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SYFY WIRE Dungeons & Dragons

'Dungeons & Dragons' live-action TV series lands 'Red Notice' director as showrunner

Rawson Marshall Thurber will write and direct the pilot while serving as executive producer.

By Josh Weiss
Rawson Marshall Thurber DnD GETTY PRESS

That Dungeons & Dragons TV project we first learned about last year just took a Demogorgon-sized leap forward with the hiring of Red Notice director Rawson Marshall Thurber. According to Deadline, the filmmaker has been tapped "to creatively oversee" the show (an undertaking by the Hasbro-owned Entertainment One) as an executive producer. He'll also be writing and directing the pilot.

"So deeply thrilled about this," Thurber wrote on Twitter, confirming the news. "Grew up playing the pnp version (lvl 13 lawful good paladin, holla!), enjoyed the heck outta @DDOUnlimited — learned to tell stories through (always) being the DM. Boyhood dreams do come true, ya’ll. Can’t wait to get cracking."

Responding to one excited fan, the director wagered that he'd get cracking on D&D after he completes production on a film adaptation of Tom Clancy's The Division for Netflix. In addition, the streaming giant recently handed down the green-light for two more Red Notice sequels with Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds. Thurber — whose previous efforts include fan favorite comedies like Dodgeball and We're The Millers — certainly has his hands full.

The announcement of his involvement, however, makes no mention of John Wick vet Derek Kolstad, who was originally said to be writing up a pitch for the small screen adaptation of the beloved role-playing game published by Wizards of the Coast. Of course, it's very possible that his job only extended as far as laying the foundation for what the series would become.

"It’s a world and part of that is, its challenges are wow, where do you start?" eOne's President of Global Television Michael Lombardo said during a conversation with Deadline in late 2021. "We don’t want it to just be one show so we are building out, developing out a multi-pronged approach for television, a number of scripted shows and unscripted, and we hope to be taking this out to the marketplace early next year."

Paramount's Dungeons & Dragons movie is also on the way from Game Night co-directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. Slated for a theatrical bow in early March of 2023, the film boasts an ensemble cast of Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, and Hugh Grant. Production wrapped last summer.

"We have a big movie that’s in post right now that will come out first so, we’re trying to also navigate the brand more holistically so that the movie feels not apart from but connected somehow to a bigger universe," Lombardo teased.