Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves set out to embrace the spirit of the game, and that is exactly what it did. I sat down with some of the cast and the directors to talk about the energy that was brought to the movie and it was clear from each and every one of them that they had a blast filming.
The game is known for bringing friends together and allowing them to have a great time as they explore a world of fantasy. Writer-Directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein got together with Wizards of the Coast to do something fun before filming started. No strangers to Game Nights, they came up with a custom D&D campaign for the entire cast that they could play together, as their characters. Not only did the actors learn the ins and outs of the game, but it also helped to form a bond between them.
It really worked as they all have fond memories of that first time they were all in a room together.
Justice Smith, who portrays the sorcerer Simon, laughs and recalls that he didn’t think they were playing it right as they basically just shouted over each other for an hour. Sofia Lillis plays a Druid named Doric in the movie, but she has played D&D back in high school with her friends as well. In fact, her character had quite the profane name – Vi-Boy Raider – and his catchphrase was “It’s not a sex thing.”
That hilarious quip aside, she has had experience in the game, so she assures Justice that this is exactly how it is meant to be played. She also recalls that she spent quite some time trapped in a room fighting little plants instead of helping the rest of the team battle a wizard. Oops.
Both Michelle Rodriguez and Chris Pine remember how much fun they had together. Michelle describes D&D as a workout for the imagination. Chris adds that while he doesn’t recall anything specific about the game itself, but rather that they laughed a lot and gave each other a lot of crap.
“It was just like a bunch of friends getting together,” he explains before tying it all to the movie, which he says is exactly that.
Making It Up as They Go
Pine says Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is like getting your friends together to laugh, have a good time, and improvise to figure things out. “The film captures the spirit of what it's like to be someone playing the game and that, to me, is really cool.”
Rege-Jean Page confesses that playing D&D together as their characters allowed them to learn how far they could push it. They then took that to set with them, and then when they filmed, and they are now sharing it with the world.
They all have their set character classes in the movie, but I asked them if they were playing a game with their friends, which class would they choose.
Rege-Jean says that he has spent a lot of time as Paladin, but he might switch it up for funsies every once in a while and go with a Bard. The Bard seems to be the popular choice as both directors also choose that class. Michelle opts for a Druid because she loves nature and wants to turn into all the animals.
Chris Pine goes completely off-script, rolling the dice by admitting he wants to be a Top Gun pilot, and he doesn’t care if that’s not allowed.
Making Her Mark
The youngest actress in the film, Chloe Coleman, is in South Africa filming a new movie so she, unfortunately, had to miss the interviews. However, we still found a way to sneak her into the conversation. While she does work with the whole cast, the majority of her scenes are with Michelle and Chris. Both of them immediately lit up at the mention of her name.
Michelle gushes about how they are just simple humans in comparison to her, while Chris says that she has been raised right, and is such a great person. They both agree that she is going places. Considering she is in 65 with Adam Driver as well as this film, and will be starring alongside Dave Bautista in My Spy 2 soon, she certainly is.
This cast really is something special. John Francis Daley tells me that they were so lucky to get a cast like this. “Just like any rounded-out group of players, you want everyone to be different and bring their own pros and cons to the table,” he explains. He describes Chris as the ringmaster and cheerleader, Michelle as brutal, Justice as lovable, Hugh Grant as a devilish cad, Rege-Jean as totally serious and humorless (which makes him all the more funny), and Sophia as a bizarre and incredible performer.
When it comes to making this a movie that players and non-players alike can enjoy, Jonathan Goldstein says that it is because they set out to create a fantasy film that is different from the ones we have all seen before, while using the fifty-year legacy of Dungeons & Dragons.
“It gives us so much to work with, but really what we did was start with the characters and create characters who, like the players of D&D, are just like us. They're flawed and they're doing their best,” Daley explains.
Witness the result of the cast and directors putting their hearts and souls into this film when Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves comes to theaters on March 31st.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Tessa Smith owns MamasGeeky.com and is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic and a huge geek. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics associations including the Critics Choice Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association. She grew up watching movies, playing video games, and reading comic books -- and still loves all of those things. She proudly lets her geek flag fly and spreads the word that there is nothing wrong with being a geek.