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A detail from the Dungeons & Dragons monster manual, with a roaring, black beholder attacking a human and dwarf amid some ruins at night, as the human calls down lightning and the dwarf raises his weapon Image: Wizards of the Coast

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The D&D movie directors say fans ‘deserve’ a beholder in the sequel

Here’s everything they say they want in a sequel — starting with even more focus on humor

Tasha Robinson leads Polygon’s movie coverage. She’s covered film, TV, books, and more for 20 years, including at The A.V. Club, The Dissolve, and The Verge.

With Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves now available for home rental, the logical question is what comes next. Fans of the first movie are wondering whether a sequel is in the works, given D&D’s usual mode of serial adventures, with the same characters taking on steadily more elaborate challenges. Could Honor Among Thieves become a franchise or a series? Polygon talked to the movie’s directors and co-writers, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, about whether they’re hoping for a sequel, what form they’d want it to take, and when fan favorite Drizzt Do’urden might finally make it to the screen.

Will Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves get a sequel?

Edgin the Bard (Chris Pine) backs up against a wall in a panic as a displacer beast corners him in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Image: Paramount Pictures

Daley says Honor Among Thievesunusually positive reception from both critics and viewers cements one thing about a possible sequel: he and Goldstein would continue to explore the comedic elements of fantasy-adventure.

“[The response] verified all the things we suspected would hit with audiences, and [a sequel] would allow us to lean into those things,” Daley says. “There was a certain trepidation among all parties, when we were gearing up to make this thing, about whether the fact that we lean into the humor would undercut or hurt the stakes of the film. I think [the release] definitely validated what we expected, which was, ‘No, humor would in fact, help bolster the stakes.’ You have these characters that are relatable, and are able to comment on their circumstances in a fun, humorous way. I think this helped bolster the idea that this is the right tone, and the right path to be headed down.”

Goldstein says there are a few elements fans would likely expect in a sequel: “I think probably the owlbear would make a repeat appearance, because that’s certainly a favorite,” he says. “I think a lot of people on social media were hungry for a beholder, and they probably deserve a beholder if there’s a sequel. But beyond that, it’s all really just gonna come from what’s what’s the most compelling story to tell.”

That said, the directors don’t have specific plans for a sequel yet. “It was never our intention when we came on board this film to make a franchise,” Daley says. “I think that would cloud our ability to focus entirely on the film at hand. The cardinal mistake many studios make is to put the cart before the horse, where they start crafting a cinematic universe before they even make a good single film. So first and foremost for us was getting this right.”

That’s a refreshing attitude in a world where studios keep forgetting to start small and build a fandom organically, instead of trying to kickstart a 10-year mega-blockbuster plan with every new movie. But of course the directors are thinking about where they’d like to see these characters go next.

What would Honor Among Thieves 2 look like?

The adventuring party of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (Michelle Rodriguez as Holga, Chris Pine as Edgin, Sophia Lillis as Doric, and Justice Smith as Simon), along with the paladin Xenk (Regé-Jean Page), pick themselves up from a field of human bones under a vast gray wall, while staring at something horrifying offscreen Photo: Paramount Pictures

Asked what an Honor Among Thieves sequel would look like compared to the first movie, Daley immediately comes back with a joke: “I think stop-motion,” he says. “Rankin/Bass style, a total throwback.”

That isn’t the worst idea, given stop-motion animation’s recent micro-boom: A new Netflix movie from Nightmare Before Christmas director Henry Selick and Guillermo del Toro’s extremely dark, Oscar-nominated take on Pinocchio both arrived late last year, and 2023 will see a new Chicken Run sequel and two new Wes Anderson films that will reportedly include stop-motion. Any form of animation might be a good approach for Dungeons & Dragons’ rich fantasy worlds. But the actual focus in any sequel would be more on exploring corners of the Dungeons & Dragons world (or worlds) we haven’t seen yet.

“I think if we were lucky enough to do another one of these, we would want to see our characters level up,” Daley says. In Honor Among Thieves, Pine’s bard character Edgin never uses magic (for reasons the directors explained to us for our larger look at the movie’s choices), but Daley thinks in a sequel, he’d probably add spells to his repertoire. “That would be kind of exciting to see,” he says.

Goldstein says if they had carte blanche to do anything with the D&D world, they’d probably stick with the party they establish in Honor Among Thieves: Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith, and Sophia Lillis as an adventuring crew who forge some personal connections over the course of the story.

“The good thing about a sequel is, you don’t have to spend much screen time introducing [the party],” he says. “The audience knows them, and you can jump into the plot more quickly. And obviously, we have great affection for both the actors and these roles that they play. But we’d want to introduce some new figures along the way, and certainly a lot of new monsters.”

“And new locations,” Daley adds.

“Yeah, you know, we did the Forgotten Realms for this one, partly because it’s kind of a recognizable medieval setting,” Goldstein says. “But there are so many worlds within D&D that we could explore.”

“Now that we’ve finished it, and we’re relying on the fates to decide if this thing is a success, we would absolutely love to continue to tell stories in this world,” Daley says. “We think it’s absolutely ripe with potential.”

When is Drizzt getting a D&D movie?

Drizzt and his panther leap into battle, blades and teeth flashing. Image: Wizards of the Coast

And then there’s one of fandom’s biggest questions about Dungeons & Dragons screen stories: When is fan-favorite character Drizzt Do’urden getting his own movie or TV show? Could he turn up in an Honor Among Thieves sequel or spinoff?

“Drizzt did come up, actually, as we were figuring out what our first film was going to be,” Daley says. “But the general consensus was to not go there yet. That said, he’s definitely a popular character in the world, and one who could be exciting to explore.”

“How about a movie where Drizzt meets the ’80s characters?” Goldstein asks, referring to the Saturday morning cartoon characters from the 1980s, who feature in a maze sequence in one of Honor Among Thieves’ geekiest references.

“And the ’80s characters are horribly maimed after their experience in the maze?” Daley laughs.

That seems even less likely than a stop-motion D&D movie. But for Daley, this kind of imaginative toying with the possibilities of WOTC properties is part of the fun of a D&D story. “There are so many characters in this world,” he says. “It would be really fun either to have them join the group we’ve established, or do some sort of an offshoot of our film, to get into their backstories.”

Update (May. 10): A version of this piece was published shortly after the movie’s theatrical release. After a follow-up interview, it has been updated with new quotes and more current information.

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