Official Ambassador Joe Manganiello Will Co-Direct the 2024 Film
LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Entertainment One (eOne), Hasbro, Inc’s (NASDAQ: HAS) entertainment studio, announced today that it will produce the definitive documentary feature about the world’s greatest roleplaying game™. The Dungeons & Dragons® documentary will coincide with the game’s 50thanniversary in 2024. Dungeons & Dragons writer and official ambassador Joe Manganiello will co-direct with Kyle Newman and producing alongside his brother Nick Manganiello, Anthony Savini, and Cecily Tyler. Tara Long and Geno McDermott are executive producing for eOne alongside leading Dungeons & Dragons scholar Jon Peterson, Adam F. Goldberg, and Kyle Newman.
“I have had the pleasure of working in the past with Joe on True Blood among other projects and cannot think of a better more passionate person to dive headfirst into the world of Dungeons & Dragons from both a player and fan perspective,” said Michael Lombardo, eOne’s Head of Global Television. “The addition of Kyle Newman, Nick Manganiello, and Jon Peterson also bring unique and multiple dimensions to the history we plan to document. As we approach 50 years of this incredible gaming universe, the time is right for an officially authorized telling of the game’s origins and current state of play to its passionate fan based from all walks of life and its global cultural impact.”
“I couldn’t be more proud and excited to get back behind the camera for another documentary, this time with the D&D dream team of Jon, Kyle, and my brother and producing partner Nick. I lived through the rise and fall and rise again of this legacy brand that has not only meant so much to me but has served as the fountainhead of creativity for an entire generation of writers, artists, and creative minds, influencing so much of our culture,” said Joe Manganiello. “None of this would have been possible without Nathan Stewart at Wizards of the Coast and my eternally supportive boss from the HBO/True Blood days, Michael Lombardo and the fantastic team at eOne.”
“Dungeons & Dragons has sparked the imagination of fans all over the world for nearly 50 years and we continue to bring exciting and engaging experiences to new generations,” said Cynthia Williams, Hasbro President of Wizards of the Coast and Digital Gaming, “As we approach this milestone celebration, I am excited to have a creative team with authentic passion for the brand producing what we hope will become a defining look at the World’s Greatest Roleplaying Game’s storied history.”
The film will draw from over 400 hours of archived, never-before-seen Dungeons & Dragons footage going back to the game’s creation in the early 1970s, to which the Manganiellos, Newman, and Goldberg have spent the last years acquiring exclusive rights. It will also include exclusive interviews filmed during production with a variety of celebrity fans of the game. This footage, along with Wizards of the Coast’s agreement to give the production team inside access to highly confidential developments concerning the game and brand — the company’s first time authorizing such access — position this project to be the definitive documentary on the game’s soon to be half-century history.
Dungeons & Dragons, one of Hasbro’s key franchise brands, is a leading fantasy entertainment franchise, fueled by the imagination of storytellers around the world. More than 50 million fans have interacted with or played D&D since it was first published 48 years ago, including videogames and livestream entertainment on Twitch and YouTube.
This new Dungeons & Dragons expansion across entertainment is another example Hasbro’s Blueprint in action, delivering multichannel entertainment to fans on some of the world’s most beloved brands. The Company is actively collaborating on a number of upcoming scripted film and TV projects based on Hasbro’s storied IP.
Joe Manganiello’s entertainment career spans over two decades and includes roles in the SPIDER-MAN and MAGIC MIKE franchises, as well as such television series as True Blood, How I Met Your Mother, and Love, Death & Robots. An avid Dungeons & Dragons fan and player, he is well known for hosting campaigns with a large rotation of celebrity guests, including some of the biggest names in Hollywood’s fantasy and superhero space.
In 2012, Joe and brother Nick Manganiello launched 3:59 Inc., which has since feature titles including BOTTOM OF THE 9TH, starring Joe opposite Sofia Vergara, and the documentary LA BARE, Joe’s well-received directorial debut.
Newman is an award-winning filmmaker and New York Times Bestselling author. His directorial credits include FANBOYS, the Star Wars-centered comedy starring Seth Rogen and Kristen Bell, and BARELY LETHAL, A24’s action-comedy starring Academy Award nominees Hailee Steinfeld and Samuel L. Jackson, and this summer’s esports comedy 1UP for Lionsgate/Prime Video. Newman earned critical acclaim for his documentary RAIDERS: THE STORY OF THE GREATEST FAN FILM EVER MADE, as well as the book “Dungeons & Dragons: Art & Arcana,” the Hugo Award finalist he wrote alongside Peterson.
Peterson, a games historian and New York Times bestselling author, is the world’s foremost Dungeons & Dragons scholar. His book “Playing at the World” is widely considered an authoritative and exhaustive exploration of the game’s roots and legacy. On top of this title and “Dungeons & Dragons: Art & Arcana,” he wrote the New York Times bestselling “Heroes’ Feast: The Official D&D Cookbook,” also alongside Newman, and the MIT-published “The Elusive Shift: How Role-Playing Games Forged Their Identity” and most recently “Game Wizards.”
Joe Manganiello is represented by CAA.
Kyle Newman is represented by Wonder Street and Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz.
Hasbro is a global branded entertainment leader whose mission is to entertain and connect generations of fans through the wonder of storytelling and exhilaration of play. Hasbro delivers engaging brand experiences for global audiences through gaming, consumer products and entertainment, with a portfolio of iconic brands including MAGIC: THE GATHERING, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, Hasbro Gaming, NERF, TRANSFORMERS, PLAY-DOH and PEPPA PIG, as well as premier partner brands.
Hasbro is guided by our Purpose to create joy and community for all people around the world, one game, one toy, one story at a time. For more than a decade, Hasbro has been consistently recognized for its corporate citizenship, including being named one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by 3BL Media, one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute and one of the 50 Most Community-Minded Companies in the U.S. by the Civic 50. For more information, visit www.corporate.hasbro.com.
Entertainment One Ltd. (eOne) is a talent-driven independent studio that specializes in the development, acquisition, production, financing, distribution and sales of entertainment content. As part of global play and entertainment company Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS), eOne’s expertise spans across film and television production and sales; production, distribution and brand management of kids and family properties; digital content; and immersive and live entertainment. Through its extensive reach and scale, and a deep commitment to high-quality entertainment, eOne unlocks the power and value of creativity.
Brothers Joe and Nick Manganiello launched 3:59 Entertainment in 2012, with a commitment to create smart and commercial films, TV, and streaming projects. Their first film, was the feature-length documentary, LA BARE, which Joe also directed. The film was bought immediately following a bidding war after its premiere at Slamdance 2014.
Following LaBare’s success, 3:59 Produced multiple feature films including the heartfelt drama BOTTOM OF THE 9TH starring Joe and his wife Sofía Vergara, the indie/super-hero action film ARCHENEMY, produced alongside CompanyX & SpectreVision and SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD, a coming of age period film revolving around the breakup of legendary 80s band The Smiths.