‘Dungeons and Dragons’: Joe Manganiello and Kyle Newman to Direct New Documentary!!

Hasbro‘s Entertainment One will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of legendary tabletop RPG franchise Dungeons & Dragons with a new documentary hyped up as “the definitive take” on the property. The studio has tapped True Blood star Joe Manganiello alongside 1UP director Kyle Newman to direct the film which is being made with an unprecedented amount of confidential and never-before-seen material. The story of the definitive RPG will be told in 2024, in time for the franchise’s anniversary.

D&D was born out of the collaborative effort of Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974 and originally distributed by Tactical Rules Inc. before Hasbro and Wizards of the Coast acquired it in 1997. The premise of the game is well-known to this point, with a Dungeon Master (or DM) fleshing out a fantasy world with a quest that a party of adventurers must go on, making decisions and interacting with the world as they see fit. Traces of the game’s influence can be found all throughout fantasy media, inspiring role-playing video games including the iconic Final Fantasy franchise, spawning popular live streams and creators like Critical Role, and even creating its own line of merchandise and games. In total, the series has reached over 50 million fans across its lifespan, making it one of Hasbro’s biggest properties.

This documentary will mark the culmination of a long journey for Maganiello, Newman, and executive producer Adam F. Goldberg. All three have been slowly gathering exclusive rights for the project, resulting in a staggering 400 hours of unseen footage stemming back to the game’s creation, but they also received some major help from Wizards of the Coast. The company gave them access to its most confidential inner workings and material for the game, marking the first time anyone has ever been given that level of clearance. Alongside that gold mine of information, they also secured interviews with celebrity fans to talk about how the game has impacted them.

eOne couldn’t have landed many better to tell the story of D&D than Maganiello and Newman as both are massive fans of the game. Manganiello notably hosts a celebrity D&D club and serves as both a writer and official ambassador for the brand. Newman, meanwhile, was one of the authors of the recent Heroes’ Feast: The Official Dungeons & Dragons Cookbook as well as Dungeons & Dragons: Art & Arcana, making him a New York Times bestselling author. Manganiello is also set to produce the upcoming documentary alongside his brother Nick ManganielloAnthony Savini, and Cecily Tyler. Executive producers include Newman and Goldberg alongside Tara Long and Geno McDermott for eOne and D&D scholar and Art & Arcana co-writer Jon Peterson.

Manganiello expressed his excitement to be a part of the project as well as his love for the long-running tabletop game, saying in a statement:

I couldn’t be more proud and excited to get back behind the camera for another documentary, this time with the D&D dream team of Jon, Kyle, and my brother and producing partner Nick. I lived through the rise and fall and rise again of this legacy brand that has not only meant so much to me but has served as the fountainhead of creativity for an entire generation of writers, artists, and creative minds, influencing so much of our culture. None of this would have been possible without Nathan Stewart at Wizards of the Coast and my eternally supportive boss from the HBO/True Blood days, Michael Lombardo and the fantastic team at eOne.

Manganiello and Newman‘s D&D documentary is part of a slew of projects based on the game eOne has up its sleeves. Next will be the film Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves starring Chris PineMichelle RodriguezRegé-Jean PageJustice SmithSophia LillisChloe ColemanDaisy HeadHugh Grant, and Jason Wong which releases on March 4, 2023. Check out the trailer below.


via Collider

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