The documentary, to coincide with the game’s 50th anniversary in 2024, will draw on the game’s wizards and elves and archived Dungeons & Dragons footage dating back to the game’s creation in the early 1970s.
Dungeons & Dragons writer Joe Manganiello will co-direct the project with Kyle Newman, while his brother Nick Manganiello, along with Anthony Savini and Cecily Tyler, Hasbro president of Wizards of the Coast and digital gaming, will produce.
“As we approach 50 years of this incredible gaming universe, the time is right for an officially authorized telling of the game’s origins and current state of play to its passionate fanbase from all walks of life, and its global cultural impact,” Michael Lombardo, eOne’s head of global television, said in a statement. Tara Long, Geno McDermott, Jon Peterson, Adam F. Goldberg and Newman share the executive producer credits.
Hasbro and eOne also havea TV series in the works. Derek Kolstad, the creator and writer behind the John Wick franchise, has been tapped to pen and develop a pitch for a live-action series based on the Dungeons & Dragons universe. The eOne documentary is separate from another Dungeons & Dragons non-fiction feature that is in the works from documentary studio XTR, with the title Role Players.
The Dungeons & Dragons tabletop game is known for its treasure hunts, camaraderie and reversals of fortune, all in a fantasy setting that combines humans, elves, orcs and hundreds of other creatures.
The commemorative documentary project at Hasbro emerges as eOne expands its output of TV projects based on the toy giant’s properties, including legacy tabletop games for popular franchises like Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons, as Hasbro aims to become an overall gaming powerhouse.
“We see a bright future for Dungeons & Dragons. And we only see these opportunities growing over time as we invest in an end-to-end brand blueprint for Dungeons & Dragons, including blockbuster films and streaming TV, AAA video games and a major consumer products push and significant marketing tie-ins,” newly installed Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks told Wall Street analysts last April.
News of the Dungeons & Dragons documentary also comes as the franchise looks to a major theatrical release in March 2023 via Paramount Pictures, and follows a strategic investment by Hasbro to advance digital play with the acquisition of the Dungeons & Dragons toolset D&D Beyond for $146 million.