Warner Bros. may not end up being Hollywood's official Dungeon Master after all as Hasbro, Inc. is attempting to block the studio from going forward with their big-screen "Dungeons & Dragons" reboot, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Hasbro filed a lawsuit against producer Courtney Solomon's Sweetpea Entertainment on Monday, claiming that it holds the rights to any future film projects (technically "sequels") related to the "Dungeons & Dragons" brand.
According to the complaint, Sweetpea acquired rights to the property by an agreement in 1994, which allowed Solomon's company to make a sequel or prequel. That agreement stated that Sequel Rights would "revert on a rolling basis ... on the earlier of (i) five (5) years from of (sic) the initial U.S. release or (ii) seven (7) years from final director's cut of the immediately prior picture."
Sweetpea Entertainment produced the first theatrical film, "Dungeons & Dragons" (2000), and two made-for-TV films, "Wrath of the Dragon God" (2005) and "The Book of Vile Darkness" (2012), which both aired on Syfy.
"Despite initial plans to release the First TV Movie as a theatrical or non-theatrical sequel based upon the Picture, the production actually was released in the United States as a television motion picture," says the lawsuit. "Thus, the First TV Movie represented an exercise of the Television Rights and did not reset the Sequel Rights' five-year reversion clock."
As such, the sequel rights have reverted to Hasbro ... and Hasbro has apparently already licensed a "D&D" reboot to Universal Studios.
Warner Bros. announced its plans to produce a "Dungeons & Dragons" film with Sweetpea Entertainment last week, with the project reportedly already in active development with a script by "Wrath of the Titans" and "Red Riding Hood" scribe David Leslie Johnson. The announcement came as a no-brainer as WB searches for franchise-driven life after "Harry Potter" and "The Dark Knight" and upon the success of such fantasy-based titles as HBO's "Game of Thrones" and the studio's own "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."
So who will end up getting to play "Dungeons & Dragons" on the big screen? Stay tuned as Sweetpea and Hasbro roll the dice ... in court.
- Arts & Entertainment