Over 10 months after the final arguments in the lawsuit over whether production company Sweetpea Entertainment or toy giant Hasbro owned the sequel rights to Dungeons & Dragons, Warner Bros today announced that everything is resolved and they are making a D& D movie. “We are so excited about bringing the world of Dungeons & Dragons to life on the big screen,” said WB Pictures’ Creative Development and Worldwide Production boss Greg Silverman. “This is far and away the most well-known brand in fantasy, which is the genre that drives the most passionate film followings. D&D has endless creative possibilities, giving our filmmakers immense opportunities to delight and thrill both fans and moviegoers new to the property.”
Hasbro’s Brian Goldner and Stephen Davis, Courtney Solomon and Allan Zeman of Sweetpea Entertainment, and The LEGO Movie‘s Roy Lee, who just settled his own legal dust-up with Legendary over a certain big lizard, will produce. David Leslie Johnson (The Conjuring 2 and Wrath of the Titans) has written a script for the pic. No director is attached as of yet.
The announcement from WB comes as all the parties filed paperwork in federal court on Monday morning pulling the plug on the 2-year old lawsuits. “PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the PARTIES HEREBY STIPULATE, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(l )(A)(ii), to the voluntary dismissal with prejudice of the above-referenced action in its entirety, including each and every claim and counterclaim asserted therein. Each party is to bear its own costs, expenses and attorneys’ fees incurred in this action,” said the short document (read it here).
Although their names weren’t on today’s dismissal or the complaints and counterclaims, that preceded or peppered the 7-day trial last fall, the battled between Hasbro and Sweetpea was really a proxy war between Warners and Universal over which studio will make the next D&D movie. Having struck a $4 million rights deal with Sweetpea before the trial, WB was paying the production company’s legal costs too. No details were made public on the settlement but being that Sweetpea are playing a producer role and the project is at WB, it seems that Solomon came out on top. It also seems that Universal’s supposed deal with Hasbro for a D&D pic was been shelved.
“This settlement accomplished our overarching goal of unifying all Dungeons & Dragons rights under Hasbro’s control, paving the way to make a blockbuster film, said Hasbro’s lawyers Maura Wogan and Jeremy Goldman of Frankfurt Kurnit on Monday. “It’s a great outcome for all involved – especially Dungeons & Dragons fans who will now get to see D & D on the big screen.”
“We are thrilled that this beloved property can finally make its way to the big screen after 20 years, and that it can be realized by Warner Bros., which has been responsible for the biggest fantasy franchises over the past two decades,” said Sweetpea’s Solomon today.
Goldman and Wogan were joined by Michael Weinsten of LA’s Lavely & Singer PC in representing Hasbro. Sweetpea were represented by Patricia Glaser and David Sergenian of LA’s Glaser Weil Fink Jacobs Howard Avchen & Shapiro LLP.