Joe Manganiello is making a movie about the best RPG of all time

Joe Manganiello goes behind the camera to make a Dungeons & Dragons documentary.

By Jennifer Asencio | Posted

The most famous tabletop role-playing game turns 50 in 2024, and part of the festivities will be the release of a documentary about the game. According to Deadline, Joe Manganiello is set to direct “the definitive take” on Dungeons & Dragons alongside Kyle Newman. The film is produced by Joe Manganiello, Kyle Newman and Adam F. Goldberg, along with Nick Manganiello, Cecily Tyler and Anthony Savini.

The original game was published in 1974 by Gary Gygax and TSR Hobbies. Amid controversy over its role-playing and fantasy themes, the game attracted a following that only grew over the years. It’s seen four updates since the original release, along with a myriad of expansion books, adventures, and other merchandise.

It is played by a group of people, one of whom is known as the Dungeon Master or DM, who tells the story to the other players. Each player has a character with strengths, skills, weaknesses, and flaws, and must announce their moves based on what their character will do. It’s not a game that has a definite ending or a winner, but rather rewards characters with experience levels that increase their skills and abilities.

Dungeons & Dragons has also been featured in popular culture, most famously on the show stranger thingsbut also in shows such as iZombie and Ghosts. Although it is often described as played by nerds and social misfits, in the five decades since its introduction it has gained a large following and inspired the creation of many other tabletop role-playing games such as the cyberpunk universe. His dice, used to determine the results of various in-game actions, are instantly recognizable even to non-gamers.

Joe Manganiello knows very well Dungeons & Dragons because he runs a celebrity game from his basement attended by actor Vince Vaughn, game of thrones showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff, and Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello. Joe Manganiello even has a huge custom-built table for the purpose as well as a wonderful collection of Dungeons & Dragons figurines, which are used by some DMs to represent characters in various contexts. He also has a clothing line inspired by the game and consulting work at Wizards of the Coast, the company currently publishing the game.

These references make Joe Manganiello the ideal director for a documentary on Dungeons & Dragons because he already has an intimate knowledge of the subject. The documentary will also feature behind-the-scenes footage, some of it dating back to the 1970s, which was acquired by Joe Manganiello, Kyle Newman and producer Adam F. Goldberg over the years. For the first time, Wizards of the Coast will also provide access to the game’s development processes.

The documentary was announced as another Dungeons & Dragons movie, subtitled honor among thieves, is gearing up for a March 2023 release by Paramount Pictures. This should whet the appetite of gamers everywhere for that inside look at the game itself. With Joe Manganiello at the head of the Dungeons & Dragons documentary, fans will be able to see what makes the adventure, not just from the game developers’ perspective but also from the fans’ perspective.

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