Even before the hype surrounding Baldur’s Gate 3, people wanted to make DnD films, even with stars

While the fantasy hit “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” successfully managed to bring the well-known tabletop game to the big screen last year, another trilogy failed in the task.

In 2023, two successful adaptations of the well-known board game were released: the role-playing game Baldur’s Gate 3 and the movie blockbuster “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves”.

But as early as 2000, filmmakers tried to capture the adventure feeling of game nights in living rooms at home and package it in a trilogy – and failed.

Here you can see a trailer for Dungeons & Dragons from the year 2000:

Trailer for Dungeons & Dragons from 2000

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Difficulties even before filming began

Dungeons & Dragons creator Courtney Solomon planned the DnD film to be a huge blockbuster, full of visual effects that would bring the fantasy world to life.

However, film studios at the time had little interest in the fantasy genre. In the end, Wizards of the Coast bought the rights to Dungeons & Dragons.

But instead of the $100 million budget that Solomon had targeted, he was given just $3.5 million.

With the help of investors and further negotiations with WotC, the film ended up with a budget of $45 million – but it still flopped.

Despite having a well-known name, it was a huge failure

Despite the failure, not only one was released, but three films based on the well-known game series were released between 2000 and 2012, under the titles:

  • Dungeons & Dragons
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3: The Book of Vile Darkness
  • The actors also included well-known names such as Oscar winner Jeremy Irons (Watchmen) and Thora Birch (American Beauty). But the films still turned out to be absolute flops.

    For example, the first part of Dungeons & Dragons received poor ratings on Rotten Tomatoes from both critics and viewers:

  • 9% on the Tomatometer
  • 20% for Audience Score
  • Why is Dungeons & Dragons so bad? The poor special effects, sets and costumes are particularly criticized. But according to reviews, the acting of some of the actors left a lot to be desired – not even Jeremy Irons could save anything.

    MeinMMO editor Benedikt Schlotmann watched the new “Dungeons & Dragons” film from 2023 in the cinema. You can read his opinion article here: The new “Dungeons & Dragons” film is a must for every gamer and MMORPG fan