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Dragonlance streaming series? Authors Weis and Hickman still hope it could happen

The duo still thinks actor Joe Manganiello can work his magic

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Three books on a bed of fallen leaves. Titled Dragons of Autumn Twilight, of Winter Night, and of Spring Dawning. Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

If there are plans for a live-action adaptation of Dungeons & Dragons’ classic Dragonlance stories, authors Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman haven’t heard about it. The authors of the Dragonlance Chronicles both tell Polygon they hold out hope that someday the right opportunity will present itself to bring Raistlin Majere, Sturm Brightblade, and the rest of the Companions of the Lance to life in a movie or streaming television series.

“Hope springs eternal, especially in Margaret and I,” said author Tracy Hickman in a recent interview with Polygon where both he and Weis discussed their upcoming novel, Dragons of Fate, which continues the Dragonlance story for a new generation of fans. “We have always believed that Dragonlance would be a wonderful setting in many different media, and we’ve always thought it would make a wonderful film [or streaming series].”

Originally created by Tracy Hickman and his wife, Laura Hickman, during a cross-country road trip, the Dragonlance setting was a hugely popular product line for D&D’s original publisher TSR in the 1980s. It featured novels of course, but also a boatload of beloved tabletop adventures — many of which are still available to purchase online.

Rumors that a live-action English-language adaptation of the Dragonlance setting have circulated for years now, but things came to a head earlier this year. That’s when actor Joe Manganiello, speaking during a D&D livestreaming presentation, seemed to indicate that he was working on a live-action Dragonlance project in earnest. But while a D&D live-action series is headed to Paramount Plus, it apparently doesn’t have anything to do with Dragonlance.

Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped Manganiello from trying to make it happen. Hickman has even met with Manganiello recently to tour his new gaming room — which includes a one-of-a-kind model of The Inn of the Last Home, the tranquil tree-top tavern where Weis and Hickman’s original Dragonlance trilogy began.

“Margaret and I have always said there there was somebody out there, some child who has read the books and fallen in love with them, and that they would grow up one day,” Hickman said. “[Manganiello] was that boy who found solace in Solace. And now he’s come to a position where yeah, he’d like to do something about it.”

Plans for a live-action Dragonlance adaptation are no doubt complicated by a legal dispute between the authors and D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast. In 2020 Weis and Hickman sued the Seattle-based company for $10 million, alleging that Wizards breached its contract with the duo over a series of new Dragonlance novels. The dispute was resolved in 2021, clearing the way for the publication of the novels, including Dragons of Fate which is due out in August.

Wizards recently rebooted the Dragonlance setting for its popular 5th edition ruleset with an elegant three-volume set. However, while Wizards has reached out to Hickman for modern D&D projects in the past, no such courtesy was paid when making Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen or its companion board game.

“They avoided us,” said Weis, simply.

“They didn’t ask for any consultation,” Hickman later clarified. “They didn’t ask if we had any ideas for them. [...] They didn’t even tell us that they were going to be doing it. [...] It is a vision of Dragonlance that has no connection to ours.”

On Polygon, you can read more of our interview with Weis and Hickman, and check out an exclusive excerpt from Dragons of Fate.

Dragons of Fate

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