I also cant see a Drizzt movie ever being approved. First its about D&D wich has limited audience, then you want the main protagonist to be black and Hollywood tends to believe that this also creates limited audience. (I dont see why, last time i checked the Blade trilogy had pretty good numbers but Hollywood wont see it that way). So now in your pitch you have two things that would limit audience, do you really thing they would back this project?
Will Smith is considered one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood (probably THE most bankable, alongside Cruise). Jamie Foxx is also pretty highly-rated, though not at the same movie-opening level. So that's not a major problem. Also, Drizzt isn't actually the major protagonist in THE CRYSTAL SHARD. It's more of an ensemble with Bruenor, Regis and especially Wulfgar getting a lot of stuff to do. It was the positive reception to Drizzt from the first book that saw him later made the main protagonist of the series.
To be honest, a much bigger problem is the lack of a strong female role in the film. Cattie-brie's still quite young and doesn't do much. It's not until STREAMS OF SILVER that she emerges as a stronger protagonist. Of course, you can easily solve that by aging her up a couple of years and giving her a more prominent role.
Lord Snow wrote:
Regarding ASYLUM OF THE DALEKS and the whole thing:
Clara's job is to save the Doctor from the Great Intelligence. In most cases she does so without him being aware of it (the only times he was aware out it were ASYLUM and the Christmas special). In the case of ASYLUM, maybe the GI was on the spaceship Clara was on and she took him out before (or during) the crash?
Exactly. Now show these blackfaces as utterly evil, especially the women, and you have something that would get ritually slaughtered at a critical mass
You mean utterly evil apart from Drizzt (y'know, the main character and chief protagonist), Zaknafein and Jarlaxle (who isn't good either, but morally ambiguous in a Boba Fett kind of way)?
And the fact, like I said before, that if you're starting with THE CRYSTAL SHARD it's not even remotely a problem at all.
** spoiler omitted **
Actually, on 9/11 the USA had four fighter jets available to cover the entire Eastern Seaboard, and none of them were armed. So I can believe that both the Klingon homeworld and Earth could be caught with their pants down.
** spoiler omitted **
The death scene between Kirk and Spock falls flat because we've known these characters for less than 4 hours on screen. The original had more resonance because people knew them from 79 episodes and another two-hour movie beforehand.
Also, the torpedo argument doesn't really work. Torpedoes are designed to withstand immense heat in combat, so should surve atmospheric entry with ease. Torpedoes also use the same casings as probes, which are designed to fly back and forth, change course, land, carry out surveys etc. They can survive landings with no problem at all.
There is a statute of limitation on spoilers. I recently had to discuss something that happened in the penultimate SANDMAN collection, which was released just under twenty years ago, and people were moaning about spoilers. I think at that point you have to get on with things.
That statute of limitations is not minus three weeks, however. The title was posted weeks before the film came out in its major markets, when the producers had expressly asked people not to post spoilers. They'd also done a reasonable job in the last few months of getting people to think that Cumberbatch was actually Gary Mitchell or possibly Kirk's brother. It's not the case that it was a slam-dunk certainty it was Khan.
The OP wasn't being a jerk, but he was being thoughtless for those who wanted to go see the film without being spoiled. No, it's not the end of the world, but it was thoughtless and showed little consideration for fellow posters. I myself actually sought out the spoilers, and was glad for doing so, as they forewarned me that the ending of the film was so terrible I was able to concentrate on the much better opening half of the picture instead, but others chose differently.
Yeah, I don't think it's a spoiler if you can find it out just by looking at the cast list.
How do you look at the cast list before the movie is out and before you go to see it? It's usually at the end of the film.
If you mean those websites which mention the cast of the film, they list (or did, before it came out) Cumberbatch as playing 'John Harrison'.
So yes, it is a spoiler since you can't find it out by looking at the cast list three weeks before the film comes out.
Conversely, if you look at the cast list for Into Darkness, it says
IMDB is user-edited, so that doesn't count. There's actually a spoiler for the current season of GAME OF THRONES on the current season's cast list which has annoyed a few people, because someone decided it'd be great to just shove it on there (actually without confirmation; there's a miniscule but not non-existent chance the character might turn out to be someone else).
If you think the title of the thread is a spoiler and will ruin the enjoyment of the movie, then flag it for the moderators to deal with
I, for one, flagged it on the day it was posted, so it was brought to the moderators' attention some time ago.
Good luck trying to get any sort of movie where black-skinned matriarchs run an utterly corrupt society anywhere. Seriously.
That doesn't make any sense. The main character of the movie - of potentially a whole franchise - is also a 'black-skinned character', as is his father, also shown to be a 'good' character, and as is the mercenary Jarlaxle, a character whom is shown to be morally ambiguous and thus badass-cool.
And of course that totally ignores the fact that none of the drow are 'black-skinned' in the same way that any racial minority on Earth is in the first place.
So now we have another movie, which is going to be produced by the same guy who did the D&D movie some 10 or 12 years ago? the one with Jeremy Irons as Prometheon...and that henchmen Damodar of the famous "give me the rod" line? wow....Well I guess I won't be surprised if the movie is a steaming pile of....field apples. On the bright side, my expectations are so low, well I would be pleased with almost anything.
The same guy, Courtney Solomon, actually made all three films. He only directed the first one, and produced the latter two. Apparently he never saw himself as a director and only directed the first one because time was running out and they faced losing the rights if they didn't move fast on it.
What about Dark Elf trilogy?
It works better as a prequel, as in the books. HOMELAND by itself is dark, intense and claustraphobic (by most D&D book standards), most of the time is spent with the bad guys and Drizzt doesn't become a bigger figure until the end. Plus almost the entire cast is made of dark elves, which might be a hard sell for a new D&D-viewing audience.
