‘DUNGEONS & DRAGONS’: Honor Among Thieves
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (subtitle spelled Honour Among Thieves in the United Kingdom and Ireland) is a 2023 fantasy heist action comedy film directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, who cowrote the screenplay with Michael Gilio from a story by Chris McKay and Gilio. Based on the tabletop role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons, it is set in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting and has no connections to the film trilogy released between 2000 and 2012. The film stars Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, and Hugh Grant.
Production went through various phases in development since 2013, beginning with Warner Bros. Pictures after beating Hasbro and Universal Pictures in a lawsuit over the film rights to the tabletop role-playing game, before moving to Paramount Pictures, each with various writers and directors.
Edgin Darvis spent years working as a member of the Harpers, until his wife was killed by a Red Wizard he had confronted on a mission. Accompanied by barbarian Holga Kilgore, Edgin attempted to make a new life for himself and his daughter Kira by turning to theft, forming a team with amateur sorcerer Simon Aumar and rogue Forge Fitzwilliam. One mission led to them infiltrating a former Harper stronghold to acquire a resurrection tablet that would have allowed Edgin to resurrect his wife, but Forge’s new acquaintance Sofina is revealed to be a Red Wizard who uses the break-in to steal something else from the stronghold. Simon and Forge are able to escape, but Edgin and Holga are captured.
On May 7, 2013, Warner Bros. Pictures and Courtney Solomon’s Sweetpea Entertainment announced a film based on Dungeons & Dragons with David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick writing the script and Roy Lee, Alan Zeman, and Solomon producing. Two days later, Hasbro issued a lawsuit saying that they were co-producing a Dungeons & Dragons film at Universal Pictures with Chris Morgan writing and directing. On August 3, 2015, after U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee urged Sweetpea Entertainment and Hasbro to settle the film rights case, the Warner Bros. film was set for pre-production with Hasbro. On March 31, 2016, Rob Letterman was in negotiations to direct Johnson-McGoldrick’s script, with his role confirmed on May 13, 2016. In April 2017, actor Joe Manganiello, an avid fan of Dungeons & Dragons, revealed that he had written a script with John Cassel for the project and was “talking to all the right parties” to make the film happen. Upon completing the script, Manganiello worked in collaboration with Brad Peyton and Dwayne Johnson, who were both in negotiations to develop the film.
In December 2017, after varying degrees of progression, the film was moved by Hasbro to Paramount Pictures and was scheduled for a release date of July 23, 2021. In February 2018, Paramount was in talks with both Chris McKay and Michael Gilio to direct and write the film, respectively. In March 2019, it was revealed that Gilio had completed a first draft and studio executives expressed excitement for the film. The studio began negotiations with various talent, as the casting process began. On July 30, 2019, Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley were in talks to direct. Goldstein and Daley began meeting with Paramount following Daley talking about his career with a literary agent at a sports bar in Sherman Oaks during a game between the Chicago Cubs, which Daley is a fan of, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. After saying to the agent that he and Goldstein had left directing duties on The Flash, the agent asked if they were looking for work. The agent tipped off Paramount, who presented Goldstein and Daley with the script for Dungeons & Dragons.
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