In one aspect of the quantum superposition…
The Michael Bay of BLACK SAILS is hired to mastermind the project.
A brain trust of people with considerable knowledge not only of D&D but the Forgotten Realms, the sourcebooks and fiction both, headed up by Ed Greenwood and comparable to the circle of comic-book professionals who consult on the Disney Marvel movies, provides input as to what the story should be.
The creators try to come up with a plot appreciably different than the plots of other fantasy films of recent years, and one that exploits material unique to the Realms.
The creators don’t feel the need to stuff in all the basic character classes and races of D&D whether they help the story or not.
And (if everything comes together properly) the cat lives!
In the other aspect of the quantum superposition…
The Michael Bay of TRANSFORMERS is hired to mastermind the project.
No one who works on the project has any knowledge of the hundreds of sourcebooks and novels that have developed the Realms. Nobody sees that as a problem. The writer is given the three core D&D rulebooks and the most recent edition of the FORGOTTEN REALMS CAMPAIGN SETTING and told to have at it.
The moviemakers are mainly concerned with two things:
The first is making a D&D movie as opposed a Realms movie. They make sure to stuff in all the basic character classes (fighter, magic user, cleric, rogue) and player-character races (human, elf, dwarf, halfling) whether this helps to tell a good story or not. Meanwhile, the Realms mostly serve as a simple source of place names and such. (“We need a land where the good people live. I guess this Cormyr will do.”)
The second is making a movie that hits all the same beats as the Tolkien films, because they earned a kajillion dollars and besides, that’s what fantasy is, right? Thus, the new movie serves up the usual fellowship of heroes undertaking a quest to defeat a world-threatening dark lord, and not anything less clichéd or overblown.
And (unless we’re lucky) the cat dies!
That’s how I see the situation, anyway.
This is my tentative programming schedule for Dragon Con 2015:
Title: Writing A Horror Book Series
Description: Pros share tips on designing and maintaining multibook narratives
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: Peachtree 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Scott Sigler, Jake Bible, James R. Tuck, Michelle Belanger, Karen E. Taylor, Richard Lee Byers)
Title: Cthulhu: New Spins on Old Mythos
Description: Authors discuss keeping the core roots of the Cthulhu Mythos relevant for contemporary audiences
Time: Fri 07:00 pm Location: Peachtree 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Kenneth Hite, Richard Lee Byers, John Hornor Jacobs, Michael J. Martinez, James R. Tuck, Jonathan Maberry)
Title: 21st Century Zombies
Description: The public's hunger for zombies is insatiable, and this hour explores how writers keep the topic fresh
Time: Sat 01:00 pm Location: Peachtree 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Madeleine Roux, Jake Bible, Richard Lee Byers, Jonathan Maberry, John Hornor Jacobs)
Title: Squeamish Folks Need Not Apply
Description: Panelists discuss writing horror, dark fantasy and just plain scary, horrible, gory, putrid stuff.Bring your own air-sick bag.
Time: Sat 10:00 pm Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Richard Lee Byers, L. Andrew Cooper, Cherie Priest, Steve Saffel, Scott Sigler)