joe manganiello

File this one under “Huh.” Joe Manganiello, the actor best known for his work as Richie in the Magic Mike films, wants to make a Dungeons & Dragons movie. But this isn’t just an actor talking. Oh, no. It seems that Manganiello has gone and co-written a complete Dungeons & Dragons screenplay and met with the game’s publisher and has talked about his vision for the movie on a recent podcast.

Appearing on the Happy Sad Confused podcast (via MTV) to promote his voice work in Smurfs: The Lost Village, Manganiello revealed that he wrote the movie with a college friend and met with Wizards of the Coast, who publish D&D, to discuss the possibilities of where this could go in the future:

Last year with a playwright I went to Carnegie Mellon with, I actually made a draft of a film, and now we’re talking to all the right parties. I had a two-day creative summit with the Wizards of the Coast…we had like a two-day summit about where the movie could go or TV series, products, synergy, the whole deal.

While he didn’t go into extreme detail, Manganiello showcased his vision for the movie, specifically mentioning Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and HBO’s Game of Thrones as fantasy touchtones that influenced the project:

Obviously, there’s a spectacle. There’s dragons breathing fire and lightning. But what makes a great superhero or fantasy movie is the human aspect. It’s got to be about something. We root for those characters in Game of Thrones. Fellowship of the Ring was about friendship, this undying love for your friends. That’s something everyone can identify with. When a movie is about something human and real emotionally people are going to want to see. Then you get some dragons breathing fire, and hey, I’m in.

The weirdest thing about all of this is not that Manganiello is apparently really passionate about a classic pen and paper roleplaying game (his filmography does expose him to be a huge dork in a ripped body). The weird thing here is that another Dungeons & Dragons movie is already in development, with Goosebumps director Rob Letterman at the helm and Baby Driver star Ansel Elgort leading the cast. We haven’t heard much about that movie in some time, so is it possible that Manganiello knows something that we don’t? Or is he trying to put together a sweeter package to entice the right people toward his version?

In any case, the Dungeons & Dragons world is malleable enough to make a great movie, provided that those telling the story have something to say. D&D is, first and foremost, a setting. It does not create tone or characters, and instead relies on the players at the table to establish an atmosphere and a cast. D&D is what you make it: funny, sad, weird, dark, cheesy, romantic, straightforward, off-kilert, etc. At the very least, Manganiello seems have a vision for this movie. Now we’ll just have to wait and see what the hell is actually going on with it and if it even stands a chance of getting made.

And now, let’s end this with Manganiello’s big scene from Magic Mike XXL, which is a masterpiece.

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