Paramount Plus is rolling the dice on Dungeons & Dragons. The perennially popular tabletop role-playing game has received an eight-episode straight-to-series order for a live-action TV series. According to a report from Deadline, Rawson Marshall Thurber will write and direct the first episode of the series. The project has been in development for some time, as Thurber was attached to the project last year; eOne, the entertainment distributor owned by Dungeons & Dragons’ corporate parent Hasbro, shopped the project around before landing at Paramount Plus. It will be their second collaboration on D&D — this year’s Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves film is being distributed by Paramount Pictures.
This is slated to be eOne‘s most ambitious TV series to date; Hasbro sees it as a potential springboard to an expanded universe of scripted and unscripted Dungeons & Dragons series, covering a vast array of settings, characters, and creatures from the game’s nearly fifty-year history. Hasbro has long attempted to bring their extensive IP to the screen, although they’ve only achieved consistent success with their Transformers franchise, having struck out with Battleship and (repeatedly) G.I. Joe; their attempt to unite a number of their properties, including Micronauts, ROM, and M.A.S.K. into a cinematic universe seems to have fizzled out.
This won’t be Dungeons & Dragons‘ first venture onto the small screen; a fondly-remembered Saturday morning cartoon featuring a cast of teenagers thrown into a fantasy world ran on CBS for three seasons, from 1983 to 1985. Nor will it be the franchise’s first foray into live-action; the year 2000 saw the release of a live-action film starring Thora Birch, Jeremy Irons, and Marlon Wayans to great critical scorn and audience disinterest, although it did receive two TV movie sequels. The Chris Pine-starring Honor Among Thieves will hit theaters on March 31; it is currently unclear what connection, if any, it will have to the Thurber-helmed live-action series.
Thurber has an extensive comedy filmography, having directed the comedy hits Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, We’re the Millers, and Central Intelligence; the latter signaled a shift towards action and movies starring Dwayne Johnson, as he subsequently helmed the high-octane Johnson vehicles Skyscraper and Red Notice. He has also signed on to direct a live-action adaptation of the long-running giant robot franchise Voltron. Gabriel Marano, eOne‘s EVP for Scripted Television, will oversee the series.
Stay tuned to Collider for future updates and check out the Honor Among Thieves trailer down below.