Transformers and X-Men film producer Tom DeSanto has been tapped by the estate of Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax to adapt the prolific game designer's other stories to film, tv, and other media.
The deal was announced on July 27, which would have been Gygax's 78th birthday. According to Variety, DeSanto has already picked out several concepts from Gygax's work to adapt to what he calls "universe projects" - one of which he expects to sell to a studio by the end of this year.
“Gary always envisioned his works becoming reality in film/television and beyond,” Gygax’s widow Gail Gygax explained. “Tom’s track record speaks for itself, but I was impressed with Tom’s enthusiasm for Gary and as a longtime RPG gamer. Tom DeSanto is the perfect storyteller to bring Gary’s works to life. He is a true fan.”
“I really can’t wait to share with fans what has been discovered in the unpublished works, it is mind blowing. The same way I loved X-Men and Transformers, and was able to introduce those universes from a fanboy to a global audience, the Gygax universe has that same sleeping dragon potential. I can’t wait to get to work and find studio or network partners who understand the global power of Gary Gygax.”
DeSanto, who considers himself a lifelong gamer and comic book fan, is credited with being the producer who hired Bryan Singer to direct the first X-Men movie, and helped Singer develop the film's story. He is also credited as a producer on all four Transformers films.
“Gary Gygax is one of those names that belongs alongside George Lucas and Gene Roddenberry as storytellers whose influence reached around the globe and through generations,” said DeSanto. “I’m excited to work with Gail and honored to bring these new universes to the global audience in the way that Gary captured hearts and minds of the planet with Dungeons & Dragons.”
Dungeons & Dragons itself is now owned by Hasbro - coincidentally, the owners of the Transformers franchise - and is presumably not included in the deal with Gygax's estate.