When it comes to movie adaptations, board games might be the new books. Hasbro is certainly banking on this, after launching into the blockbuster world with Battleship. But board games on the screen date “all” the way back to 1985 with the cult classic Clue (and I guess you could argue Jumanji ). So what die-based game could be tackled for the screen next? Scrabble? Trivial Pursuit? Warner Bros. has the answer with Dungeons & Dragons.
An epic role-playing fantasy board game, Dungeons & Dragons has been around since 1974. In the past few decades it has become shorthand for “nerd,” making cameo appearances in many films and television shows. (Just think of the final episode of Freaks and Geeks when bad boy Daniel Desario joins the geeks for a game.) With its dwarves, dragons, and magic the premise is all but ready-made for a screen treatment, and in fact one was already done in 2000 with Jeremy Irons. But it bombed. Hard.
With comic books and films now part of the mainstream (blame Seth Cohen from The O.C.?), it seems as though we’re living in a post-nerd world. The geeks have inherited the earth, and it’s now chic. But with that said, D&D is associated with a whole other level of dork. (And we say that non-judgmentally—D&D to your die-rolling heart’s content!) So even though Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to the game it remains to be seen if they can make it “cool.” J.J. Abrams managed to do it with Star Trek—so never say never—but the D&D mountain might be a harder one to climb.