Derek Kolstad Describes His Approach To Dungeons & Dragons

Creating the John Wick series has opened many doors for Derek Kolstad. He’s currently lending his action expertise to the MCU as a writer on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. And earlier this year, he was invited to tackle another beloved fantasy property when eOne hired him to develop the first of several planned Dungeons & Dragons TV shows, which will also tie into the big-screen D&D universe launching at Paramount. It’s still too early to guess which parts of the franchise’s mythology will make their way into Kolstad’s project. However, he seems committed to prioritizing characters over spectacle.

Collider recently spoke with Kolstad to discuss his latest screenwriting effort, Nobody. When D&D came up, he revealed that he only just turned in his show bible to eOne executives. Obviously, the vastness of D&D lore presents endless opportunities for a TV series. But it sounds like Kolstad is keeping the scope small, at least in the beginning.

“In the first Star Wars, you heard about Jabba the Hutt and you don’t see him until the third one because you earn at that point,” said Kolstad. “And whatever the budget was for the third one compared to the first one, who cares, right? And I think in Dungeons & Dragons, who has this massive, dedicated community of acolytes, I don’t want to suddenly throw everything on screen and say, ‘Here’s the buffet.’ You’d much rather keep the story intimate.”

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Kolstad went on to reference other big-name franchises that are informing his approach to the series.

“When you think of our favorite movies, I’d rather do the First Blood version,” added Kolstad. “It’s a guy in the woods being hunted. And it’s very small, but you allude to the other things through conversation. You have your USS Indianapolis [in Jaws], you see something in the background. You hear a name that 3% of the audience is like, ‘Ho ho, I think we’re going to see him soon.’ I think the thing is just to take a deep breath, to go into it slowly, and to just respect the world. And as you adapt, certain things need to change. But you better not touch the heart and soul of why people love this thing.”

What do you make of Kolstad’s plans for his Dungeons & Dragons TV show? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms – The Legend of Drzzt Omnibus Volume 1

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