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Joe Manganiello to co-direct “definitive” DnD documentary

Wizards of the Coast recruits True Blood star and official D&D ambassador Joe Manganiello to co-direct a Dungeons and Dragons documentary

DnD documentary Joe Manganiello - still from Netflix's Metal Lords

Wizards of the Coast parent company Hasbro has announced a new DnD documentary, and it’s chosen official ambassador and True Blood star Joe Manganiello as its co-director. A Hasbro press release from October 12 calls the project “the definitive documentary feature about the world’s greatest roleplaying game”.

Manganiello’s co-director is Kyle Newman who, along with directing several suitably nerdy films, has authored two Dungeons and Dragons books – Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History and Heroes’ Feast: The Official Dungeons & Dragons Cookbook. The Hasbro press release says the documentary will be produced by Anthony Savini, Cecily Tyler, and Manganiello’s brother Nick. Tara Long and Geno McDermott are executive producers, and the crew includes a few extra D&D scholars – Jon Peterson and Adam F. Goldberg.

The film’s release is scheduled for 2024, the year of D&D’s 50th anniversary. Hasbro says the filmmakers have over 400 hours of unseen, archived D&D footage to work with – something Newman, Goldberg, and the Manganiellos have apparently spent years getting their hands on. DnD publisher Wizards of the Coast is fully cooperating, reportedly providing “inside access to highly confidential developments concerning the game and brand” for the first time ever.

DnD documentary Joe Manganiello - Wizards of the Coast art of a researcher reading a book in Candlekeep library

Joe Manganiello isn’t the only celebrity involved in the documentary. Hasbro says the film “will also include exclusive interviews filmed during production with a variety of celebrity fans of the game”. There’s a wide range of famous faces this could include – hell, Manganiello’s personal DnD parties have included the likes of James Gunn, Tom Morello, and Vince Vaughn. Fellow True Blood actor Deborah Ann Woll is still DMing her own D&D show Children of Éarte, and Jack Black is well known to drop in for a bit of star-studded D&D.

“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”, Manganiello says in the press release. “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 eOne.”

It seems, however, the documentary has competition for the title of “definitive” D&D documentary. Back in May, documentary studio XTR also announced a DnD documentary was in the works (thanks, The Wrap).

You can read more about the documentary’s announcement in Hasbro’s press release. If celebrity nerds are your thing, may we suggest taking a deep dive into the Warhammer obsession of Henry Cavill? Or, for more digital D&D, here’s some detail on the upcoming DnD movie.