The grandaddy of roleplaying gets an irreverent makeover in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. In an exclusive interview with SFX Magazine in the new issue, which features the movie on the cover, writer/directors Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, and Jeremy Latcham share how they created a new world for the movie, while still doing the world of Dungeons & Dragons justice.
Although the team admits to occasionally bending the stricter rules of the gameplay in the name of dramatic licence, they insist that their approach has been faithful. Brand custodians Wizards of the Coast played a part too, coming up with some new extensions of the fictional world to fit the story.
"They were incredibly helpful," says Latcham to SFX. "We went up to Seattle when we were in the early stages of figuring out what this movie was going to be, and spent time with them. There were things that posed challenges. For example, we have a prison at the beginning of the movie. Up till then, there hadn’t been a prison in the D&D world, so they incorporated one into the lore. We worked with them on who would operate such a prison… that kind of thing. It was really nice to feel that coordination and kinship."
Not unlike the game itself, Dungeons & Dragons’s on-screen world is an eclectic realm. Goldstein felt that the environments needed to tread a fine line between verisimilitude and appealing visuals.
"There’s this guy, Jeremy Jarvis, who’s in charge of their art direction of the whole universe of D&D," says Goldstein. "The thing he kept saying to me, over and over again, was the fact that this civilisation has been there for a while. So there’s layers to it. And you can feel that in the design of the film – things built on top of things, built on top of things. It’s vibrant and makes it feel different to other fantasy films." Davey agrees: "We weren’t creating this world ourselves, but we definitely helped to flesh it out so that it felt presentable for the cinematic space," he says. "I think it’s gonna be really exciting for fans of the game, and also people that have no familiarity with it."
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That's just a snippet of our interview, available in the latest issue of SFX Magazine with Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves on the cover, available on newsstands this Wednesday, March 22! For even more from SFX, sign up to the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.