Filmmakers Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley have been tasked with bringing to life the world of the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons in a modern cinematic adaptation. The duo is no stranger to feeling the weight of expectations from a passionate fanbase for one of their films, having been previously attached to direct DECU's The Flash movie. Looking back on their experience, Goldstein revealed it taught them to focus on the important basics of moviemaking, regardless of budget.
"The challenge is to approach it as you would a much smaller movie, and not get caught up in the fact that you have $100 million-plus to spend and start thinking about the biggest set pieces you can construct. Rather, focus on the stuff that makes it special and makes an audience invest - and that's the characters. That's in the stuff you don't need a lot of money to do right. That's how we approached The Flash and that's how we're approaching D&D."
Apart from The Flash, the duo also dipped their toes in the world of the MCU when they wrote the screenplay for Spider-Man: Homecoming and that experience was also a valuable lesson in the importance of the smaller moments in a big-budget spectacle film, as Daley explained.
"And it's how we approached Spider-Man, too. Our favorite scene that we wrote in the movie was the scene in the car where Michael Keaton is driving Tom Holland to the dance. It was probably the least visual spectacle of that whole film."
Now the two are all set to apply their knowledge and experience to the world of Dungeons and Dragons, a particularly tricky endeavor given the meta nature of the game. Previous movie iterations of the concept have either ended up being middling fantasy jaunts or too self-aware for audiences to take seriously. For Goldstein and Daley, finding a middle path towards exploring the world of D&D that captured the imagination and strategic potential of the game was the most interesting part.
"D&D is such a unique look at the fantasy genre where it is contemporary in terms of the people playing it and the way they speak to each other. So we never wanted to spoof the genre of fantasy or take the piss out of it. But we did want to find another way into it that we hadn't necessarily seen before. Just the format of Dungeons & Dragons is so interesting and fun and all about critical thinking and thinking on your feet and figuring out ways to make things work after they fall flat. There's a lot of the spirit of that that we're trying to inject into the movie itself."
Game adaptations have been doing well at the box office lately, from Sonic the Hedgehog to Detective Pikachu. Hopefully, the D&D movie will follow in their footsteps while introducing new swathes of the general audiences to its fantasy world. This news originated at The Hollywood Reporter.