Soon, there be dragons. And dungeons. And Chris Pine. (Oh my!) Indeed, in 2023, 23 years after the ill-fated 2000 feature adaptation, Dungeons & Dragons, the ever-popular fantasy tabletop role-playing game, will get a second roll of the dice at the blockbuster treatment, courtesy of writers-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. Is it more fitting or ironic that this adaptation will come from the Game Night filmmakers? No matter. We're still learning more about this upcoming movie, but we know a few key details, which we'll share with you now. Here's what we know about 2023's Dungeons & Dragons, which also stars Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Hugh Grant, and more!
Dungeons & Dragons Will Be Released On March 3, 2023
We still have a long way to go before Dungeons & Dragons is reacquainted with the big screen. Specifically, the upcoming fantasy blockbuster isn't scheduled to premiere until March 3, 2023 — a whole two years away (almost). Granted, those dragons take a long time to be rendered, so the prolonged wait is understandable, but the delay is also due to Paramount shifting their release schedule. The movie was previously scheduled for May 27th, 2022 before it got pushed back with the rest of the studio's line-up. D&D fans will need to squeeze in a few more game sessions before they can buy their tickets.
The Fantasy Blockbuster Will Star Chris Pine And Michelle Rodriguez
Outside of the dragons (who, let's be real, are the real A-listers of this upcoming movie), Dungeons & Dragons will also feature the star power of Chris Pine (Wonder Woman) and Michelle Rodriguez (F9) in the lead roles. Not much is known about who they'll play, but Pine's presence is a safe bet. The capable actor is reflexively funny, dependable in the action department, able to sell far-out concepts with ease, and dashingly handsome to boot. Likewise, Rodriguez can certainly be a badass, and it'll be cool as hell to see her wield a sword and give hell to fire-breathers. Hopefully, their talents are well-utilized.
The Dungeons & Dragons Cast Includes Justice Smith, Regé-Jean Page, Hugh Grant, And Sophia Lillis
Along with Chris Pine and Michelle Rodriguez leading the proceedings, the Dungeons & Dragons cast includes Justice Smith (Detective Pikachu), Regé-Jean Page (Bridgerton), Hugh Grant (Paddington 2), and Sophia Lillis (IT). Additionally, Chloe Coleman (Big Little Lies), Jason Wong (Strangers), and Daisy Head (Shadow and Bone) are expected to round out the ensemble in supporting turns. Most of their characters are unknown, but it's been rumored that Grant will play the villainous Forge Fletcher and Lillis will appear as Doric. Additionally, Wong is expected to play the part of Dralas. More information about their respective characters should be confirmed a little closer to its release date.
It’s Written And Directed By John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein
Perhaps it was destiny that John Francis Daley would become the gamemaster behind Dungeons & Dragons. In July 2000, only a few short months before the previous (and disastrous) Dungeons & Dragons movie premiered in theaters, Daley starred in "Discos and Dragons," the eighteenth episode of Fox's cult classic show, Freaks & Geeks. With that memorable series finale, Daley found a permanent connection to this endearing fantasy role-playing game, and he has taken it in stride. As a fan outside of this show, Daley has a vested interest in honoring the game's legacy, and he'll do what he can to finally make a respectable film based on the property. Now, alongside his writing and directing partner Jonathan Goldstein, Daley will bring D&D back to the mainstream with 2023's blockbuster, which will arrive a whopping 23 years (!!!) after this fateful episode.
Dungeons & Dragons Wrapped Filming In August
Like many productions throughout these past two years, it hasn't been an easy road for 2023's Dungeons & Dragons. Despite the challenges it faced, however, the movie made it through to the other side. Following a very extended pre-production process, cameras started to roll in April 2021, and the upcoming movie wrapped in August of this year, as John Francis Daley announced on Twitter. Certainly, with a blockbuster as big as this one, you need to take as many precautions as possible during this dangerous time. But thankfully, it's in the can and in the midst of a surely extensive post-production process.
Several Scenes Were Changed Due To Current Events
In an intriguing development, Dungeons & Dragons (2023) might prove to be a more intimate movie due to COVID-19 restrictions. As John Francis Daley explained it, the movie was in the early stages of pre-production when lockdowns went into effect. During their time at home, the writers penned another draft of their screenplay that accounted for the lack of people that they could safely secure on their sets. In their original script, there were plans to include several extras and large crowds. But as Daley recounts, those sequences were recontextualized and reimagined, which might result in a different film than the one that Daley and Jonathan Goldstein originally had in mind.
Dungeons & Dragons Will Be An Action-Fantasy Adventure With Comedic Elements
Certainly, it came as a bit of a surprise to know that John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were attached to write and direct 2023's Dungeons & Dragons. The comedy filmmakers have primarily focused their efforts on making dark larks or zany farces. Even the blockbusters that they've been attached to, like Spider-Man: Homecoming, are lighthearted in their approach. A lot of folks take D&D seriously, though. Would these two storytellers treat the material with respect, or is it gonna be one big goof to them?
Thankfully, Dungeons & Dragons fans should take comfort in knowing that Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley will pay a great deal of respect to the material. That said, they're also aiming to bring the fun of the franchise to life to strike a nice balance.
In an interview with THR, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein talked about their approach to this beloved property, claiming that they won't simply "take the piss" out of it. Rather, the writers-directors found "another way into it that" they hadn't "seen before."
Here's what Jonathan Goldstein said:
It Was Filmed In Iceland
In mid-April, Iceland Monitor reported that Dungeons & Dragons had officially set up shop in scenic Iceland "with the participation of between 60 and 70 people" — which, admittedly, sounds like a small number for such a big production. In any case, more specifically, most of the movie was filmed at Titanic Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and it was reported that none of the central actors were seen on location. Certainly, the picturesque majesty of this gorgeous locale will serve the movie well, if highlighted. It's really hard to make Iceland look ugly. So, at the very least, Dungeons & Dragons (2023) should have these beautiful backdrops to give this giant blockbuster a lot of visual flair.
Dungeons & Dragons will fly into theaters on March 3, 2023.
Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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