Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have revealed how their vision for the film affected their decision to take up the project instead of seeing through their prior commitment to Ezra Miller’s The Flash.
Dungeons and Dragons has been the face of tabletop role-playing games for decades and spawned several direct adaptations and inspired works in nearly every medium and genre imaginable, ranging from comedic web series to grim-dark fantasy novels. The most recent high-profile adaptation announcement came from Paramount, with the company revealing a feature-length movie in the works. The Dungeons and Dragons project received its official title from Paramount in April of 2022.
Francis Daley and Goldstein, who ended up in the director’s chairs for Dungeons and Dragons movie, recently sat down for an interview with Variety in which they discussed the upcoming film, and the topic of The Flash was raised. The pair faced issues when working on The Flash, a project they were attached to as writers and filmmakers until they walked away, citing several creative differences as the reason for the departure. Going further, Goldstein said, “If we feel like the powers-that-be aren’t excited about making the same movie as we are, we’re not going to win that battle. And so it’s better to cut your losses and get out of there.” Soon after this, the two would get the opportunity to helm the upcoming Dungeons and Dragons project, which likely fits their ideas much better even after the change in direction. Due to the high-profile nature of the project, the film will probably set the tone for future adaptations, including the live-action Dungeons and Dragons series coming to Paramount Plus.
The directing duo also discussed their vision for the Dungeons and Dragons movie. “There is that stigma that you have to get over that this isn’t just for the nerds,” Daley says. “There’s something bigger and more cinematic.” The duo revealed that they had initially envisioned the film as a more grounded thing centered on real-world players of the TTRPG but were led in another direction by the release of another surprisingly good project with a similar framing in Jumanji. “The moment ‘Jumanji’ came out, we said, ‘No, we can’t do this again,” the pair revealed during the interview. “Also, it does a little bit of a disservice. It reduces D&D to just a game and I think that there is so much that can be explored within that world. And it’s hard, stakes-wise, to care about a character that you know as an audience is being played by someone who’s safely in their home.”
As with every highly anticipated project, Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is receiving much scrutiny from fans even before it premieres. This has led to a few complaints about it, such as many fans wondering if Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves might be too comedic to encapsulate what makes the Forgotten Realms so appealing. This observation (as with most others) stems primarily from what some might call an over-analysis of the promotional material, which has a notably snarky tone. How well Daley and Goldstein balance the comedic and serious elements of the movie while maintaining the broad appeal they desire remains to be seen.
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is set to be released on March 31, 2023.