Honor Thief Directors Talk Tone, Chris Pine’s Range

ComingSoon Editor-in-Chief Tyler Treese talks Dungeons & Dragons: Honor the Thieves Directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley about the action fantasy comedy movie ( watch and read more interviews). The directing duo discussed the freedom of their source material and Justice Smith’s comedic timing. The film is available now to buy digital and will arrive on 4K Ultra HD SteelBook, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD on May 30.

“A charming thief and a group of unlikely adventurers embark on an epic quest to retrieve a long-lost relic, but their glamorous adventure turns dangerous when they encounter the wrong people,” reads the movie’s synopsis.

Tyler Treese: Jonathan, Dungeons and Dragons works really well as an adaptation because you have an established world and structure, but also have a lot of freedom with it. You can be the dungeon master and tell the story you want to tell. How interesting is it that you have that benefit of being in a franchise, but you’re not really tied to a particular tone?

Jonathan Goldstein: It’s kind of the perfect scenario in a way because, like you said, it has 50 years of lore and monsters and spells and locations to capture, but we’re not married to any of it. We are not obligated to use any story because the process of playing D&D creates your world and your campaign.

So we see our roles as dungeon masters in the film. We started out not really, “Okay, where do we need to go and what kind of monsters do we need to see?” But instead, “What is our campaign? Who’s at our party? What does it consist of? What kinds of things do we want to include and how best would we have a fun diverse group of people that represent the kinds of things you’ll encounter while playing the game?

John, I love the whole fat dragon series. Everyone is excited to see a menacing creature, and we get this cute, awkward, chubby guy, but that fight still provides a lot of thrills. Can you talk about taking it in a fun direction instead of a standard fantasy dragon?

John Francis Daley: Yeah, I mean, you hit the nail on the head. There are so many standard fantasy dragons that we feel it’s necessary to break what people expect – especially since this is a D&D movie, you have that allowance. There’s something that really embraces the weird and wonderful in D&D, so we don’t feel like we’re betraying anything by doing that. Themberchaud truly exists in lore. We had the idea of ​​this heavy dragon in mind when we wrote it – before we knew that character existed – but then we gave him his name and kind of accepted the thing that made to him who is very special. But we also knew we wanted the scene to have high stakes throughout.

We really don’t want to lower the stakes by making something so irrational and non-threatening that it’s so important to us that he still poses a legitimate threat to our group. Whenever our friends feel that they are far away, he suddenly comes back. He is a relentless dragon, despite the fact that he can barely fly and he has trouble walking on his four legs. That, to us, is just a fun mix of tones where you’re laughing one second and you’re on the edge of your seat the next.

Jonathan, you two are a great directing duo, and I’m always curious – you obviously get along well and can share a creative vision, but I’m sure disagreements will arise. How do you work with it and solve it?

Jonathan Goldstein: We have so many years of collaboration under our belt that we often don’t dig into things because we rely on other people’s instincts. So if one of us doesn’t really feel like something is going to work, I think, eventually, we’ll come to a solution that we feel is good. It’s just like writing, you know? If there’s a line that one of us feels just doesn’t work, then we go back and improve it until we both feel it’s good.

John, Chris Pine showed his full performance in this show. It’s great when you have an actor who can do comedy at one point, but he has a really emotional storyline and he’s in these action sequences. How great is it to have someone who can do everything and is perfect for the main character?

John Francis Daley: I can’t say enough about Chris Pine. I think what he represents is an actor who is really different from most of the leading men these days and goes back to your Paul Newmans, your Harrison Fords, someone who is very good at being able to juggle a lot tones without harming any of the. they. So the fact that he can find humor in a moment where people are crying the next minute is a skill that you don’t see very often and one that we definitely mined a lot of when we were making this film.

This is the reason why we always like him for this, because not only does he have the charisma and confidence of a person, he also has a vulnerability that he is comfortable to accept. I mean, it’s weird – those vulnerabilities and those moments of vulnerability are something that, often, leading men these days don’t feel comfortable portraying because they don’t want to hurt their brand. And, to me, that’s a shame because it creates a character that you as an audience member can get and relate to, even if he’s 40 times more handsome than any of us. [Laugh].

Jonathan, I love how you handled this ensemble cast. How to ensure that every core party member has that overall storyline and arc? It can be very easy to focus on one over the others because they are all so powerful, but you manage to balance them.

Jonathan Goldstein: That starts with writing. We want to make sure everyone has a journey to travel individually and an arc to complete, and some of that overlaps, but I think it’s more engaging for an audience and more invested when you see the weaknesses, where people follow the need to grow and develop, and after the course of two hours, they have made that progress. In the end, they are all part of this family, this found family, which makes each of them stronger. That’s really the core of D&D, too – the game. It is that everyone has their weaknesses. Not one person can do everything alone. So you depend on your countrymen.

John, there is so much more potential for future D&D movies. Would you like to play in that universe again, be it a sequel or some other kind of film?

John Francis Daley: I think it’s too early to say. There’s definitely talk about sequels, but I think, for us … all the pieces have to fit together in the right way. We have to make sure that we measure the appetite of the audience and make sure that they want something else. Also, the fact that we’ve spent four years of our lives on this thing, pouring every part of ourselves into this film… it takes a minute for us to catch our breath and decide if we want to jump right in. – also this.

Jonathan, I just love Justice Smith in this movie. He always steals scenes and is very funny. What impressed you most about working with him? He seems to have a natural comedic timing.

Jonathan Goldstein: He did. I think his British accent probably impressed me the most. I mean, it’s great that Hugh Grant thinks he’s British. [Laugh]. No, Justice is truly a scene-stealer and he’s a character that people gravitate towards, I think because he represents the imperfect, self-doubting man. I know I showed it to my son and John’s son and some of the kids in his class and asked them afterwards who their favorite character was, and it was Simon. I just think he has relatability. He really likes it.

John Francis Daley: I would also add that there is something very likable about that character, that while he doesn’t have a lot of confidence when we first meet him, he has an amazing power inside him just waiting to come out. I think there’s something really good about that for people to see, the potential of what you can be when you believe in yourself.

John, I was wondering, what was the biggest lesson you learned Game Night that you have applied to this movie?

John Francis Daley: I think the biggest thing we learned is that you can present a movie in a way that doesn’t have to be comedic and still make your audience laugh. It was a conscious decision for us to approach that film visually. It’s like a thriller – a David Fincher movie, if you will. And that feels dangerous because we’ve never seen a comedy done that way. We also thought, “Will it kill the jokes? Will it confuse the audience?”

I think it only helps strengthen the comedic moments because you raise the stakes, you feel the danger, and that makes for a lot of laughs. So when we went into Dungeons and Dragons, we knew we could shoot it like a fantasy film without it, ruining the madness that we also wanted to show in the film.

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