Either do a nine-film series with the DE trilogy in the middle (a bit like how STAR WARS is structured, but not with 20-year gaps between trilogies) or, more realistically, a six-film series running from SHARD to SIEGE OF DARKNESS and then, if successful, use HOMELAND as the start of a potential spin-off TV series. That has the bonus of also being able to recast Drizzt (as he's younger in that DE trilogy) if whomever you're using in the films is too big a star to do TV.
If they got the guy who wrote the game though, imagine the awesomeness. Plus nobody would get it except for the people who played the game...
I'm not sure if Chris Avellone would do it. TORMENT is fairly short compared to the BG games, but it's still 10+ hours long. Streamlining that down to a 2-hour single coherent movie (or even a 6-hour trilogy) which would be both commercial and critically appealing would be quite hard.
On the movies side, Hasbro is very good at supporting movies made by others; I have serious doubts as to their ability to make one on their own. They could, in theory, partner up with one of the major movie studios to get it done,
Absolutely. Hasbro didn't go out and hire Spielberg and Bay to make TRANSFORMERS; producer Tom DeSanto just thought that doing a TRANSFORMERS movie would be cool and the rights got sorted out. In D&D's case, Hasbro is partnering with Universal to make their planned movie (as long as they get the rights situation sorted out).
That part is what I question; despite limited success early on with computer games, they have yet to parlay any success in the one niche into sustained success outside of that niche.
Well, they've sold millions of computer games. Not recently, true, but they've had significant success in that area in the past. And they've sold the better part of 100 million novels. That's HUGELY successful.
You may have a point that sustaining the D&D brand outside of the game may be problematic more because the novels do not emphasise the D&D brand name (FORGOTTEN REALMS or whatever is more prominent). However, they can easily solve that by simply making the FORGOTTEN REALMS the defeault D&D campaign world and maybe creating some kind of combined logo for it. It's baffled me why they haven't done that already.
Because exploiting the brand through other means has worked so well for them lately.
The novels continue to sell very well, though not quite as well when they had more decent - or at least popular - writers working for them on a regular basis. They still have Salvatore and Kemp has built up quite a big fanbase independently of what's going on with the game.
On the game front, agreed, they haven't made a decent D&D game since MASK OF THE BETRAYER. However, NEVERWINTER has picked up a lot of good press recently, which is very encouraging.
If you're banking on those other means to sustain the brand, you and Hasbro on going to be in for a shock.
4E has effectively ended, and wasn't selling great before it was parked, so the novels are effectively sustaining the brand right now. They also sustained it in the handover period between 2E and 3E (there was the better part of two years between the last big 2E books coming out and 3E launching). So it's not a problem.
Putting the novels in charge of the brand and having them sustain the brand alone for many, many years is another question, but I see no reason why not. The overwhelming majority of the novel readers have no interest in the P&P RPG, so it won't be an issue for them.
the movies are a joke
True, but Hasbro have not had any control over them. That's why they're suing Courtney Solomon and trying to regain control over the rights, to develop better movies to help promote the brand.
the novels by themselves still won't generate enough profit to get the attention of the higher suits; WotC might notice them, but Hasbro won't. They won't likely abandon them, but they won't likely support them in any meaningful way either.
As a percentage, they are very profitable. The amount they bring in to the company is in the tens of millions of dollars, which is certainly enough to keep Hasbro happy. They're not going to be dancing in the streets over it, and it's peanuts compared to what a successful movie will bring in, but it's a strong return on a minor investment. There's no reason at all for Hasbro or Wizards to abandon them regardless of what's going on with the RPG.
Whilst I pretty much agree with you, I don't think it's right to say its clear what they'll do in any situation. One of WotC's weaknesses, in my opinion is their lack of transparency at a strategic level.
I think it's fairer to say that WotC's strategic direction is hampered by directives from Hasbro, and it appears to me that Hasbro has taken a much more direct hand in directing WotC in the last few years, whilst previously they'd left them to operate more autonomously.
Hasbro is basically all about the dollar, especially since the TRANSFORMERS movie came out in 2007. Since then Hasbro has been looking at exploiting the enormous number of franchises it owns and developing them into movie/toy franchises and other forms they can make money from. They also mainly interested in making 'lots' of money. There was that report from a while back (I even think I heard about it here) where Hasbro were only interested in developing properties that can make them $20 million a year in profit bare minimum, and stuff that falls below that is suspended (this was the reason for 4E being wound up, allegedly) as a 'legacy product' until it can be revived with a big budget, massively-marketed movie.
The problem with D&D (or rather the P&P game by itself; the novels and computer games are still doing okay) is that it definitely falls into that latter category right now, and the combination of 5E and the Hasbro/Universal movie are their shots at making the franchise work again. If 5E fails to be massive from the off and if the Hasbro/Universal movie bombs or is delayed for years by legal action, I can't see Hasbro approving any further development of the P&P roleplaying game. I can see them putting it on ice for years, keep the novels and computer games ticking over to keep brand awareness around (although at a low level) and then try something a few years down the line.
I tried to resist but Drizzt and interesting in the same sentence just don't work together. He's not a horrible character in the original stories about him, but he needs to be put to rest. He has no depth as a character and is entirely reliant on the supporting cast to make the stories even halfway interesting. He would be fine as a support character, but as a main character, he fails completely as far as I am concerned. Obviously the market disagrees, but to make a movie out of his story wouldn't help them from avoiding that loose pile of fantasy cliches.
Obviously we've been talking from a market perspective: what do you do to make the film a success? That's the #1 perspective any studio or Hasbro will be interested in. From a creative standpoint, the Drizzt novels became truly terrible from about the tenth book onwards, and they weren't exactly high literature before that. They are ridiculously popular, however.
