Chris Pine Liked Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Because It Wasn't 'Snarky Or Meta'

The idea of a "Dungeons & Dragons" movie has felt like a no-brainer for quite a while now. The game dates back to 1974 and spent many years as the marker of a true nerd. Celebrating all things nerdy has long since become the cultural norm, however, and D&D has never been more popular than it is right now! Not only are more people getting into the game themselves, but there are also D&D podcasts like "The Adventure Zone," references to the game on popular shows like "Stranger Things," Twitch gameplays like "Critical Role," and the show inspired by it, "The Legend of Vox Machina." It was only a matter of time before someone put the brand name to good use and brought the joys of adventuring to the big screen.

Coming to theaters soon is the answer to all those wishes: "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves," which sees an unlikely band of heroes embark on an epic quest to retrieve something shiny and important. Classic D&D!

According to star Chris Pine, the film will be focusing on the greatest D&D element of them all. No, I'm not talking about puzzles or combat or even the part where your DM ominously rolls a d20 before looking up with an evil glint in their eye. I'm talking about earnestness — because all the best D&D tales begin with passionate friends (or strangers!) joining forces for some good ol' fashioned adventuring.

Prepare for a heartfelt adventure

"I didn't know anything about Dungeons & Dragons," Chris Pine admitted during a chat with Total Film Magazine. "I went into it pretty tabula rasa and was really enamored by this very specific tone. Tentpoles fit into being either snarky or meta or self-aware or earnest, and this landed in the earnest, heartfelt camp. There's certainly some self-awareness, but nothing that gets in the way of old-fashioned, populist filmmaking."

In a world where meta and snark have completely taken over the blockbuster movie circuit (mostly in the form of superhero movies), Pine's words are a comfort. But they're also a surprise. Self-aware and snarky are probably the first two words I would've guessed to describe the plot of "Honor Among Thieves," because that's certainly the vibe that the trailer displays. If the film leads more towards heartfelt and earnest storytelling, with some meta-jokes here and there, then my interest is even more piqued than before.

That kind of open-hearted excitement certainly seems to be the vibe of this movie's cast and crew. The upcoming issue of Total Film also featured a conversation with Michelle Rodriguez, who spoke excitedly about working on the film and particularly working with Pine, who she described with the same overjoyed tone of someone praising a golden retriever:

"This guy really loves acting! You give the guy words and he just goes nuts. He loves words! He loves enunciating words. He loves pronouncing words in different ways. He's a hoot."

A fantasy heist starring ... a bard!

Another point in this movie's favor is that it hails from John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who directed the absolutely hilarious action-comedy "Game Night." Based on the way Goldstein describes their approach, the filmmakers wanted "Honor Among Thieves" to be more than just jokes about D&D.

"We wanted to create a movie that could stand on its own, even if you stripped away all the fantastical elements; a movie that could work in another genre," Goldstein explained in the same Total Film article. "Like how 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' was a John Hughes high-school film with superpowers, this started off as a heist movie gone wrong. That felt like a great campaign for a troupe of less-than-perfect characters to engage in. And then we just added all the accouterments of the world of D&D."

Daley explained that the heist construct felt like a natural move: Not only is it a celebrated film genre, but so many D&D campaigns involve heist-like missions. And the other extremely fun element they got to play with? Chris Pine's character is a bard. Daley explained:

"Chris Pine as a Bard is an unlikely protagonist. People don't choose the Bard when they're campaigning unless they have a sense of humor. His whole superpower is inspiring people. He's a storyteller, but he also makes the plans, and doesn't necessarily like to get his hands dirty. That's more Michelle Rodriguez's character's job."

"Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" is set to be released in theaters on March 31, 2023.