The D&D Show Aims To Start Small, Focus On The Underdark

Not much is known about the upcoming live-action Dungeons & Dragons show. After its announcement by Hasbro late late last year, not much has been revealed about what the show will look like until now. Derek Kolstad, the writer for the series, has offered some insight into what we can expect and it looks like the series will be going dark…Underdark that is.

Kolstad, the writer behind John Wick and Nobody, spoke with Collider earlier this week to offer an update on the highly-anticipated series. He spoke about his approach to the iconic series and how he wanted to keep the focus rather intimate and more character-driven than epic fantasy:

“In the first Star Wars, you heard about Jabba the Hutt and you don’t see him until the third one because you earn at that point, and whatever the budget was for the third one compared to the first one, who cares, right? And I think in Dungeons & Dragons, who has this massive, dedicated community of acolytes, I don’t want to suddenly throw everything on screen and say, ‘Here’s the buffet.’ You’d much rather keep the story intimate.”

A more intimate approach may mean a more compact series with fewer episodes. While working out the ideas for the show, Kolstad said that he plans the first season to have six or ten episodes. This stems from his more intimate approach and his inspiration from Disney+ shows like The Mandalorian that approaches episodes that have “breathing room that it doesn’t have to be a certain number of pages or certain number of format length.” Instead, the show will be “more serialized.”

As for what the show will actually focus on, Kolstad spoke about the legal meetings he is having to find out which characters he can utilize in the story, especially considering that a live-action Dungeons & Dragons film is also in the works. Though, he did mention that he didn’t want to lay out a series that took place in the beginning. Instead, he wants to “go in the middle of the mythos.” He wants to show to take place in the era of time near the end, when “everything is canonical, it’s biblical, it’s happened.” This would allow the show to revisit iconic moments within the lore through flashbacks and the like, but still allow the show to go somewhere new.

Kolstad might also have given an important clue as to where the show will take place in the large world of Dungeons & Dragons; “[I want] to go deeper and deeper into the Underdark.” The Underdark is an iconic location for the tabletop series. It is a vast network of underground caverns and tunnels underground. It is home to all sorts of evil entities that were driven underground at the end of the age of demons. It is a place ripe for great story and an interesting place to highlight in the series.

Of course, nothing is confirmed and Kolstad may have been using the term “Underdark” to represent his desire to delve into the dark and mysterious mythos of Dungeons & Dragons. However, one thing is for sure, the series seems to be in very capable hands.

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