Earlier this year, Paramount and Hasbro's filmed entertainment studio eOne announced that Derek Kolstad (John Wick, John Wick: Chapter 2, John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier) has been tapped to write and develop a pitch for a live-action Dungeons & Dragons series. With the multimedia studio and global toy company looking to expand the D&D brand, Kolstad is just one of a number of writers who are currently working up projects set in and around the massive universe (with John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein directing a feature film starring Chris Pine and Rege-Jean Page). Now, Kolstad has some updates to offer on the project- including what Jabba the Hut and Rambo have to do with all of this.
Speaking with Collider, Kolstad said that he's expecting the first season to run 6-10 episodes and will be "a serialized show, much like the old radio"- with the first two episodes setting the tone for the first season's overarching narrative. "Here's the first episode, and I think the first episode of any series is the second most important because it's the second episode that gets its talons in you," Kolstad explained. "Everyone will watch the pilot, but are you going to stick with it?" And though the series is still without a title, Kolstad does know where in the D&D timeline and canon he wants the series set in. "I want to come near the end where everything is canonical, it's biblical, it's happened. Or, it's about to happen," he explained. "That way you can revisit certain sequences and storylines that everyone loved in the past through flashback, but where we go is new. The unique yet familiar of it all is why we return to the games we love."
And though D&D fans and viewers can expect the series to not lack in some pretty impressive action and adventure, Kolstad is looking for the series to focus more on the characters themselves, as well as on the quiet, intimate moments between the action. And to do that, he's looking to Star Wars and First Blood for inspiration. "In the first 'Star Wars,' you heard about Jabba the Hutt and you don't see him until the third one because you earn at that point, and whatever the budget was for the third one compared to the first one, who cares, right? And I think in 'Dungeons and Dragons,' who has this massive, dedicated community of acolytes, I don't want to suddenly throw everything on screen and say, 'Here's the buffet.'," explained Kolstad. "You'd much rather keep the story intimate. When you think of our favorite movies, I'd rather do the 'First Blood' version. It's a guy in the woods being hunted. And it's very small, but you allude to the other things through conversation. You have your USS Indianapolis [in Jaws], you see something in the background. You hear a name that 3% of the audience is like, 'Ho ho, I think we're going to see him soon.' I think the thing is just to take a deep breath, to go into it slowly, and to just respect the world, and as you adapt, certain things need to change. But you better not touch the heart and soul of why people love this thing."