The Examiner.com has reported and confirmed a rumor that’s already been echoing through the dungeons of D&D talk: that a Gary Gygax biopic is in the works. Michael Tresca wrote:
George Strayton confirmed he is … the scriptwriter for a $150 million movie based on Gary Gygax’s life. George describes the film as a ‘combination action movie and bio pic.’ The movie will tell the story of how Gary created Dungeons & Dragons, switching between his real life and the fantasy realm of Dungeons & Dragons.
Strayton is the CEO/Lead Designer of Secret Fire Games, as well as a writer for TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, and the animated feature Dragonlance: Dragons of Autumn Twilight.
Another morsel: Tresca said that “George let it slip that a ‘huge star is playing Gary.'”
That said, some skeptical voices have already begun to pepper the blogosphere. As James Maliszewski says over at Grognardia, “I’d frankly be amazed if any studio thought that the life of Gary Gygax had enough mass appeal to be made into a movie, let alone one with a big budget and a huge star.” It’s an excellent question.
This certainly raises the question if the non-nerd world is ready for a biopic on an essential, but for many, still unknown pop culture innovator who helped usher in a new gaming and leisure genre. The Whole Wide World, the 1996 film about Robert E. Howard, creator of Conan the Barbarian, and starring Vincent D’Onofrio and Renée Zellweger, proved that more obscure subjects for biopics can be made. But … while that film was largely well-received critically, it tanked at the box office.
The life of Gygax and genesis of D&D certainly sounds like a promising idea for a movie. Who among lovers of RPGs won’t want to see the reenactments of D&D’s early years? Those behind-the-scenes scenes of early play-testing? And to settle once and for all the junk food dilemma — did Gary prefer Doritos or Cheetos?
More updates on this as I hear more.