NewsWire: New Line Purchases D&D Rights for 5 Million – Variety reports New Line Closes the deal

by Aug 14, 2000Lord of the Rings (Movies)

Dungeons & Dragons
Several days after reporting that New Line Cinema was interested in purchasing the domestic distribution rights to Dungeons and Dragons: The Movie, Variety has reported that the deal has gone through. This really is not Lord of the Rings movie news, but it will be interesting to watch how New Line markets this film.

Variety reported today that New Line Cinema has paid more than $5 million dollars for the rights to this film. Rights to a sequel and a prequel have been secured as well as the rights to pay, satellite, and other network television venues. The movie, staring Jeremy Irons, was directed by Courtney Solomon, and is produced by Joel Silver of Matrix fame. Joel Silver’s relationship with Warner Brothers allowed them the rights of first refusal. Warner passed on the film. This opened the acquisition process up to everyone else. New Line was keenly interested in acquiring the rights to this film.

The movie Dungeons & Dragons centers two thieves who are hired to ‘retrieve’ the Rod of Savrille. This group of adventurers are joined by a Dwarf and their employer’s expert elven tracker. Their employer, the Empress of Ismer plans on using the rod in her power struggle with the evil wizard Profion.

Personally I think the above news is great news for the Lord of the Rings fan. New Line Cinema is gaining several advantages with the acquisition of these rights. The first advantage is that New Line will get a first go at marketing a fantasy film to the American audience. If they make any mistakes in their marketing, this is the place to make those mistakes.

The second advantage that I can think of is that New Line can control the fantasy genre until the release of the Lord of the Rings. This is important. How many times have we seen two movies with similar stories, settings or plots making their way through Hollywood at the same time? Most of the time I think that this type of movie making dilutes the market. Within the last couple of years I can think of Stir of Echos/The Sixth Sense, The Matrix/The 13th Floor, Armageddon/Deep Impact, and A Bugs Life/Antz. And this list is just those I can think of off the top of my head. Now that New Line has control of this new picture, they can make sure that the market does not suffer from fantasy overload.

A third advantage that New Line gains with the acquisition is that they can use this film to generate interest in the Lord of the Rings films. When the movie is released in the theatre, New Line might decide to attach the Lord of the Rings trailer to this feature. A video/DVD release of the movie will of course contain the trailer to Lord of the Rings.

Thanks to Hugo from for passing the news along.


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