As for Drizzt not being an interesting character, I agree with respect to the character now, or in fact at any time since about 1996. There's definite franchise fatigue there in the novel line and he hasn't developed interestingly since that time. However, a movie adaptation would by necessity start with THE CRYSTAL SHARD and I think you could get up to SIEGE OF DARKNESS without a major problem. Drizzt is exiled, finds a new life, his old life catches up with him, he has to go home and effectively destroy it etc. There's the relationship with his friends and his father and so on. None of it is tremendously original, Salvatore didn't always write it very well, but certainly there's some thematic/character depth you can add to the fight scenes and magical effects set-pieces. It'd certainly be far superior to the existing films.
In an ideal universe, they'd make PLANESCAPE TORMENT: THE MOVIE, but since that's never going to happen we have to look at something more realistic :)
The difficulty is that even if the readers of the novels don't see them directly, the ruleset is still important to their success as it drives their internal consistency. The authors could simply continue using an old system as a basis, but it would be much harder to sustain the same feel without the backing of an active living system. Not impossible, but much harder to keep all of the different authors on the same page.
Multiple shared world setting novel lines exist. WARHAMMER and 40K's immensely massive-selling book lines have nothing to do with the games at all beyond the flavour and lore. The rules have no impact. THIEVES' WORLD and WILD CARDS have sold millions of books with no game or rules to base themselves on at all.
If anything, following the game rules too much has damaged the novels. The AVATAR TRILOGY wasn't particularly loved (though some of the sequels were okay) because it was shoehorned into the novel storylines to explain the differences between 1E and 2E (which were so negligible they might as well have not bothered). And then of course you have the Spellplague, which most FR authors do not seem to have particularly liked since it nuked most of their in-progress storylines and forced them to kill off most of their casts.
I just don't see either caring about the novels as a stand-alone product
Hasbro likes money. They like money a lot. If they can make a lot of money on minimum expenditure, they like that enormously.
With a novel, it doesn't cost much to create, publish, market and sell. A lot of the authors do their own marketing online, and ebook sales mean they don't have to worry about keeping the books in print and on shop shelves. And they know a new R.A. Salvatore novel will sell about 1 million copies in its first year on sale, and they'll get one every year. That's an immense amount of profit for Wizards and Hasbro.
If 5E bombs, I think it's clear that Hasbro will simply dump the whole P&P RPG market and switch to exploiting the D&D-associated brands through other means: video games, films and of course the novels. The novels don't require the P&P RPG to exist to be successful.
It's not so much the pre-existing fanbases. D&D has a fanbase. Probably on the same scale as either Drizzt or Dragonlance and with much overlap.
I think it's way too easy to overestimate the popularity and appeal of D&D. Tabletop rolepaying is a very niche hobby, and D&D hasn't been king of that particular niche for a long time. Those much-reported 20 million sales include all of the D&D rulebooks across four editions of the game, including a lot of repeat sales (though there are also a fair few people who've played D&D without ever owning a rulebook).
The number of people who've played D&D are utterly dwarfed by the number of people who've read a D&D spin-off novel. Salvatore by himself has sold more novels than copies of the core D&D rulebooks have ever been sold. So have Weis and Hickman. There's also several million gamers who have encountered Drizzt (even if briefly) in the computer games in which he appears. The character has an impact and profile way beyond that of D&D itself.
Yup. A Drizzt movie would do well. A DRAGONLANCE movie would do well. They both have substantial, specific, pre-existing fanbases. A generic 'D&D' movie does not have that appeal. The name itself has no value because there is no narrative power linked to that name.
You can certainly make a very good movie with 'D&D' on it, with a good cast, director and writers, but it'd stand and fall purely on its own merits. It doesn't really gain anything from the D&D brand.
The novels will likely wither in the intense competition of the fantasy novel market without the active backing of a current system,
This is wholly inaccurate.
The D&D gaming rulebooks (I'm assuming this is just the core books, but I've heard people say it's all of the RPG sourcebooks altogether, which is far more damning) have collectively sold 20 million copies since 1974.
R.A. Salvatore's FORGOTTEN REALMS novels have sold well over 30 million copies since 1988. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's DRAGONLANCE novels have sold well over 25 million copies since 1984. Many of the other D&D novelists have also sold in the millions. Collective D&D novel sales have been a minimum of three and likey four times greater than sales of the gaming materials. The overwhelming majority of people who've read a D&D novel have never played the roleplaying game at all and its existence has no bearing on them reading the books.
The novels will continue doing just fine without a game to back them up, just as long as they continue to appeal to their audience.
This was very much the MASS EFFECT 3 of movies, mainly in that how quite a lot of the film was good, or even great, with some excellent set-pieces, good character development and some great ideas, but all of that falls by the wayside because the last 15 minutes or so are so ludicrously awful.
Setting aside the silliness of the ending, INTO DARKNESS's biggest problem is that it doesn't earn that ending. The original STAR TREK movies had a two-movie arc featuring a moment of tremendous sacrifice, then a hard slog to reverse it through an implausible (but well-established) plot device. This was successful, but at a very high cost: the death of Kirk's son, the loss of his ship and the end of his career (which he eventually got back, though only after another full movie of effort).
INTO DARKNESS, on the other hand, goes bonkers like a hyperactive puppy on speed, careening through the sacrifice and reversal process in a matter of minutes, but not really having any kind of pay-off or cost for it. There's no real consequence, not even as a result of the (presumably) massive-casualties-inducing final set-piece, as no-one really mentions it and the final scene has everyone laughing and cheering as they high-five into more adventures. There's no real weight to the resolution, just a desire to provide flashy visuals for the popcorn-munchers.
