Don't laugh: the Dragon Nest movie is getting a sequel
The popular, fast-paced action MMORPG Dragon Nest was released in 2011 for North America and is still going strong. It spawned figurines, manga, music releases, spin-off mobile games, and a film called Dragon Nest: Warriors' Dawn.
While most video game movies receive a solid 3/10, Dragon Nest does something different - it doesn't take itself too seriously. This isn't to say the movie a parody or a joke, but it's something that is clearly based off of a video game. It's silly, full of interesting action scenes, questionable choices, and has a ton of cheese and visual humor. And it works enough to warrant a sequel.
The scientists behind the abomination
From the producer that brought you classics like Kung Fu Hustle, Desperado, and High School Musical comes Dragon Nest: Warriors' Dawn.
No, I'm not joking. Bill Borden, who's been cranking out films since the 80s, is the producer of this beautiful accident. Why? He leads Mili Productions' U.S. office in Santa Monica, California. Mili Productions is has created other animated titles like Ping Pong Rabbit and The Three Little Pigs and the Lamp. It has its own animation and visual effects studio and has assets in other entertainment areas, including virtual reality and dining.
The 2014 film Dragon Nest: Warriors' Dawn is a Chinese-American masterpiece that you probably have never heard of, considering there are literally no reviews on sites like Rotten Tomatoes, no official English translation, and limitied coverage anywhere.
On the official Mili Pictures website, they state that Dragon Nest: Warriors' Dawn had great success at the box office and certain critics called it the best computer animated film made in China. Are they tooting their own horn on a stage they constructed? It doesn't matter, because it did well enough to get its own sequel, planned to be released sometime in summer 2016.
The sequel is coming out next year
Dragon Nest: Throne of Elves follows the events of the first movie, which tied into the MMORPG storyline as an origin story, so was easy to follow for the unacquainted. Currently, Dragon Nest has several spin-off games and Dragon Nest 2 is still in development, although there hasn't been much word on it since 2013. Thus, it's unclear if Dragon Nest: Throne of Elves will serve as a tie-in for Dragon Nest 2 since they emphasize the source material, or if it will act more like a spin-off (or a side quest, hah). Regardless, I'm excited to see the Mili Pictures studio grow and am glad to see collaborations between Americans and foreign companies. While the movie won't ever make as much of an uproar as American-produced game-turned-movies, it sure will be fun for fans.