Hugh Grant Steals Dungeons & Dragons Comic-Con Panel

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The first footage from the film Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves was revealed in San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall H on Thursday. The movie, due in 2023, will center on a rag-tag group of adventurers which includes characters played by Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, and Hugh Grant.

Writer-directors Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley were otherwise vague on the plot: our heroes are questing for an unspecified object they think will solve an unspecified problem. Based on the clips, that quest involves digging up and resurrecting dead bodies to ask them questions, and running through a maze with monsters in pursuit.

Goldstein and Daley directed original 2018 comedy Game Night and co-wrote Spider-Man: Homecoming. So perhaps it’s unsurprising that the behind-the-scenes sizzle reel suggested that this will be a humor-heavy script. Daley, who got his start in Hollywood in the cast of Freaks and Geeks, first started playing the game as a 14-year-old on the set of that cult-hit show. At the panel, Grant said the script had a Monty Python vibe to it—high praise from an actor who says he considers himself a notoriously negative person.

When the panel moderator joked that his notes said Hugh Grant, who was attending Comic-Con for the first time, was a longtime D&D fan, Michelle Rodriguez cracked that she thought they mixed up Grant’s nonexistent love for D&D with his love of S&M. “I’ve been an enthusiastic dungeon master for some years now. That’s a British pastime. National sport almost. I believe that’s why the Jonathans thought of me for this role—my reputation.”


Hugh Grant in the trailer for Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves

Paramount

The panel made much of Grant’s romantic history. When a fan, who identified herself as a reader of Horse and Hound (a cheeky callback to Grant’s film Notting Hill), asked Grant to identify his spirit animal, he said a tiger. “It’s always been a nickname in the bedroom.” When Regé-Jean Page said swinging a sword got his butt into “the best shape of his life,” Grant cracked that he too worked on his posterior a lot during the film.

When a young fan asked the cast what props they would want to take from set, one of the directors warned Grant, “It’s a child asking the question.” That did not deter Grant, who had already stolen the panel with his quips. “For many years, I always take home a couple of extras. I’ve got quite a few now,” he said. “And on this one I have a few pretty extras I’m very very pleased with. They’re in my dungeon now.”

Unlike Grant, who was pleasantly befuddled by all references to anything Dungeons & Dragons, Chris Pine said that he came to Dungeons & Dragons later in life, in his 40s, through his family. But he’s become a quick lover of the game. “If there’s one game that should be played in every single high school across the nation, it should be D&D. You can get the bully and the jock—of course I only speak in John Hughes terms—all in one room and I guarantee you in 20 minutes they won’t remember who the bully is or who the dork is,” he said. “They’ll just want to have a good time.”

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com.



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