If the entire film was drek from start to finish, this would be easier to stomach. Instead, the rest of the movie had some good characterisation (even of minor crew; Chekov and Sulu didn't have a lot to do, but their few scenes in the sun were memorable and interesting), some effective moments of tension and some great action beats. It's just that the ending feels cheap and lazy, riffing far too much off a far superior older film and betraying its own status as a reboot film set in a new continuity. Very odd, and very disappointing.
So, would Soloman be able to use the license to attach the OGL to the movie and thus to monsters that are currently WotC IP?
No, I think the OGL specifically states it is for gaming purposes only (hence the 'Gaming' bit of 'Open Gaming Licence'), not film or TV or other things. The D&D-specific monsters (or the D&D-specific interpretations of generic creatures) would remain copyrighted.
However, as I understand it, Soloman's film rights include the D&D core rulebooks, including the 2E or 3E Monstrous Manual, so he has the rights to use things like beholders and drow anyway (and thus that's how beholders showed up in the original movie).
I couldn't spot a Sixth Doctor reference this week. It's possible they had one and it was edited out, or something has completely slipped me by.
They did show all of the previous Doctor's faces, but nothing stood out about the Sixth. The only dialogue references were to the Tenth. I suppose thematically the Emperor crushing on Clara was vaguely like Ycranos falling for Peri, but that's seriously reaching.
WoW also came on the scene exactly when everyone and their brother bought a PC. Those who went before, such as EQ, did not have the advantage of a huge number of absolutely new players. By the time WoW came out EQ's graphics and interface conventions were very tired.
Possibly. WoW was (and remains) very forgiving in its system requirements, meaning that even people with cheap and nasty PCs could and can play it, which is a big bonus. Newer MMORPGs are still pretty forgiving - THE OLD REPUBLIC is a fairly ugly game compared to what PCs are capable of - but they still tend to demand a more up-to-date rig.
Actually, it occurs to me that the only way to make a movie about D&D is to make a film about the D&D experience, i.e. actually playing the game. Since that would be boring, you could make the big-budget version of THE GAMERS and its two sequels, with a meta-storyline about the real-life players and how that is reflected in the in-game stuff (filmed with special effects in-situ, with the real-life players also playing their characters in the game). Done well, that could work.
Otherwise, I agree, there's pretty much not point using the 'D&D' name or licence. Frankly, in terms of narrative-based material, having the 'FORGOTTEN REALMS' or 'DRAGONLANCE' logo on the film poster will be worth a hell of a lot more.
I think most of those millions of WoW-subscribing gamers want a natural, modern progression of the sort of game they've been playing for the better part of a decade.
Do they? Most - though not all - post-WoW MMORPGs have basically used the same template as WoW but have not succeeded, or if they have it's been at a tiny fraction of the popularity. The question is are they too similar to WoW, so people don't want to play a clone, or are they simply not WoW and people just want more of the same? That's certainly a question Blizzard must be asking themselves as they look at how to take WoW forwards, whether it's through a total revamp of the game or simple iterative updates and changes.
The fact that none of them have come anywhere near WoW's subscriber base says a lot
Blizzard were quite canny in how they set up WoW. Their three WARCRAFT RTS games sold millions upon millions of copies, providing them with a way (particularly in WC3) of setting up the storyline and world beforehand. In terms of structure and set-up, WoW basically 'borrowed' a lot of ideas that EVERQUEST had been road-testing for six years beforehand and refined the hell out of them. Finally, they marketed the hell out of the game pretty much like no other MMORPG before or since (THE OLD REPUBLIC perhaps excepted).
Almost all the other MMORPGs that have come along since haven't had that same combination of factors supporting them. The only one that did was THE OLD REPUBLIC, which had the two single-player KotOR games setting things up in them and also a massive marketing budget, whilst also borrowing and refining ideas from older games. However, that didn't work for reasons BioWare are still puzzling over (probably a combination of STAR WARS fatigue, the fact that the KotOR games had been popular but not WARCRAFT RTS-levels of popular and some inherent design issues).
This is why it's going to be interesting to see how THE ELDER SCROLLS ONLINE does. It's also had some single-player games establishing the world and lore (and SKYRIM and OBLIVION's sales and profile have been colossal) and I'm sure Bethesda are going to market the hell out of it. I think TESO is going to be the last hurrah for the WoW type of MMORPG, and possibly the last game of its type before Blizzard themselves decide to move on.
In the UK police drama series TAGGART, one of the lead characters completely randomly turns out to be a big D&D fan. He's shown playing a game when he's called away to a case. The game wasn't the focus of the episode at all, it was just a brief bit of characterisation and wasn't treated negatively. It was a positive portrayal, treated about the same as if the guy was playing poker and not played for laughs.
They've hit major technical snags with the transfer to Android. Apparently far too many Android phones are insufficiently technically powerful enough to run the game, which is raising question marks about how they can market the game and make sure people don't get it who can't then run it (which would cause lots of headaches with refunds and so on). Apparently, after four months, they still haven't cracked it though they're still working on it.
Only that EVE has way, waaay smaller suscriber numbers and is completely niche, so there is basically no base for comparison on their models.
On the contrary, the two MMORPGs have been around for roughly the same time period (EVE for just 18 months longer) and it's certainly worthwhile to look at why one of them is going up and up and the other is going down. The underlying issue of long-term popularity is the same for both of them, and CCP appear to have cracked it whilst Blizzard are suffering (relatively). You can't just say, "WoW is 8.5 years old and has just had its day," when other MMORPGs have lasted longer and maintained interest.
