Chris McKay might be trading one big fantasy universe for another.
Variety is reporting that McKay, the director of the upcoming Nightwing movie, is in negotiations to direct the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons film for Paramount Pictures. Dungeons & Dragons is scheduled to come out in 2021.
McKay is best known for directing The Lego Batman Movie and also was an animation co-director for The Lego Movie. He also directed multiple episodes of the Cartoon Network series Moral Orel and Robot Chicken.
Michael Gillio has written a script for the movie, while Hasbro’s Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis are serving as producers for the film.
Dungeons & Dragons was one of the first tabletop RPGs ever created and launched an entire genre of games. While Dungeons & Dragons has several "official" fantasy worlds like Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms, the game is popular in part because it can be adapted to fit into any world created by a gamerunner known as a Dungeon Master.
Dungeons & Dragons has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, thanks to an easy to play new edition and a glut of popular online content. The game has also spawned numerous spinoffs, including the Baldur's Gate video games, a series of popular fantasy novels, and even a 1980s cartoon.
A new Dungeons & Dragons movie has been planned since 2015, when Hasbro settled a lawsuit with Sweetpea Entertainment over "sequel rights" to movie adaptations of the popular tabletop RPG game. Sweetpea Entertainment produced a live-action D&D movie in 2000, and followed it up with two television movies in 2005 and 2012. Hasbro argued that they had re-obtained the movie rights to Dungeons & Dragons in 2013 by claiming that the TV movies didn't count as sequels. When Hasbro settled with Sweetpea, the movie bounced from Warner Bros. to Paramount before settling in Hasbro's newly created AllSpark Pictures studio.
The new Dungeons & Dragons movie will be one of Hasbro's first projects in their attempts to build a media empire similar to Marvel Studios. AllSpark also has a reboot of G.I. Joe in the works along with a Micronauts movie. They also might be collaborating with Paramount on a reboot of the Transformers franchise.