In the arcade days of yore, one game stood head and shoulders above its 8-bit compatriots: Dragon’s Lair. A fully animated swashbuckling medieval fantasy game, Dragon’s Lair tasked players with helping protagonist Dirk the Daring survive deadly traps, nasty dragons, and dangerous monsters to rescue the beautiful Princess Daphne. The game required lighting quick reflexes, lest Dirk run afoul of the lair’s dangers, forcing players to watch their hapless protagonist be brutally dispatched in fully animated glory.
While the series essentially birthed the now widely mocked quick time event, the game, and the ensuing franchise, has proven to be a nostalgic favorite for gamers, and now the game’s creators are looking to resurrect Dirk and crew for the silver screen. And they’re asking for $550,000 on Kickstarter to do it.
Originally debuting on laserdisc in 1983, Dragon’s Lair was quickly brought over to arcades, where gamers flocked to its flashy animation and easy to pick up but hard to master gameplay. The game would spawn three sequels, with the last appearing back in 2002, but the franchise has mostly sat dormant. Even so, the fan base for the series has remained strong, with Dragon’s Lair re-releases and merchandise flowing steadily to appease the hungry fans.
But series creators Don Bluth and Gary Goldman have decided that Dragon’s Lair is due for bigger things, which has lead to the duo once again joining forces to create a silver screen adaption of Dragon’s Lair, aptly titled Dragon’s Lair: The Movie. Taking to Kickstarter to announce the venture, the team stressed that a Dragon’s Lair film would be made with hand-drawn animation, which will take plenty of time and money. The Kickstarter is requesting $550,000 so that the team might make a 10-minute pitch trailer that can be shopped around Hollywood to secure a deal for the movie.
While $550,000 for a trailer may sound steep, the duo stressed that this is a necessary evil to ultimately create the movie they want. The Kickstarter suggests that once the film has been picked up, it will take roughly 70 million dollars to complete. But Bluth and Goldman are offering plenty of incentives to potential backers for the trailer, with Kickstarter tiers featuring original animation cells, a seat in an animation class hosted by Don Bluth, and a personalized caricature from Bluth and Goldman.
With fellow ’80s mainstay Friday the 13th taking to Kickstarter recently, it seems to be the perfect time for nostalgic franchises to seek fan support. While Dragon’s Lair: The Movie just launched today, it has already amassed $18,168, and that amount only continues to grow. But with 30 days left until the campaign’s November 25th cut off date, it remains to be seen if Dragon’s Lair will hit its mark or if Dirk the Daring and company are destined to crash and burn.