After the lamentable attempt of a Dungeons and Dragons movie in 2000, it seemed like no filmmaker would ever try to make a movie out of the classic role-playing game again. However, 22 years later, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have written and directed their own take on Dungeons & Dragons.
One problem with adapting a tabletop role-playing game is that, out of necessity, role-playing games usually lack a lot of plots or characters. Unlike a comic book, which already features fleshed out characters and an unlimited number of story arcs to choose from, an RPG will provide players with one world, character types, and not much else. This way, players have carte blanche to tell their own stories. The main failing of the first film was that it didn’t create anything specific from the source material, instead feeling like a generic campaign led by an inexperienced dungeon master. Aside from various Easter eggs that were obviously included to excite die-hard D&D fans, the movie didn’t pull together a memorable story.
Will the new film fall into the same trap? Maybe. Again, the evidence we have so far suggests that Daley and Goldstein understood the mission and bagged the talent to bring their vision to life. Here’s what we know so far!
When is Dungeons and Dragons Go out?
Currently, Dungeons & Dragons should come out on March 3, 2023. Filming wrapped in August 2021, so it might seem odd that the film will be released almost two years later, but according to internet rumors, it looks like there’s a few things going on here. First off, two years gives the film plenty of time for post-production, which means we’ll likely see some significant VFX work in the film. (I mean, there are dragons in the title, so it’s not a huge surprise.) Second, it looks like Paramount might be pushing the release date back in order to make sure the Covid pandemic has subsided. calmed down and that people are not so hesitant to enter cinemas. Although the pandemic is in a lull right now, more flare-ups are expected as it (hopefully) gradually turns into a seasonal virus, so Paramount might hedge its bets on that. The film was originally scheduled to be released on May 27, 2022.
Even before the visual effects, however, Dungeons & Dragons promises to have visually stunning backgrounds. Parts of the film were shot in Iceland, where game of thrones got some of its most breathtaking landscapes. Most of the film was shot at Titanic Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Who’s in it?
The cast of Dungeons and Dragons is pretty exciting so far. While no character names have yet been revealed, here are the main cast members we currently know about:
Chris Pine as Bard. Pine is a fan favorite among the geeky crowd that’s likely to see Dungeons and Dragons. He has already played in the star trek restart, wonder woman 1 and 2, and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse like the voice of Peter Parker. His character is the leader of the band of thieves, a former lute player who prides himself on making some really good plans.
Michelle Rodriguez as the Barbarian. Rodriguez is best known as Letty in the Fast and Furious movies. His character, the Barbarian, is unimpressed with Chris Pine’s Bard.
Hugh Grant as the thief. Grant has a long and storied career, of course, of Four weddings and a funeral at Paddington 2. We don’t know exactly what the Rogue’s relationship will be with the rest of the Rogues, but it doesn’t seem too friendly.
Régé-Jean Page as the paladin. Page is a relative newcomer to Hollywood, but he’s already made a name for himself as the dark but sensitive Simon, Duke of Hastings in Season 1 of Bridgerton. Fans were disappointed when it was announced he wouldn’t be returning for Season 2, but at least we get to see him in a medieval fantasy epic.
Justice Smith as a wizard. Justice Smith has also appeared in Jurassic World and Detective Pikachu.
Sophia Lillis as the Druid. Sophia Lillis also appeared in This and I don’t agree with this. His character, the druid, can transform into a terrifying half-bear, half-owl creature.
Dungeons & Dragons will also feature the following actors: Chloe Coleman, Daisy Head, Nicholas Blane, Jason Wong, Sophia Eleni, Clayton Grover, Alexis Rodney, Natali Servat, Daniel Campbell, Shoti Kakibata, Dan Poole, Barry O’Connor, Laura Przybilla, Adrian Christopher, and Lati Gbaja.
What’s the plot?
An ex-Harper-turned-thief escapes prison with his partner, a barbarian woman, and reunites with an untalented wizard and druid new to their team in an effort to rob the cheating con artist who stole all their loot from the heist that landed behind bars and used it to install himself as Lord of Neverwinter. Only the traitor is allied with a powerful red wizard who has something far more sinister in store.
Judging by Hugh Grant’s posture in the trailer, it seems likely that his thief is the trickster who is now Lord of Neverwinter. There’s also the matter of the unspeakable evil the Bard and her friends have seemingly unleashed on the world.
As you can probably tell from the trailer and synopsis, this movie is going to be crazy. In a 2020 interview with The Hollywood ReporterGoldstein said that:
We want it to be fun. It’s not an outright comedy, but it’s an action-fantasy movie with lots of comedic elements and characters, we hope people will really immerse themselves in it and enjoy watching their adventures.
Daley echoed the sentiment saying:
We never wanted to usurp the fantasy genre or make fun of it. But we wanted to find another path that we hadn’t necessarily seen before. Just the format of Dungeons & Dragons is so interesting and fun and all about critical thinking and thinking on your feet and finding ways to make things work after they fall flat. There’s a lot of that spirit that we try to inject into the film itself.
Keep an eye out for updates as more details come out!
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