Clearly EVE is more niche in its appeal, but it's doing something right to maintain and expand its horizons. WoW is clearly failing to do the same thing, whether it's releasing major expansions too slowly (whilst there are more regular content updates, substantial expansions only come out every three years or so, which is ludicrous), not giving the players enough agency or say in the game, or failing to keep up with the times. If Blizzard can crack that problem, there's no reason WoW can't become even more popular and last for years longer (and even if this is the start of a very gradual decline, WoW will probably go on for another decade at least in any case).
Ehhh... Sherlock only gets 3 episodes a season...
Correct, but that's because its two lead actors are two of the most famous and in-demand actors on the planet right now, so they can only film episodes when both Freeman and Cumberbatch are available. That limits what they can do.
Again, why does it take so long? Other sci-fi shows don't take that long.
DOCTOR WHO is different in that every episode takes place in its own locale, with its own location shooting, sets and guest cast. The only continuing set - the TARDIS - is normally not the focus of the show (one episode this season excepted, of course). Other shows use the same standing sets, the same locations, the same costumes etc which is a lot more cost and time-effective.
I think it's interesting that WoW is shedding players - maybe not catastrophically so, but it's still happening - after eight and a half years on sale when EVE ONLINE is still attracting new ones and going from strength to strength after exactly ten years on sale.
There are some major differences between the two games: WoW is fantasy, relatively easy to pick up and very 'easy' to learn. It had 12 million players at its height, and including inactive accounts has probably sold closer to 20 million copies. EVE is SF, has a learning wall instead of a curve and is complex. It appeals more to the hardcore player. It's only recently passed half a million players. However, I would argue that the biggest difference is how much control the game puts in the player's hand.
In WoW, as someone put it upthread, Blizzard decide what is going on, what changes are being made and shove it in front of the players. They certainly pay attention to trends and feedback, but the relationship is in clear: when you play WoW, you are playing Blizzard's game and if they do something you don't like, tough. You also have to pay quite extortionate amounts of money for expansions every three years or so.
In EVE, the players are much more included in the process. The game's 'storylines' are mostly driven by the player-managed corporations and what the players themselves decide to do. CCP do everything, especially balance and gear changes, only after closely consulting the players and fanbase (even flying player representatives to their HQ in Iceland to talk things over). If they balls things up, they repair the damage ASAP. All players also get all expansions - usually two a year - completely free of additional charges.
EVE also evolves pretty continuously: they've totally revamped the graphics engine several times now, essentially transforming the game dynamically into its own sequel, so it still looks awesome. WoW is starting to look seriously tired, so Blizzard really need to do something similar (I know they've done some modest visual updates, but it's still a very old-looking game). I also think that CCP's approach of giving power to the players is an important evolution of the MMORPG genre, and something that WoW should look at. Rather than forcing your cheesy stories down players' throats (and, let's be honest here, Blizzard haven't produced a decent new storyline in many, many years), why not let them take charge of the process? Have your Horde players determine when and where a new war will be fought, or have your Alliance players propose building a new city or something.
Ultimately, players invest their time and their money in a game for a reason. EVE seems to reward that investment handsomely through strongp player involvement in the evolution of the game. WoW, on the other hand, seems to be a much more passive experience: you play WoW for a while, hit max level, do a few quests, get bored, log out and maybe come back for a bit when a new expanson comes out. WoW has become routine and a little tired, and Blizzard should look at shaking things up a bit more and the whole approach they have to the game.
I thought the movie rights were sold by TSR prior to being bought out by WotC?
The timing was all pretty close together. We had TSR tanking and being bought by Wizards in 1997, and then Wizards were bought by Hasbro in 1998. The film was made in 1999 and released in 2000, so the rights negotiations were probably earlier, almost certainly before Hasbro got involved, as their lawyers would not have let that deal stand.
Does Solomon actually have the rights from now until he rises as a Lich or was there a fixed time limit where the rights revert back to WotC/Hasbro? Was there a buy back option?
There's a time limit, I belive. That's why the zero-budget D&D2 and 3 were made, to keep the film rights. I think they have to produce a movie once every 7-8 years or lose the rights back to WotC/Hasbro.
There's no buy-back option either. WotC's lawyers were really clueless when they signed the deal.
Hasbro has asserted that it owns the D&D IP and will not allow the Warner Brothers movie to go ahead. They are also developing their own project at Universal.
I think they're out of luck on this one. They sold the movie rights to Courtney Solomon in a pretty watertight agreement, and they don't have any room to maneuver. Apparently there was even a previous legal challenge and Solomon's rights to the film rights were upheld. So Hasbro are really out of the loop on this one. They can make a FORGOTTEN REALMS or a Drizzt movie, sure, but they have to avoid treading on the rights that Solomon has, which is going to be difficult.
Robin Hobb writes amazing first novels. ASSASSIN'S APPRENTICE and SHIP OF MAGIC are both very fine books. By about halfway through Book 2 of each series I was starting to lose interest, and only completed both trilogies through sheer willpower. She has good prose and characters, but she can't seem to help but to put in tons and tons of totally irrelevant filler. Book 3 of the FARSEER TRILOGY is more than twice the size of Book 1, which is unnecessary and silly. Both series would have made excellent single (very large) novels or duologies, but they were too overlong to be really good.
Apparently she keeps doing this (her current series was supposed to be one novel but has somehow ended up as four), so I haven't felt compelled to read her later works.
My theory is the length of the seasons. Or as I call it the 'Lazy lazy Brits' syndrome. I get my dvd sets of Supernatural, Smallville, Arrow, Buffy, Highlander, pretty much any american show and I get myself a solid 22 episodes. I get Doctor WHo.... and I get about 13.
It's more an issue of money than 'lazines'. DOCTOR WHO costs less-per-episode than almost any US SFF series, and stretching that money over more episodes would be impossible.
