Netflix has been working in a movie version of Dragon’s Lair, the legendary (and legendarily maddening) arcade game in which players try to keep a brave but accident-prone knight, known as Dirk the Derring, from untold perils. Now it appears they may have found their Dirk: As per The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan Reynolds is in talks to take on a role that requires both action and comedy.
It makes sense to turn Dragon’s Lair into a movie, as it basically already was one. First released in 1983, it stood out from the likes of Donkey Kong and Space Invaders with its cutting-edge technology, which used early laserdiscs to create an interactive film. Players could control the fate of Dirk, out to rescue a princess held captive in the lair of an evil dragon, by moving the joystick in the right direction. If they failed — and players often did — Dirk was treated to an amusingly nasty death. The game made buckets of money due to its difficulty and because it cost 50 cents as opposed to the standard quarter.
Dragon’s Lair was animated by Don Bluth, who had dragged a number of fellow Disney animators away from the cartoon giant, forming his own company. Among the films they made were The Secret of NIMH, An American Tail, and The Land Before Time.
The film based on Bluth’s game will be written by Dan and Kevin Hageman, who have credits on The Lego Movie as well as last year’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark — a good sign that it’ll retain the game’s signature mix of adventure and humor.