Development roundup: Werewolves coming to Netflix, D&D co-creator's turn to video games

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Apr 18, 2018

What’s old is new again in today’s round of development news. Not just the recycling of older properties, but the revisiting of previously explored ideas in new and exciting media. Maybe the werewolf movies or tabletop games of our past just didn’t have the right form to be their best selves. Now they’re given another chance.

First, let’s talk monsters. According to Deadline, Netflix has ordered 10 episodes of, well, The Order. It’s a horror/drama from the same folks who make the Van Helsing show and seems like it’ll have the same mixture of schlock, scares, and magical intrigue.

A college freshman, played by Jake Manley, joins a secret society and finds out that there’s a lot more to his world than meets the eye -- including a werewolf war. If it sounds a bit like the Underworld movies, then you’re right, but add a heaping helping of Riverdale on top of it, because there’s plenty of school-days drama and romance. So maybe a dash of Buffy, too?

The focus on the collegiate setting doesn’t seem overly strong, as the series description only lists half of its love interest’s double major (poli-sci), though I’m certain actress Sarah Grey will more than overcome this seemingly underwritten introduction. The dark, magical series comes from Dennis Heaton and Shelley Eriksen, and will feature Matt Frewer, Sam Trammell, and Max Martini in supporting roles. Will they all be werewolves? We can only hope.

Another thing to hope for is the success of a new crowdfunding initiative. According to Variety, the funding and publishing platform Fig will be attempting to bring video games to life from the unpublished work of the late Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons.

While the game is having one of its biggest resurgences ever in popularity, these games won’t be taking from his efforts there, as those assets are owned elsewhere. Instead, while no details have thus far been released, these plans for publication will focus on Gygax’s later IP — “some of his most cherished and shared only with his closest friends,” according to Fig CEO Justin Bailey.

The service has already funded a few successful video game campaigns in the past (like those for Pillars of Eternity 2, Psychonauts 2, and Phoenix Point), so the plan has potential. What remains an unknown factor is the quality or even subject of the unpublished work that these games will be adapting. Gygax continued making role-playing and fantasy games after his split with his D&D partners, but they never achieved the popularity of his original creation.