Dungeons And Dragons Directors Like Their ‘Male Heroes To Be Challenged,’ Talk Famous A-Listers Who Refuse To Make Themselves ‘Look Weak’

Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez featured in the trailer for Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

A lot of ingredients have gone into finally bringing the movie Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves to the big screen. Playing with all of the trappings and archetypes you’d expect from that legendary RPG, directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley are particularly excited to challenge the role of the typical male hero you’d find in such high fantasies. Unfortunately, that excitement wasn’t shared by several A-listers courted for roles in this 2023 new movie release.

This was apparently not the first time that the team behind movies like Game Night and Spider-Man: Homecoming have run into this issue. Sharing their account of such a development with Variety, Daley and Goldstein told a tale that sounds all too familiar in the modern movie landscape: 

DALEY: What’s funny is that in our casting process on multiple films, we’ve met movie stars that you would think are comfortable enough in their own skin that they would be able to portray themselves in a vulnerable light. But a lot of them really don’t feel comfortable doing that. Obviously, we won’t name a name here, but there is a notable movie star —  

GOLDSTEIN: I can think of two.

DALEY: — who is so handsome and awesome and will not make himself look weak. That’s so shocking, because to me, that feels like the most fun that you could have as an actor."

Reading that story above brings back memories of some interesting revelations over the past couple years of cinematic history. Namely, the report that claimed Hobbs & Shaw stars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham weren’t allowed to lose on camera. Looking back on the joint filmography of Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, it’s interesting to try and pick out the roles that would have this unnamed talent saying they didn’t want to participate.

Though this does make me wonder if several of Game Night’s cameos and supporting roles were offered to this unspecified actor, and they didn’t like possibly being shot, kidnapped or flat out sucked into a jet engine. Winding it all back into Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Goldstein and Daley approached the subject of actors that don’t want to “look weak” because they encountered the complete opposite experience on this film. 

As you may have guessed, it involved the man who’s potentially the “Best Chris” in Hollywood, Chris Pine. John Francis Daley got to share that piece of the puzzle, as he described a situation that falls in line with what we know about Dungeons & Dragons’ latest film. More specifically, it's Pine’s very Bard-like approach to his role in Paramount’s would-be blockbuster, which was described as follows: 

We’ve talked about this before with Chris Pine. What we love about Chris is that he’s hyper-aware of that and wants to make himself look as bad as possible, almost to a fault. Sometimes we’re like, ‘All right, no, you have to be a hero in this moment.’

That sounds about right for a man like Chris Pine, who isn't afraid to admit to a good roasting of his own image. Fans will get to have those discussions and more pretty soon, with Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves’ debuting in theaters on March 31st. Though it’ll be interesting if this discourse isn’t overtaken by how faithful this movie depicts each of the creatures and classes presented. So choose your battles carefully, players.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.