- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves kicked off the SXSW film and TV festival on Friday night in Austin with a laugh-filled premiere.
“We have seen our Games of Thrones and Lords of the Rings and they are great, but there’s not a lot of laughs. We wanted to show the fun,” said Dungeons and Dragons co-director Jonathan Goldstein of the fantasy genre from the stage of the Paramount Theater in downtown Austin.
Chris Pine, Regé-Jean Page, Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith and Sophia Lillis star in the movie from Paramount and eOne as a band of adventurers that are on a quest to retrieve a powerful relic, a journey that runs into trouble after they come across some nefarious characters. Hugh Grant, who was not in attendance at Friday’s premiere, plays the group’s primary foil, as an ally turned con man.
Goldstein and John Francis Daley — best known for directing under-the-radar comedy Game Night — wrote and directed the movie that has long been in development.
Fans of the table-top role-playing game will be delighted by the film’s gameplay references — from gelatinous cubes to owlbears. Goldstein and Daley are avowed fans of D&D, with Daley playing D&D onscreen as a child actor in the 90s series Freaks & Geeks. “Directing a movie is essentially like running a campaign,” noted Goldstein during the post-screening Q&A.
While onstage, Pine said he had not played the game much prior to the movie but started playing with his family once he got cast as the movie’s bard. “I got to see my dad play a warrior, which is very exciting. He is 82,” he said, adding that the game is built for actors. “It’s basically improv. Something happens and you say, ‘Yeah, let’s go.'”
But the film’s biggest cheers and screams came with the dashing onscreen introduction of Page, who plays the film’s resident paladin. “Can you talk about the decision to cast beautiful men?” asked one audience member to quite possibly the biggest laughs of the night. Daley batted back: “We saw them as extensions of ourselves.”
While there was no explicit cliffhanger at the end of the film, the question of a sequel did come up during the Q&A, to which Goldstein replied, “To be able to continue this ride with these awesome people would be a dream.” (Goldstein and Daley recently set a first-look deal with the studio.)
It has been a long road to the screen for Dungeons & Dragons. The role-playing game from Hasbro was previously adapted in 2000 by New Line for a film starring Jeremy Irons. In recent years, the property has been at the center of a legal battle over its film rights, with a 2015 settlement appearing to have paved the way for Warner Bros. to make a movie that at one time had Ansel Elgort in early talks to star. However, the rights eventually left Warners for Paramount.
Paramount was at SXSW last year — the first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — with the Sandra Bullock and Channing Tatum two-hander The Lost City. That adventure rom-com went on to earn an impressive nearly $200 million at the global box office.
Dungeons & Dragons will be released in theaters on March 31.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day
More from The Hollywood Reporter
Mindy Kaling, Bruce Springsteen, Julia Louis-Dreyfus Among Honorees of White House’s National Medals of Arts
Mark Twain Prize
Adam Sandler’s Starry Friends Toast His Comic Legacy as He Receives Mark Twain Humor Prize
Jason Ritter Jokes His First Hollywood Job Was a “Full-on Nepotism Hire” Thanks to His Dad John Ritter
Andrew Lloyd Webber Says His Son Is Critically Ill, Will Miss ‘Bad Cinderella’ Broadway Opening