How Jackie Chan And Jurassic Park Inspired Chris Pine's Dungeons And Dragons Movie

Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith, and Chris Pine having a conversation in the woods, on horseback in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
(Image credit: Paramount)

Certainly, when it comes to the new Dungeons & Dragons movie, Honor Among Thieves, one expects the film will take the majority of its influence from the TTRPG that inspired it. In the first trailer for the D&D movie, which shows off stars Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez and more, we could see the party of heroes is made up of the various D&D character classes and there will be no shortage of D&D creatures to fight that come from the game. However, the new D&D movie also has some more surprising influences, like Jurassic Park and Jackie Chan movies

The directors and producer of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves sat down with CinemaBlend during the recent San Diego Comic-Con and revealed the movies that inspired the new film, not necessarily in content, but in style. Writer/Director John Francis Daley explained that the movie used Jackie Chan films as a model for filming its own action sequences, in trying to make them look as real as possible. This included using the actual actors whenever possible. Daley explained… 

We tried not to rely on “digi doubles” as much as we possibly could. When we were talking with our stunt coordinator, in terms of inspiration visually we went back to the films of Jackie Chan because what was so awesome and unique about his movies were, you know what’s going on because you see it all in these big wide shots and hits hurt a lot more because you’re seeing them.

Co-writer and co-director Jonathan Goldstein said that modern action movies have a tendency to get so close with the cameras, and so frequent with the edits, that it can be difficult for the audience to really tell what’s going on in an action scene. It was important in this movie not to do that. This is where Jackie Chan came in, because as Daley said, one can always see what’s going in those action sequences, and they work better because of it.

And practical sequences were an important part of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves outside of the action as well. While a movie full of magic and mystical creatures was certainly going to have a significant amount of digital effects, the filmmakers strived to find a balance between practical and digital effects, in the way that the iconic Jurassic Park did all those years ago. As Daley remarked…

Jurassic Park was really kind of our spirit animal in making this film because it is that perfect fusion of practical and visual effects and it still holds up to this day.

Some of those practical shots in the new D&D film, like filming an actual volcano in Iceland, were more luck than planning, but they certainly worked out. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is certainly taking from the best when it comes to inspiration. The movie also looks to be embracing the best parts of actually playing D&D, including the humor that frequently becomes part of the game. We’ll get to see just how well the film follows those that inspired it when it hits theaters next year.  

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.