It’s hard to believe, but it took almost a decade to bring Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves to movie screens. The film has been in development hell since 2013, with Warner Bros. initially expressing interest in bringing the tabletop role-playing game to life.
However, the film later moved to Paramount Pictures. Chris McKay and Michael Gilio were originally tapped to write and direct the movie, but were replaced in 2019 with Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, who used elements from McKay and Gilio’s script.
And though there are plenty of references to the Dungeons & Dragons game, the film’s directors said they “definitely took some liberties” when making the movie.
A quick overview of ‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves follows a charming thief, Edgin Darvis, who recruits a band of unlikely adventures to undertake an epic heist to recover a lost relic. However, things take a dangerous turn when they run into the wrong people, including one of Edgin’s former colleagues, who is now a wealthy man.
The film boasts an ensemble cast including Chris Pine (Edgin), Justice Smith (Simon), Michelle Rodriguez (Holga the barbarian), Regé-Jean Page (Xenk Yendar), Hugh Grant (Forge), Daisy Head (Sofina), Jason Wong (Dralas) and Sophia Lillis (Doric).
The film’s directors didn’t want a meta-gameplay storyline
Since Honor Among Thieves is a direct adaptation of the tabletop game, the writers had to adhere to the source material. However, directors Goldstein and Daley made a few changes because they felt the game was already fun on its own. In a recent interview with IGN, Daley and Goldstein were asked if the movie had a meta-narrative involving a real-life game player like Jumanji.
Daley clarified that Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves “is not Jumanji.” “We talked about it, but we made a decision that we did not want to break the fourth wall.”
Goldstein added, “There’s so much fun to be had just in the world of D&D that we didn’t have to bring it into our world and show kids playing.”
The directors said they thought having a real-life player controlling the game “would be sort of limiting the absolute scope of this world.” Daley, however, insisted that they still adhered to the mechanics of the game in terms of “turn-based actions.”
“All the spells and monsters and creatures that they come across are authentic to the lore, but we definitely took some liberties to give you the most action-packed fun that we could.” Goldstein joked that it wouldn’t be as much fun to see players resting in between attacks.
‘Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ is already a hit among critics
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves will premiere in theaters across the US on March 31, 2023. Pre-release buzz has been overwhelmingly positive, with the movie scoring an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 37 reviews.
Valerie Complex of Deadline Hollywood praised the new IP writing, “With renewed interest in the fantasy genre, it’s good to see something outside of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones getting it right.”