During a recent appearance on MTV‘s “Happy Sad Confused” podcast, the “Magic Mike” and “Smurfs: The Lost Village” star revealed that he’s currently hustling his very own D&D script, penned alongside a playwright pal from Carnegie Mellon. The actor revealed that he has high hopes of turning the beloved tabletop RPG into a major franchise.
While Hollywood loves nothing more than turning to familiar — read: nostalgic — material for its heavy-hitting franchises, D&D has yet to make that jump in a money-making manner. Though the game did spawn a 2000 American-Czech film, featuring stars like Jeremy Irons and Marlon Wayans, it was a massive bust, both critically maligned and unable to earn back its $45 million budget even in global sales. (And, still, a pair of sequels were made, including a 2005 made-for-TV feature and a 2011 direct-to-DVD offering.) Manganiello would like to give the game its due.
Manganiello also revealed that he “held a creative summit with Wizards of the Coast, the creative force behind Dungeons & Dragons, to talk about ‘where [the film] could go, what it should look like, and what it should be,'” so he’s not letting this one go anytime soon. As he explained, Manganiello and his partner are “talking to all the right parties” to get the film going.
The actor outlined some of his vision, telling host Josh Horowitz, “Obviously, there’s a spectacle. There’s dragons breathing fire and lightning. But what makes a great superhero or fantasy movie is the human aspect. It’s got to be about something. We root for those characters in ‘Game of Thrones.’ ‘Fellowship of the Ring’ was about friendship, this undying love for your friends. That’s something everyone can identify with.”
He added, “When a movie is about something human and real emotionally people are going to want to see. Then you get some dragons breathing fire, and hey, I’m in.”
You can listen to entire episode of “Happy Sad Confused,” featuring big dreamer Joe Manganiello, right here.