“Dungeons & Dragons” is arguably the pioneering “modern” tabletop role-playing game. From its debut in 1974 the franchise has taken on a life of its own, rather distinct from the older military-themed miniature war-gaming genre it spun off from, replacing army tokens with customizable adventuring characters in a fantasy world. It even has some modest success in being adapted from its tabletop form, with multiple best-selling videogames, a fondly-remembered 1980s animated series, and some near-forgettable movies since the 2000s. Paramount Pictures is keen to finally make a blockbuster “Dungeons & Dragons” film to premiere next year, and they are gathering a formidable cast for it.
Deadline has it that Paramount may have found the perfect opposing force to the main cast of their 2022 “Dungeons & Dragons” movie. Their earlier cast members of Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez and Justice Smith will soon find themselves taking on a bad guy to be portrayed by British actor Hugh Grant. His casting announcement, made Tuesday, March 2, also included Sophia Lilllis in a yet-unspecified role. Paramount picked up the original 2015 film pitch for “Dungeons & Dragons” from Warner Bros. in 2017, appropriate as the tabletop RPG’s maker, Wizards of the Coast, is now a subsidiary of Hasbro, which has several IPs adapted by Paramount for the screen.
Having Grant portray an antagonist is a pretty easy choice given that he has been a veteran on American and British films for years, even if he is more easily remembered for starring in romantic comedies. Proof of his serious chops can be seen in HBO’s 2020 psychological drama “The Undoing,” for which he was nominated Best Actor – Miniseries or Television Film at the recent 78th Golden Globes. Lillis on the other hand was part of the 2017-2019 remake of “It” and “It Chapter Two.”
On the producing side of things, Paramount has given directorial duties to “Spider-Man: Homecoming” screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. Jeremy Latcham, formerly of Marvel Studios, will produce this new “Dungeons & Dragons” film under eOne. Rege-Jean Page, currently part of Netflix’s period drama “Bridgerton,” is yet another member of the initial cast. Considerations regarding the COVID pandemic has shifted Paramount’s original premiere of the movie from November this year to May 27, 2022.
Image from Comic Book Resources