Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Gary Gygax Estate Partners With ‘Transformers’ Producer Tom DeSanto (Variety)

Tip of the hat to +Carl Pinder 

Looks like there actually IS something happening with the Gygax Estate, or more accurately the Gail C. Gygax Revocable Trust.

According to Variety:
“Transformers” producer Tom DeSanto has struck a deal with the estate of Gary Gygax — co-creator of “Dungeons & Dragons” — to oversee the Gygax catalog of published and unpublished works. 
The announcement was made on Wednesday, which would have been Gygax’s 78th birthday. His widow Gail Gygax reached a deal for DeSanto to become the “guardian of the library.” 
DeSanto told Variety that he’s already discovered several potential “universe” projects among the unpublished works and expects to find a home for at least one by year’s end.
Interesting times.

I wonder how much unpublished work there actually is, and how much of a market there is for it after all these years.


  1. Well it cannot be D&D related obviously, but hey for once it's good news coming out of the Gygax Estate.

  2. The market for books, especially with ebooks, doesn't require a large number of buyers to make some money.

    1. I can assure you that Tom DeSanto has no interest in re-publishing any of the works of Gygax. He specializes in adopting existing materials into blockbuster franchises. He's the producer behind X-Men, Transformers, and the reboot of Battlestar Galatica.

    2. To be fair we don't know. It's quite possible he was a huge D&D nerd/Gary fan back in the day and has a bit more interest in the portfolio (like he did Transformers adn BSG). But even if he's just doing to do fantasy movies/projects inspired by Gary that is potentially pretty cool.

      With the nostalgic feel goods of Stranger Things it's clear a LOT of creators have fond memories of their early RPG experiences.

    3. True. I do think this will involve media projects before exploring print books or games. I mean, think about just how packed some of Gary's gaming sourcebooks are. Read Yggsburg, and just think of how you could create a season of plots around that setting just from all the inspiration there.

      The thing I know some people are probably upset about is the fact that Gail didn't go the traditional "old school" route, which is to just publish games for the hard core (and mostly not the new stuff Gary did, but D&D clone supplements), and they might see this as some sort of "selling out". But perhaps this will help facilitate the more traditional releases. Rather than go begging for money via a Kickstarter, Gail and Co. can use the profits to help fund a high quality release of some of the original works that inspired the media creations.

      Some people might second-guess and say "Gary wouldn't have wanted that", but he did want to get larger success. In the early 80s he was in Hollywood trying to do just that with D&D--if he was successful and/or TSR didn't go through turmoil he might have done less game writing. And after losing Mythus, he spent a few years trying his hand at computer game development. So I suspect fans aren't really thinking of what Gary would want, but what they personally would want.

      As a fan, I get it. I mean, personally, I'd personally prefer the more traditional print stuff, I really would, and I do worry about a mediocre adaptation, akin to some of those B-SyFy movies--that kind of thing can happen. And I can see the purist view--as a die-hard Peanuts fan, I disagree with some of what has been done since Charles Schulz died, even if its his own family that's doing it. But I'm not going to throw a tantrum and get mad about that kind of thing--very worst case, if something poor comes from it, I'll critique the work with my opinion and ignore it. At the end of the day, like I feel with the Schulz relatives, I do believe Gail has the best of intentions and is trying to do the best job she can to make sure Gary's works and influence gets out there.

      Hopefully, something great will come of it--or at the very least, they are compensated well for the efforts.

  3. If in ten years we have a watchable Castle Zagyg movie out of this I'll consider it a win.

  4. Isn't there already a D&D movie in the works? I'm hoping for another tv show, either animated or like Game of Thrones.

    1. That would be fun. I actually got a DVD box of the old series today. Time for Nostalgia (yep it aired in germany too)

  5. Can't say I care about any Gygax works aside from the original D&D and AD&D. Maybe there's a market for it but I doubt it's very large.

  6. I'm kind of wondering though if this may be an attempt to get the D&D license w/o actually having to get the license, i.e. take all the individual ideas and concepts that made up D&D and that could be traced directly to Gary's work over the years (either at TSR or on his own with Dangerous Journeys, Legendary Adventures etc) and essentially put together a D&D IP with them under a different name (but with the Gygax name attached to add authenticity).

    1. I don't think so since I assume the primary goal is TV and/or movies before games and books. They're probably looking for new franchises that have a lot of potential, not specificially the D&D experience.

      I'm going to share here a fantasy I had that I posted on Facebook--what might come from the deal, and keep in mind I'm avoiding Castle Zagyg or the property people feel has the most value. Long time die-hard Gygax fans will understand most of this.

      5 Years from Now--New on Netflix: Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds.

      New on Netflix: Gygaxian Fantasy Worlds.

      Season 1: The Zahajdy Conflux is the nexus point of three continents. A zealous nation with ambitions and intrigues. Into this realm come four people...Magister Setne Inhetep, Priest Wizard and Investigator, his companion Rachelle, and two hired assistants...the thief known as Ferret and his buddy Raker. The mission...to seek out the lost tribe of the Maladicted Plateau. While Setne tries to navigate through a complex aristocracy in a nation where his pantheon is disdained, the hirelings get into misadventures of the roguish sort.

      Be it zealous Oafs and Veshoges, bandits, demoniacal hybrids, dreaded "ladybugs", vile peccants, or the complexities of a complex nation, an epic begins. Why is the plateau in the center of the nation been Maladicted? What epic schemes does the family of the Caliph have? What hidden alies will they discover in the state. And who is the mysterious figure named Gord?

      Does that sound cool? Take characters from Gary's published novels, and an unpublished sourcebook for Lejendary Adventures, and there you go!


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