In addition, WHO takes between 9 and 10 months to film 13 episodes, so doing much more than that and allowing people to have a few weeks off between seasons is impossible. If you look at American TV, the 22-episode model is gradually being phased out anyway. It's exhausting making that many episodes and almost impossible to maintain quality. The cable model of making 10-16 episodes per season (GAME OF THRONES, THE WALKING DEAD etc) is definitely becoming a lot more attractive, as fewer episodes means they can put more resources, money and filming time into each episode and improve the quality of each.
Looks like they are going with a bit of Deadspace and Hellraiser mixed in with some the creepier elements of FO3 from the Dunwich Building. Based on that video preview, maybe toss in some "what is reality" pyschosis for the main protagonist.
That's nothing to do with FALLOUT. It's since been confirmed that that was a teaser for THE EVIL WITHIN, a new survival horror game from the creators of the original RESIDENT EVIL. Bethesda are publishing it, but not making it themselves.
Plus, given recent console developments, it might make sense to hold off on FO4 and launch it on the next-gen machines.
It seems impossible for the game to come out before the launch of the new consoles, so yes, it'll be on the new consoles anyway. However, the Creation Engine is incredibly scalable: running switched to the max on PC (with a few mods), SKYRIM looks almost photo-realistic whilst the PS3 and 360 versions don't even come close. So all they need to do is switch the settings up high to get a game that'll look good on the new consoles and can be turned down to work on the existing ones (rumours state that Rockstar are doing something similar with GTA5, and we'll see impressive next-gen versions a few months after the initial launch).
I've covered this here, but there is a major problem they have which bears repeating.
The D&D move rights, as far as I've ever been able to tell, only cover the D&D core rulebooks from 3rd Edition (and possibly the first two). That means they have the rights to:
So they can make a D&D movie in which wizards blast people with magic missiles and Melf's acid arrows, but they certainly CANNOT, under any circumstances, make a movie about Drizzt Do'Urden or Raistlin or set in Faerun or on Krynn. The rights to those worlds, characters and novels remains firmly locked at Hasbro and Wizards, and they are not parting with them without a dump truck of money.
Unfortunately, the reverse also applies. Hasbro cannot make a FORGOTTEN REALMS movie featuring drow (as I believe drow are not generic but do exist in the core rulebooks, so the rights will be held by Warner Brothers), Melf's acid arrows or magic missiles. They did make a DRAGONLANCE movie by not focusing on D&D-specific, movie copyrighted spells or creatures, but then DRAGONLANCE is a bit further removed from the D&D 'core' rules and setting (and something like PLANESCAPE, RAVENLOFT or DARK SUN even moreso; unfortunately, they're not the settings which will make the money).
If Warner Brothers want to do the Drizzt movie, they need to reach a deal with Wizards. That'll put up the cost of the film a lot, so they probably won't. The problem, and something that WB seems baffled by, is that a 'D&D movie' is simply a generic fantasy movie featuring elves and wizards. There's no characters, locations or plots that there is a pre-existing audience for. On the other hand, Weis & Hickman and Salvatore have massive international fanbases that are bigger than D&D itself (D&D's core rulebooks have sold 20 million copies; R.A. Salvatore has sold north of 30 million novels worldwide). Make a Drizzt or DRAGONLANCE movie, and you'd be much likelier to have a hit than just making a generic fantasy movie with D&D on the poster.
Of course, maybe they'll get an amazing script and make a massive monster success without having to do that, but I consider this a fairly unlikely prospect.
Will this be the 4th D&d movie or the 3rd?
The 5th overall, but only the 2nd to get a theatrical release.
1: DUNGEONS & DRAGONS (2000): the Jeremy Irons sucktastic one.
For those of you who know the books, what is the story with the slave woman who acted as interpreter which Daenerys freed and now seems to have befriended? Is she in the books? I did a little Wiki research but didn't find anything. She and Daenerys seem to have a lot of on-screen chemistry and I'm curious if she and Daenerys become close friends ...
As said above, Missandei in the books is a very young child and Dany kind of takes her under her wing. For the TV show they seem to have cast older to replace the character of Irri, who was killed off in late Season 2 (she's Dany's Dothraki handmaid, killed when the dragons were stolen in Qarth) but in the books is still alive and well.
In the books Dany and Irri do have an intimate moment, which Dany is confused and disturbed by, as she feels she is taking advantage of someone who is effectively a slave. Whether Missandei will take over that role on TV is uncertain, but I think it's unlikely. Dany's story gets quite busy and that's an element that can drop for time.
You've never seen The Simpsons?
THE SIMPSONS doesn't really have a coherent canon at all. They've even lampshaded it a few times. Also, THE SIMPSONS began way back when the rule pretty much was that you never reference events that happened a week before.
Plus, y'know, the animated comedy thing :)
It's still the same thing - it doesn't matter if it's an alternate universe, it's a significant change to an established character.
It's not the same thing at all. When you are creating a whole new canon in a whole new universe you can change whatever the heck you want. People can moan about Starbuck now being a woman (or Boomer is no longer a black man), but it doesn't matter, because it's a different canon.
On the other hand, in this instance, it's the exact same character as whom appeared earlier, with merely the circumstances changed by the time shift. The shift in the timeline happened long after the launch of the Botany Bay and the Eugenics Wars, so it should still be the same guy. And this was the original plan, which is why they tried to cast Javier Bardem in the role.
As I said before (three times now, I believe), due to the other factors involved there is a potential explanation for this issue, and I don't know if the producers have gone for it.
I don't recall any dialogue in the original episode or the movie that addressed Khan's ethnicity.
In 'Space Seed' they say that Khan is from the Sikh regions of North India. That's where he was genetically engineered and why he has a North Indian name.
