Edgin looks pensive in a close up in Dungeons & Dragons.

‘Dungeons & Dragons’ Directors on the Masochism of Bringing D&D to the Screen

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves has finally hit theaters, and with a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, the story of Edgin (Chris Pine)’s quest to get his daughter back from the treacherous Forge (Hugh Grant) is already a rousing success.

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We spoke to Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley at the Los Angeles red carpet premiere. We asked them what made them decide to take on a project like Dungeons & Dragons—and their answer will strike a chord with any artist who’s ever felt like they bit off more than they can chew.

Goldstein’s answer was immediate. “We’re self-loathing,” he said. “We really wanted to make our lives hard.”

Daley agreed, laughing. “We really wanted to challenge ourselves until we died at the end of the production,” he said. “No, look. We knew the immediate potential in something like this, and we also loved the game, and saw a way into the fantasy space that felt natural to D&D, and also very unusual for something that people are normally expecting.”

In addition to its rollicking story and humor, Dungeons & Dragons is also a technical achievement, employing a range of practical and special effects to create the magical world of Neverwinter. In fact, bringing that world to life was Goldstein and Daley’s favorite part of making the film—even though it might have made their lives harder.

“[Our favorite part of making D&D] was being able to bring these things that had only existed in people’s imaginations to life, whether it was the monsters or the places,” Goldstein said. “It’s just such a unique sort of privilege and obligation to get that right.”

“Yeah,” Daley agreed. “There’s something so unique about the creatures and the magic and the monsters, and you don’t normally see those bizarre things in anything else in fantasy lore. So to be able to bring it to life, practical and visual effects was a dream come true for us.”

Want more insight into the making of the Dungeons & Dragons movie? Check out our full-length interview with Goldstein and Daley here!

(featured image: Paramount Pictures)

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Julia Glassman
Julia Glassman (she/her) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at <a href="https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/">https://juliaglassman.carrd.co/.</a>