Directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein explain how Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves captures the feeling of taking part in the tabletop game without breaking the fourth wall. Inspired by the iconic role-playing game, the upcoming film sees Chris Pine’s party of rogues and misfits embark on an adventure to prevent an ancient evil from rising and wreaking havoc across the world. Pine stars alongside Justice Smith, Regé-Jean Page, Michelle Rodriguez, Sophia Lillis, and Hugh Grant in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, which is set to release on March 31.
In an interview with Variety, Daley and Goldstein delve into their own personal histories with Dungeons & Dragons to describe how Honor Among Thieves captures the experience of playing the game. Rather than relying on fourth wall breaks or a meta approach, the filmmakers sought to weave in elements of the game through Dungeons & Dragons‘ characters and story structure. Check out both directors’ full answers below:
JOHN FRANCIS DALEY: It’s a combination of things. Each character represents a different player and how they go about playing the game. Xenk, played by Regé-Jean Page, is very much the nerdy player that doesn’t make jokes and adheres strictly to the rulebook. Whereas Edgin, Chris Pine’s character, is the more casual player. He doesn’t bother to learn about the Bardic spells and would prefer to just hit people over the head with his lute.
JONATHAN GOLDSTEIN: The movie is almost like the dungeon master. The plot twists that we throw at our characters are what a DM would do at the table, just to screw with you and make it more fun. It was our way of capturing what goes on when you’re playing D&D, without breaking the fourth wall or becoming meta with it.
How Honor Among Thieves Introduces Dungeons & Dragons To Film Audiences
While Dungeons & Dragons and other tabletop games have seen increased popularity due to streams of campaigns growing increasingly popular, the length of the broadcasted sessions can prove to be intimidating to some. As such, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves may prove to be a perfect opportunity for audiences to become more familiar with the series’ lore. Daley and Goldstein revealed that they developed the film so that their Dungeons & Dragons movie can appeal to non-players as well as those more familiar with the game.
With Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves hoping to act as the gateway for a new audience, the film turned to information told throughout the game’s many sourcebooks to craft its characters and worlds. Those within Edgin’s (Pine) party are each part of one of the specific classes that players utilize to craft their own heroes for their own adventures. Several threats that the party face are directly inspired by monsters found within the lore. A portion of the marketing for Honor Among Thieves highlights recognizable D&D monsters, such as Mimics, Owlbears, and the ridiculous but deadly Gelatinous Cube.
With Daley and Goldstein hoping to recapture the spirit of playing a tabletop campaign in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Edgin, Xenk (Page), and the rest of the party may prove to be a highlight of the film. For many players, enjoying an adventure with their friends is a highlight of the game experience above everything else. As such, the personalities and relationships between the parties may prove to be the element that stands out above all, and potentially pave the way for future adventures.
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Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves