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A little over two decades after a disastrous film adaptation, Dungeons & Dragons is ready to hit the big screen once again in next year's Honor Among Thieves. While the addition of a subtitle might have been part of an unspoken effort to distance the blockbuster project from its 2000 predecessor, it was mainly chosen to represent the sprawling and ever-expanding fantasy universe contained within the long-running tabletop RPG.
"It was a long process deciding on that because it's representative of this much bigger brand," co-director and writer John Francis Daley explained to Collider. "I think that was what the kind of challenge was, was how are we going to depict this movie. At first, when we wrote it, we just called it Dungeons and Dragons, but there was rightfully the concern that it doesn't necessarily emphasize the scope of Dungeons and Dragons. The fact that Dungeons and Dragons isn't just this story. This is just one of many stories that kind of live in the world and that's kind of where our title landed ... It's a very true subtitle to what the movie is about."
Jonathan Goldstein — Daley's fellow co-director and writer (the duo share script credit with Michael Gilio, who conceived of the screen story with Chris McKay) — added that a number of titles were "thrown out" because they "felt more like marketing things than the spirit of the movie."
The film, which debuted its first trailer at Comic-Con last week, stars Wonder Woman vet Chris Pine as a charming thief and the leader of a group of miscreants who must work together to save the world when they accidentally allow a devastating weapon fall into the wrong hands. Think of it as Game of Thrones meets Guardians of the Galaxy (retro needle drops included!). Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Chloe Coleman, Daisy Head, and Hugh Grant co-star.
There's no denying the D&D franchise is extremely ripe for a Marvel-style cinematic universe, but thankfully, Paramount didn't put any pressure on the filmmakers to think that far ahead and start laying breadcrumbs before more projects that might not even get made. "They were smart and savvy enough to know that the first one's got to work before you even dive into the others," Daley explained. "That said, I think it's a really good jumping-off point for a lot of other potential movies to come after it."
"It has to be that you make something great in its own merit," said producer Jeremy Latchman. "So I was really adamant, let's not be thinking ahead whenever that would come up. If someone would say something about the future, I'd be like, it's this. This is the future. This movie being good is the future."
Brian Goldner and Nick Meyer are also producers. Daley, Goldstein, and Pine serve as executive producers with Denis L. Stewart, Zev Foreman, and Greg Mooradian.
Dungeons & Dragons braves the big screen on March 3, 2023.
Looking for more fantasy? Check out the entire Harry Potter film saga streaming now on Peacock.