Anakin appears as a Force ghost at the end of JEDI, so yeah, 'Vader' can certainly reappear in 7, 8 or 9. That's not a problem. Him physically coming back in the black suit and everything (maybe as a clone?) would be horrendous, but certainly they've built in the idea he can show up as a Force ghost. Hopefully that's all the rumour is referring to.
A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ by Walter M. Miller Jnr. should be the first stop. It's a post-nuclear apocalyptic novel following a group of monks trying to preserve knowledge through the centuries it takes mankind to rise up again.
THE POSTMAN by David Brin is another excellent novel, in which again civilisation has been wrecked by a nuclear apocalypse. One guy finds a wrecked mail van and decides to deliver the mail found inside, and inadvertently ends up creating a new communications network between the scattered towns and rebuilding cities. Avoid the horrendous film version (starring Kevin Costner) like the plague, however.
THE ROAD by Cormac MacCarthy is a less hopeful, more realistic take on the same ideas, though in this case the goal is the simple survival of a man and his son after the death of the man's wife and the (non-specific) destruction of humanity. The film version is also excellent. However, the non-specific nature of the catastrophe might not fit what you are looking for.
BLOOD MUSIC by Greg Bear may be a closer match. A scientist creates a form of intelligent supervirus in which cells can work together to survive. The cells decide that their survival superscedes the important of humanity's survival, and the entire biosphere of the planet is transformed to provide them with a better environment (whilst also dooming us to extinction). CHILDHOOD'S END by Arthur C. Clarke is a slightly more straightforward, simpler exploration of the same idea, when a bunch of aliens show up to guide us through the next stage of evolution into a posthuman superintelligence.
Given that Wild Cards is based on an actual super-hero roleplaying game that GRRM was playing with many of the other authors of Wild Cards, among whom I'm pretty sure Snodgrass and Vaughn and maybe some others were a part of, I think that the inclusion of many female writers is less a conscious descision and more the result of how Wild Cards came to be.
Snodgrass was, and I think Gail Miller as well (and Parris). The rest came in later on. Vaughn is a recent addition to the team (though she had a new story added to the new edition of the first WILD CARDS book), one of the new generation of WILD CARDS writers alongside the likes of Paul Cornell and David Anthony Durham.
In most seasons, The Twilight Zone had less than half an hour for establishing setting, introducing characters, and delivering a complete story, and they didn't have the benefit of *any* returning cast (apart from the host).
True. I wasn't in favour of the argument personally, but it's one I've heard from other fans.
If a show is too episodic it becomes difficult to immerse myself in the show.
To be clear, 'episodic' in this context should not be equated to 'reset button', which was the biggest problem on VOYAGER (and to a lesser extent TNG). Not the lack of a big over-arcing storyline, but the fact that what happened last week was immediately forgotten about. No show can get away with doing that any more, but that doesn't preclude not being able to do mostly self-contained episodes as long it has continuing character development.
And of course if they have a really great idea for an arc, they should go for it. As I said, at the moment it just feels like they 'need' to have an arc even if they haven't gotten a really good idea for it. My argument is if they don't have an idea for an arc, then don't have one for a few seasons and then come back strong with one when they have a great idea for it.
Aha! "Brave heart, Clara!" and "I used to travel with a gobby Australian, spent ages trying to get her to Heathrow Airport!"
ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: FIFTH DOCTOR REFERENCE
So, a Sixth Doctor reference to spot next week then :-)
Every TARDIS has a transdimensional link to the Eye of Harmony. The BBC website states in its entry for the TV movie that the Eye of Harmony is not 'inside' the TARDIS, but there is a link to it which is sometimes just called 'the Eye of Harmony' as a shorthand. That continues to be the case, clearly, though it seems to contradict the fact that the TARDIS used to have to refuel at the time rift in Cardiff, presumably as its link to the Eye (on Gallifrey) had been severed.
Lalla Ward also stated recently they want her back. Wondering if thats a 1 time spot for a special or a regeneration scene?
AFAIK, this was for David Tennant's final specials. RTD thought about making Romana a member of the High Council of Time Lords, then remembered he'd made her President (in one of his short stories) and would have to explain why she was no longer President and Timothy Dalton-Rassilon was around and blah blah blah. So the idea was dropped. However, I can see them bringing her back in flashback, especially around the anniversary.
EDIT: Oh, apparently the reference wasn't to that. Interesting. I think it's more likely a Big Finish thing than a TV thing.
Any chance that Clara is Romana or Susan?
No chance, unless they want to go to the fob watch well again (you don't want to use the same plot device three times as it risks becoming stale). However, I like the idea that
SPOILERISED because, even though it's a theory, it's one that's picked up a lot traction and is VERY Moffat-esque. I could see him doing this somehow:
Clara is the Doctor's daughter, Jenny, somehow, even though she has a mum and dad. Someone even had a great theory on this based on the fact that Jenny's spaceship seat was the same as Clara's in her first episode, though that was more likely the production team reusing props.
What I'd like even more is if Clara is the Doctor's daughter AND Susan's mother. That would be quite impressive, wrapping up a story arc 50 years in the making :-)
And that would make the Doctor's name, "Dad."
Not sure why they couldnt have a Time War movie and have the DR recast. It was done before with the tv special and the Peter cushing movie
They could just bring back Paul McGann. He's a tremendous actor, it'd give us the missing regeneration scene (you don't even need Ecclestone, just have the regeneration starting as the credits roll) and they wouldn't have to worry about conflicting with the ongoing TV show.
The only problem is that Moffat has said that it'd be disrespectful not to have the current Doctor in the role, and he'd veto any project that didn't have Matt Smith playing the Doctor (in fact, he already has; one movie project proposed to the BBC last year was killed off at Moffat's express order because it was a reboot).
