Joe Manganiello to co-direct a documentary about the fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons… after being an ambassador for the iconic game
Joe Manganiello will be going from in front of the camera to behind the scenes after it was announced that he will co-direct an upcoming documentary about the iconic tabletop game Dungeons & Dragons.
The new project is likely a dream come true for the 45-year-old True Blood star, who has been a devoted D&D fan for years and regularly rustles up high-profile games with his celebrity friends.
Manganiello, who is also an official ambassador for the fantasy game, will be joined in directing the documentary by Kyle Newman, according to Variety.
Dream job: Joe Manganiello, 45, will co-direct a documentary about Dungeons & Dragons, a game he has been a fan of for years, according to Variety; seen in April in NYC
‘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,’ Mangniello said in a statement. ‘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.
‘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 eOn.
The still-untitled film will be produced by Hasbro’s entertainment studio Entertainment One, and Manganiello will pull double duty as a producer, along with Anthony Savini, Cecily Tyler and his brother Nick Manganiello.
Tara Long and Geno McDermott are set to serve as executive producers, along with Newman, Adam F. Goldberg and Jon Peterson, an expert and historian of the game.
Time to shine: ‘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…influencing so much of our culture,’ Manganiello said in a statement; seen in 2017
Big news: He celebrated the announcement by posting a screenshot of the Variety article to his Instagram page on Wednesday
Following the announcement, Manganiello posted a screenshot of the Variety story to his Instagram account, adding sword, dragon and fire emojis in his caption.
His documentary will likely be one of the most detailed looks at the origins and history of Dungeons & Dragons, as he and Newman will have access to over 400 hours of gameplay footage dating back to the game’s creation in the early 1970s.
The game, which was designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, was first published in 1974, and it went on to become massively popular while influencing numerous role-playing games and video games, even though it has remained resolutely low tech over the years.
The documentary will reportedly include plenty of celebrity interview subjects as well, some of whom the director likely played with, as Manganiello regularly hosts D&D games with his celebrity friends.
Vince Vaughn, Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Game Of Thrones co-creator D.B. Weiss are among some of his regular friends who play in his basement, according to Variety.
Manganiello’s co-director Newman is also part of the core group of players, and Guardians Of The Galaxy director James Gunn and former Saturday Night Live cast member Taran Killam have made appearances at the games in the past.
Digging deep: His documentary will likely be one of the most detailed looks at the origins and history of Dungeons & Dragons, as he and Newman will have access to over 400 hours of gameplay footage dating back to the game’s creation in the early 1970s
All star players: Vince Vaughn, Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Game Of Thrones co-creator D.B. Weiss are among some of his regular friends who play in his basement, according to Variety, while James Gunn and Taran Killam have stopped by; seen in 2017
Manganiello even has his own clothing line that is inspired by the long-running game.
The Magic Mike actor and his brother, along with Newman and Goldberg, have been hunting clips for the documentary for years, but it is only now coming to fruition.
‘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,’ Michael Lombardo, eOne’s head of global television said in a statement.
‘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.’
The documentary seems timed to coincide with a live-action Dungeons & Dragons film, subtitled Honor Among Thieves, which stars Chris Pine and Bridgerton star Regé–Jean Page.
The documentary will be Manganiello’s second film as director, after he helmed the 2014 documentary La Bare, about a male strip club in Dallas, Texas.
Dedicated: Manganiello even has his own clothing line that is inspired by the long-running game; seen playing with brother Nick Manganiello and Yaheim Young in 2019