I confess that I haven’t seen any of the previous D&D movies (because I have way too many other things I need to watch that don’t apparently suck). But on the subject of the current hysteria regarding a new film and the possibility that said film will/won’t suck, and how to make sure it does/doesn’t, I have what I suspect is a minority view.
I don’t think there should be a D&D/Forgotten Realms movie. Like, not now, not ever, not under any circumstances. Because no matter what approach is taken to a film, no matter how objectively good it might actually turn out to be, D&D is such a vast creative phenomenon that it’s impossible for a work as brief as a feature film to even begin to capture what the game means to those who know it, and to overcome the sense of “Why should I watch a movie about this nerd game?” on the part of those who don’t know it.
Instead, there should be a D&D/Forgotten Realms cable TV series. An ongoing, slow-building, visually and viscerally compelling narrative that can take advantage of the episodic nature of that medium. Because only a medium that has the space to fully explore a world and the sense of imagination at the heart of that world is going to allow the breadth of storytelling that can do justice to the lore of the Realms, and to the sense of what the game is and what it means to the people who play it.