Monday, December 02, 2019

More Probably Completely Incorrect Musings on the D&D Movie

So we got new info! Joining our hero, Raven Hightower, will be the gnome thief Olivan Trickfoot and the “half-dragon” Hack Karroway.

Olivan is clearly the comedic sidekick here, and probably the “Smart Guy.” Hack is… well, what exactly do they mean by “half-dragon” anyway?

Depending on how accurately they’re using the term, we could be talking about a sorcerer with dragon’s blood in his veins. But with a name like “Hack” that’s probably not the direction they’re going with.

In ye olden days, I’d assume a human sorcerer with some scales on the back of his arms and maybe cheeks, but CGI is so good now they could totally mean a dragonborn. (They could also mean a literal half-dragon, but I don’t think we’ve seen an official version in 5e yet? In any case…) Such a hulking CGI mass of scales, fangs, and horns would obviously be the “Big Guy” and, if the writers have some skill at dialogue, would share comedic duties with the gnome in classic big-guy-and-little-guy fashion.

Our final good-guy is “a masked warrior named Alyssa Steelsong who is set to take over Palarandusk's role [as leader of a group of Triadic Knights] when the dragon dies.”

I cannot express how much this riles up my cynicism, which expects Steelsong to only wear the mask long enough to defeat a gang of villainous flunkies before doffing her mask to reveal OMG-a-woman-warrior-unpossible!!! Somehow, I doubt this option will have much impact a full quarter-century after the debut of Xena: Warrior Princess. (Yep, 25 years ago come 2020!) We will then never see the mask again, and Steelsong will proceed to get her ass kicked in every fight for the rest of the movie, constantly needing to be rescued by Hightower. This will culminate in a climax where the arch-villain male drow Razer Horlbar threatens to kill her in exactly the same way he murdered Hightower’s sister.

In this version of things, Razer’s tiefling ally Damala (probably a spell-slinger of some flavor) ends up travelling with the heroes. Trickfoot and Hack will constantly be going on about how she can’t be trusted, but she won’t actually do anything sinister except behave in a vaguely femme-fatale fashion. In this case, Damala will be the Lancer and Steelsong will be the group’s Heart. If the crew isn’t careful, and they give her enough screen time and cast a skillful actress in Damala’s role, she’ll steal the show from Hightower and there will be clamor for a spin-off solo movie for Damala.

A more interesting option casts Steelsong as the Lancer. The mask will come out regularly, usually when she’s about to do some serious ass-kicking, and it will be quite clear that she’s more skilled as a warrior than Hightower. She’ll keep saying that she ought to be leading the mission, but Hack and Trickfoot will keep reminding her that she hasn’t earned their trust yet. Respect, sure, but that’s not enough to get them to follow her into the Abyss. Her time with the trio will be about teaching her to let go of her mask and allow herself to make real connections with others in order to be a more effective leader. The final climax will have her fighting against the Beast without her mask, possibly forcing her to rely on Trickfoot for survival and victory. 25% chance she chooses to betray the party at the end of the second act for what she thinks, at the time, is the greater good, but returns in the final battle to redeem herself.

In this case, the Heart of the group will be Hightower’s dead sister, who will appear to her brother in dreams and hallucinations (after he’s been knocked unconscious by drugs or blunt trauma to his skull) and impart vague words of wisdom or warnings. 10% chance she’s still alive, serving as a masked or veiled oracle for Razer or something similar. Very slim chance she’s an undead bodyguard for Razer and Hightower is forced to kill her just before he goes mano-y-mano with the drow.

Razer will likely look like Nightcrawler from the X-men movies or possibly like the pale elves from del Toro’s second Hellboy movie. Hack has a 50-50 chance of making it alive to the end of the movie. Too high a chance they’ll try to make Trickfoot into a furless Rocket Raccoon. If they give him goggles, gadgets, and a heavily sculpted “adorable” hairdo, consider it a warning.

No mention of good-guy spell-slingers. They don’t say what Hack is, so he could be a wizard, but that’s not the way to bet. Steelsong could be a paladin, but in any incarnation she likely won’t be slinging too many spells. Honestly, while it’s insane to consider a D&D party going after the relics of Vecna without a cleric, by keeping the spell-slingers to a minimum they reduce the need to explain how D&D magic works to casual viewers.


Roger said...

Raven’s a guy?

DMWieg said...

Maaaaan this sounds like hot garbage. It's almost like they didn't learn from the last one.

trollsmyth said...

Roger: yep! The supposed list of actors they're considering for Raven include: Will Smith, Josh Brolin, Chris Pratt, Vin Diesel, Matthew McConaughey, Jamie Foxx, Joel Edgerton, Dave Bautista, Jeremy Renner, or Johnny Depp all on an alleged wish list.

DMWieg: keep in mind, most of this is my guesses as to what they're doing. I could be totally wrong. In fact, I consider it very likely that I am! Still, looking at the list of actors they're hoping to cast as Raven, well, about the only thing they all have in common is being middle-aged (or older) men. So that tells me Raven is very much a cipher without much personality in the script. ;p

JB said...

There’s a new D&D movie?

trollsmyth said...

JB: Looks like. I'm pretty sure the movie rights were held in a use-it-or-lose-it contract, and with the current success and wide-spread popularity of brand, it appears folks think it's worth spending some money on.

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