Dragonlance’s rumoured live-action television adaptation is reportedly dead, and all plans to develop the long running fantasy book series into a streaming series have been killed.
The news originally broke during an interview that ComicBook.com hosted with actor and producer Joe Manganiello, who detailed the intense amount of pre-production work already done to represent Krynn on-screen. Series co-author Margaret Weis, who created the Dragonlance setting and wrote its core trilogies with Tracy Hickman, confirmed the news to Polygon last week.
“Everything happened exactly as he said,” Weis told Polygon. “The rumour is floating around that a pilot was actually filmed. That did not happen and Joe doesn’t say that it happened. The project never got that far.”
Manganiello, best known for his roles in True Blood and Magic Mike, hinted earlier this year that he was directly working on a project to translate the Dragonlance novels into a series for streaming television services. His interview with ComicBook.com confirmed that tidbit in the same breath that delivered news of its untimely demise. When Hasbro sold its entertainment production company, eOne, to Lionsgate, movement on the project apparently stopped.
While a pilot had not been shot - despite online rumours to the contrary, Manganiello said that a script for the first episode had been written alongside a 1,000-page lookbook (big collection of photos for a creative project) full of armour, weapon and clothing concepts. Other material outlined a distinct interpretation on Krynn’s mutlicoloured dragons, which function similarly to the creatures in Dungeons & Dragons’ 5th Edition.
You can tell from the interview that Manganiello is upset by the cancellation and losing his chance to develop a world he loves. The actor partially blames flagging interest in the Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen supplement that Wizards of the Coast published in 2023, but also mentions the supposed failure of the Dragonlance: Warriors of Krynn board game. Pandemic and Ticket to Ride Legacy designer Rob Daviau spearheaded that project alongside HeroQuest designer Stephen Baker.
Hasbro CEO Chris Cocks has been planning to divest from eOne for years and never shied from telling investors about the move. What’s more likely is that poor timing alongside litigious skirmishing over rights between Wizards of the Coast and Weis and Hickman shoved the project into development hell before finally nailing down its coffin.
Manganiello apparently offered to purchase the rights to adapt Dragonlance from Wizards of the Coast, but that seems to have borne no fruit. While you should never say something is well and truly dead, the world will not be seeing Kender, Takhisis or mages with hourglass eyeballs anytime soon. The sale of eOne likely affected a number of projects, including an upcoming D&D live series that, when last we heard about it, would span eight episodes from Red Notice director Rawson Marshall Thurber.