnson - and rework it to fit in with with the D&D brand. Chainmail was actually based on another game created by Gary Gygax (the creator of Dungeons and Dragons) and was first acquired last year.
The first Dungeons and Dragons movie came out in 2000, a full year before Peter Jackson reignited the fantasy craze with the Lord of the Rings trilogy. As Deadline notes, with Game of Thrones still picking up huge ratings and Jackson's Hobbit movies now cleaning up at the December box office, perhaps now really is the right time to bring back the brand. Just don't hire Marlon Wayans again.