Talk about going method, Paramount Pictures shared a short video revealing that the cast of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves actually played the tabletop roleplaying game.
The live action film based on the world’s most popular tabletop RPG hit theaters this past week and unseated John Wick: Chapter 4 from the top of the box office. With a $38.5 million domestic opening weekend haul, alongside high critic and audience scores, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is poised to be a solid hit. A big part of the success can be attributed to the chemistry of the cast and their generally accurate representation of the familiar D&D classes.
With the movie in its second week, the Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves production shared a teaser showing the main cast actually playing a session of D&D.
Now this is the campaign we all want to be a part of. Check out our cast playing D&D and be sure to see the movie only in theatres now. #DnDMovie
🎟️: https://t.co/pODhpEOwSU pic.twitter.com/qzRDONMn6T
— Dungeons & Dragons Movie (@DnDMovie) April 4, 2023
The short video indicates that this was the first day of pre-production. The gaming table included the stars of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves with Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Sophia Lillis, Justice Smith, and Regé-Jean Page. Along for the session are the directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, though the actors playing the villains Forge (Hugh Grant) and Sofina (Daisy Head) were not present.
Chris Pine, who portrays the bard Edgin Darvis, an ex-Harper and the de facto leader of the party says of the D&D game:
Playing Dungeons and Dragons, it’s such an incredibly creative game. The game teaches camaraderie, friendship—we had a blast.
Michelle Rodriguez, who plays Holga Kilgore, the Barbarian, concurred, saying "it stimulates your creative powers" and later added the game is "a lot of fun".
And the short clip does appear to confirm the fun part. The actors, dressed in casual attire, flanked by rulebooks, character sheets, and miniatures while eating snacks as they rolled their dice and laughing as the D&D game session progressed. It is very much an accurate reflection of what a tabletop roleplaying table of players looks like.
Dungeons & Dragons had exploded in popularity in the 1970s when it was first created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson and published by TSR. Combining the fundamental elements of wargames with a free-form style of storytelling, D&D became a cultural phenomenon. After controversial negative press and bad business decisions, TSR was acquired by Wizards of the Coast (which would also later be bought by Hasbro). Under WotC, the third edition of D&D brought renewed interest to the roleplaying game.
Third edition and the revised 3.5 Edition brought more mainstream attention to the hobby. Some key Hollywood celebrities played the game and some continue their passion to this day. This includes industry personalities such as Iron Man and The Mandalorian’s Jon Favreau, writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, My Chemical Romance frontman and Umbrella Academy writer Gerard Way, actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Joe Manganiello, and Vin Diesel.
After a misfire with Fourth Edition, the third resurgence of D&D in the mid-2010s coincided with the actual play Dungeons & Dragons online sessions gaining popularity. The most notable of these is Critical Role. Spearheaded by Matt Mercer, Critical Role gathered mutual friends who just happen to be talented voice actors. The show is often credited as a big factor in generating interest in Dungeons & Dragons for the current generation of fans.
As fans of D&D have enjoyed these actual play sessions, the revelation that the cast of Honor Among Thieves also played at least one game piqued their interest. On social media, D&D fans are calling for the cast's game session to be fully uploaded or included as bonus behind-the-scenes content for the eventual home release of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. In the meantime, fans of Dungeons & Dragons can get the stat blocks of Edgin, Holga, Doric, Simon, and Xenk via D&D Beyond for free.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is currently playing in theaters worldwide. No official announcement has been made as to when the digital and streaming release date will be.