This is one of many abandoned babies from the DMfiat.com days. I wrote a satirical news column for the site called “Loaded 20” – I was basically the Andy Borowitz of one of the most popular gaming-themed websites on the internet at the time. Sadly, the site isn’t around anymore. But I held on to all the fake news articles I wrote for posterity.
MONDAY, JANUARY 12TH, LOS ANGELES – Due to the heated legal battles surrounding the intellectual property rights to the popular Dungeons & Dragons brand, fans have finally taken a stand and thrown their hat into what appears to be an increasingly litigious ring.
This week, fans officially filed papers for custodial rights to the brand, citing criminal negligence and several past instances of emotional torment committed by the other two parties involved in the lawsuit, i.e. Hasbro and Sweetpea Entertainment.
“My clients feel like if they held guardianship over the Dungeons & Dragons franchise, they would be able to take much better care of it than its previous custodians,” said a legal spokesmen on behalf of the fans.
Many believe the fans to have a strong case. For starters, they cite the glaring mismanagement of the original Dungeons & Dragons movie which was released in theaters back in 2000. Even though it had a $45 million dollar budget and an all-star cast, it was so egregiously mishandled by Sweetpea Entertainment that it only grossed $15 million at the box office and was panned across the board by movie review websites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB.
The fans also address the fact that the next two movies, also produced by Sweetpea, aired on the SyFy channel – prompting them to sue for financial damages due to pain and suffering. Unfortunately, this leg of their case may not stand up in court do to the fact that, according to MPAA legislation, nothing which airs on the SyFy channel with a runtime of 90 minutes or longer can legally be classified as a “movie” due to the channel’s inability to meet QA/QC benchmarks.
Finally, D&D fans filed a petition explaining that Hasbro would also be an unfit caretaker for the brand should they win custody. It is public knowledge that the parent company responsible for the disaster that was Battleship last year is equally incompetent when it comes to combining A-list actors with a blockbuster budget set in a niche game universe. Its gross $65 million dollar earnings fell way short of its estimated $209 million dollar budget. And yet, the company is currently in talks with Universal Studios to have Chris Morgan (of Fast and the Furious 2-6) direct the next D&D picture, further proving that the end product is going to be dumbed down with so many pointless action scenes and plot-lacking storylines that the brand may suffer severe brain damage and even permanent mental retardation. Although they did add a clause to the petition stating that “…if Vin Diesel were willing to get on board with the project, we would be willing to negotiate.”
A long, protracted legal battle is likely to ensue. It is a very real possibility that this could get bogged down in the courts and that there will never be another D&D movie, to the delight of fans worldwide. There is also a chance that the judge may borrow from the legal precedent established by the Supreme Court case Solomon v. Baby and rule to have the brand cut into three equal pieces and shared among all parties.