Anyone sceptical that there’s a new Dungeons and Dragons movie coming out is completely warranted. To date, Hollywood hasn’t done the iconic franchise the justice it deserves. Not by a long shot. But at San Diego Comic-Con, one of the new film’s co-directors revealed a connection to the franchise that’s not just unique, it’s inspiring.
That movie is called Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves and it’s directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley. You can see the first trailer here but, if you don’t know those names, they’re the guys who wrote Spider-Man Homecoming and directed the immensely underrated comedy, Game Night. Daley also got his start as an actor when he played the character Sam Weir on the also underrated, but hugely influential show, Freaks and Geeks. And it was that show that Daley credits for getting him into Dungeons and Dragons.
“I’ve been an avid player since I was 14 years old and I was an actor on the show Freaks and Geeks,” Daley said in Hall H at Comic-Con, to much applause. “My character was a geek and he was a huge fan of Dungeons and Dragons. I had known peripherally about it so I decided, being the young method actor that I was, to play a campaign with the fellow cast members and immediately I fell in love with the world.”
So, yes. John Francis Daley became a D&D fan because of his time making Freaks and Geeks. Which is simply the coolest, and yet another reason why that show was simply way before its time.
“Because, as you guys know, anyone who plays Dungeons and Dragons, it is not just a game,” he continued.. “It is really the feeling you get when you play the game and that really is what we tried to do here with this film. That sense of camaraderie, family, coming together as a group, facing obstacles [where] you don’t know what to expect. So many things that, much to the chagrin of the DM [Dungeon Master], doesn’t know what’s going to happen. So that is what we wanted to capture. And, of course, that very unique brand of humour that I think sets us apart from anything else in the fantasy space.”
Which is a bold statement, considering prequels shows from Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones are not just coming soon, but will both be released before Dungeons and Dragons and both have big panels at San Diego Comic-Con. Alas, what those films don’t have is an actual, filmed documentation of the directors becoming fans of the franchise, which Freaks and Geeks now is for D&D.
Dungeons and Dragons: Honour Among Thieves will be released March 3, 2023.