I am curious though, are we near The Fields of Trenzalore and the fall of the eleventh?
The final episode of the season - the episode in 2 weeks, not the 50th anniversary or Christmas special - takes place on Trenzalore. So we're right on top of it.
One would hope that at some point they can either bring some of the people they wanted to bring in either into an episode of Doctor Who or into another spinoff.
If they don't do a spin-off featuring Madame Vastra, Jenny and Strax I'll eat my hat. Though I'm not sure if the joke would wear thin over a long period of time.
Also Peri because no one's quite sure what really happened to her
I think, canonically, the 'alternate' ending to TRIAL OF A TIME LORD, showing her living happily with Brian Blessed, is her official fate. She's definitely not dead, unless the Inquistor had a reason to lie about it.
The studios wouldnt care about hardcore fan reactions "does it count". My opinion would be they would want a big name actor to play the DR and/or the villian and i doubt they would recast a previous Dr.
Luckily, Moffat does care, and apparently the TV showrunner has the final say over any movie tie-in (and I suspect Gatiss, if he is the next showrunner, will have the same policy as he is even more rabid an old-school fan than Moffat and Davies). So if a studio wants to do a movie, they have to play by the BBC's rules.
The BBC could also certainly part-fund a film themselves. Remember, these people have experience of making amazing-looking episodes for no money (DOCTOR WHO's budget is quite pitiful in comparison even to something like the new BSG or FRINGE, let alone GAME OF THRONES). If the BBC handled a film themselves, even featuring the Time War, they could do it for a hell of a lot less than a massive Hollywood studio.
For the ELDER SCROLLS series, you really have to go with SKYRIM. The earlier games are pretty much unplayable for various different reasons and without the nostalgia factor helping, you probably won't get much out of them (maybe OBLIVION would be okay, but it has a really surreal levelling mechanic which doesn't make any sense, but with mods is great fun). I'd actually second the rec for FALLOUT: NEW VEGAS, which has a similar open world style but with a vastly superior main plot and characters.
For RPGs, the ICEWIND DALE series is a good recommendation if you've enjoyed the BG series, though it is very combat-heavy (not much roleplaying and only a little bit of puzzle-solving, but gorgeous environments and music). PLANESCAPE: TORMENT is a must-play, though you need mods to get it working to maximum satisfaction these days.
If you like THE WALKING DEAD, then the default adventure recommendation is THE SECRET OF MONKEY ISLAND 1 and 2, which have just been re-released in special editions via Steam for PC and on X-Box as well. Some of the same people worked on them.
KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC 1 and 2 are excellent, for different reasons (KotOR 2 also needs some modding to overcome its half-finished original ending). ANACHRONOX is also a brilliant RPG, but requires some work. DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION is also a great, more modern RPG. If you want an RPG in a more modern setting, ALPHA PROTOCOL is also supposed to be good, but it's a Marmite game (you'll either absolutely love it or hate it with a burning passion).
For strategy, are you more of a turn-based or real-time person? For hardcore turn-based strategy, Paradox make some of the best games around, particularly CRUSADER KINGS II. For a much more combat-focused series, the TOTAL WAR games are good. For real-time, COMPANY OF HEROES is worth a look (and its very long-awaited sequel is imminent). STARCRAFT and its sequels are also enjoyable, though I prefer CoH, GROUND CONTROL (and its sequel) and, in particular, the excellent and underrated HOSTILE WATERS (which actually mixes real-time and turn-based strategy by having a pause-and-order mode).
If the federation got all gung-ho after kirk's dad got wasted, someone else could have easily run across it even earlier than what happened in TOS.
What would be a lot more interesting:
Is if Spock Prime basically gave the Federation a massive laundry list of what's happened by his time and Section 31 saw the bit about Khan and went, "Right, this is someone we can use. And also give him a new face so no-one recognises him."
The "black-washing" of Nick Fury?
Both the Ultimates take on THE AVENGERS (where the 'Jacksonisation' first took place) and the Marvel Cinematic Universe are total 100% reboots/parallel universes, so the issue doesn't really arise. You could have a Chinese Peter Parker, a Bangladeshi Incredible Hulk or a Russian/British-raised Superman (actually those already happened :) ) or whatever, as long as it's a totally separate story or canon.
What I'm getting at is that Khan's ethnicity was never a large part of the character, so the complaining about "white-washing" him is utterly ridiculous.
It was enough of a part of the character for it to be mentioned when he first showed up and also, erm, in the character's name. 'Khan Noonian Singh' isn't really a name you'd give to a white English guy for no apparent reason.
Like I said, I haven't seen the film yet (still not on here for another week) and they may provide a full explanation for it in the movie, or leave it unaddressed so fans can come up with their own.
I've heard very good things about Elizabeth Bear, especially her latest book RANGE OF GHOSTS (which I have, but not started yet).
The Wild Cards shared anthology series (edited by George R.R. Martin) features stories by Melinda Snodgrass, who is a very good scifi author.
Pat Cadigan, Laura Nixon, Caroline Spector, Gail Miller, Leanne Harper, Sage Walker and Carrie Vaughn are the other female WILD CARDS authors. Melinda Snodgrass - who was also a producer and leading writer on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION for Seasons 2-3 - is also the co-editor of the entire WILD CARDS line and the writer of the WILD CARDS movie script which is currently in development at Universal.
GRRM gets a lot of credit for WILD CARDS (justly so, as he did create the underlying setting and premise), but it's a hugely collaborative enterprise and he was keen to get a lot of female writers on board with it from day one (his wife Parris also created several of the prominent WILD CARDS characters).