Even with all the CGI wizardry required to bring the “Dungeons & Dragons” RPG universe to convincing life in “Honor Among Thieves,” John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein still found room for a good deal of practical effects, which is great news for fans of old-fashioned animatronic fantasy critters. However, for Hugh Grant, who’s never worked on a film with such fantastical creatures before (assuming ’60s-styled Henry Cavill in Guy Ritchie’s “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” doesn’t count), it was all a bit overwhelming. As he explained to Empire:
“Just when you thought you were doing a rather powerful or amusing little bit of acting, you’d realise there was a f**king dragon walking past you in the background, stealing your thunder. There was a lot of incredibly intricate, I don’t know what you call it…”
After the interviewer suggested he was looking for the word “animatronics,” Grant continued:
“Animatronics! Terrifying. A fish that eats babies! And suddenly the whole floor of the set would be quicksand! I wish I’d had my children with me. They would have liked that.”
Grant’s kids surely aren’t the only ones who would’ve loved to interact with the animatronics on the “Honor Among Thieves” set. By that same token, it’s not surprising Daley and Goldstein would want to blend practical and digital effects in their first major tentpole, having previously struck a healthy balance between the two in the more action-oriented segments of their mid-budget comedies. Here’s to hoping the final result is a thrillingly silly rumpus in the same vein as, well, an actual “Dungeons & Dragons” game.
“Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves” will premiere at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival on March 10, 2023, before opening in theaters three weeks later on March 31.