Paramount Pictures is delighted D&D fans at Comic-Con with a panel and the official trailer for the upcoming feature film, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
The film is a reboot of the film trilogy that started with Dungeons and Dragons (2000). The film blew up at the box office, earning just over $33 million worldwide on its $45 million budget. It was also criticized by critics for poor quality, especially cheap special effects), poor performance, and poor direction. This movie still spawned D&D: Wrath of the Dragon God (2005), a standalone sequel made for television; as well as D&D 3: Book of Vile Darkness (2012), which was released straight to DVD.
The current reboot was first proposed by Warner Bros. in 2013, but the announcement of the project quickly drew the ire of Hasbro as Hasbro was developing its own D&D film by Universal Pictures. Hasbro sued and eventually settled, giving Warner Bros. green light to continue. Eventually, Hasbro moved the project to Paramount, filming a July 2021 release, and hired John Francis Daley and Jonathon Goldstein to write and direct. The release was delayed twice, but Honor among thieves will finally see the light on March 3, 2023.
Readers of a certain age may recognize Francis Daly’s name: As an actor, he played Sam Weir on the tragically underrated TV show from 1999-2000. Freaks and geeks. (He also played FBI profiler Lance Sweets in Bones.) He opened D&D during his time on the show, and of course it was a dream come true for him to be able to direct D&D movie. As he told those in Hall H at Comic-Con:
My character [on Freaks and Geeks] was a geek and he was a big fan Dungeons and dragons. I knew it peripherally, so I decided, being the young actor that I was, to do a campaign with fellow cast members, and immediately fell in love with the world.
Because as you know, anyone who plays Dungeons and dragons, it’s not just a game. It’s really the feeling you get when you play the game, and that’s really what we were trying to do here with this movie. This feeling of camaraderie, family, uniting in a group, facing obstacles [where] you don’t know what to expect. So many things that, much to the DM’s chagrin [dungeon master]does not know what will happen. This is what we wanted to capture. And, of course, that unique kind of humor that I think sets us apart from everything else in the fantasy world.
Honor among thieves installed in the extremely popular Forgotten Realms campaign. The film’s official message is short and sweet: “A charming thief and a group of incredible adventurers embark on an epic heist to recover a lost relic, but things go awry when they run into the wrong people.”
The charming thief in question is Elgin, the bard played by Chris Pine, who admits in the trailer that being a thief is bound to make a few enemies, and sometimes those enemies decide to retaliate. “In truth, we helped the wrong person steal the wrong thing,” he says in voiceover. “We didn’t set out to unleash the greatest evil the world has ever known. But we’re going to fix it.”
It won’t be an easy decision. He will need the power of Holga, the barbarian (Michelle Rodriguez); courage through Zenk (Rare-Jean Page), a paladin; and magic thanks to Simon the Witch Doctor (Justice Smith). Then there’s Doric (Sophie Lillis), a tiefling druid who can transform into a ferocious kinbear, which comes in handy during combat. As for Elgin, “I’m a planner,” he tells Doric. “I am making plans. If the existing plan doesn’t work, I make a new plan.” Bonus: He also plays the lute.
An unfinished clip from the film was shown at the Comic-Con panel, showing the troupe in search of the Helmet of Destruction, which involves digging up corpses to interrogate them. The official Led Zeppelin trailer has a sense of humor and style that could certainly work in a fantasy adventure setting. Hugh Grant compared the tone to Monty Pythonbut it also has some cheesy irreverence, let’s say knight’s tale. I will take this approach for an overly harsh and smug tone. As Ars senior technology editor Lee Hutchinson noted, “It looks so stupid that it loops and becomes potentially great.”
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves will be released in theaters on March 3, 2023. A spin-off of the TV series is already in development and should be the cornerstone of several different projects to complement the film.
Image listed on YouTube/Paramount
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