'Dungeons & Dragons' stars Chris Pine, Regé-Jean Page reveal film's first trailer at Comic-Con

Brian Truitt
USA TODAY

SAN DIEGO – The fantasy role-playing game "Dungeons & Dragons" is playing big in popular culture, thanks to the newest season of Netflix's "Stranger Things," and now Chris Pine and an all-star cast is bringing all the sword and sorcery to the big screen.

The first major panel of San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday – the first in-person incarnation of the seminal pop-culture convention in three years – showcased a first look at "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" (in theaters March 3, 2023). Pine stars alongside Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis and Hugh Grant, and the action-adventure film is co-written and directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley ("Game Night").

A band of thieves – Simon (Justice Smith, from left), Doric (Sophia Lillis) Edgin (Chris Pine) and Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) – tries to right a wrong in the fantasy adventure "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves."

"You don’t grow up in Jersey without playing D&D," said Rodriguez, who plays a barbarian named Holga. Being in the movie "brought back all these memories of being in a basement and goofing off with my friends."

In addition to the debut of the first trailer, a behind-the-scenes reel showed cast and crew filming in Northern Ireland, a ton of magic and cool creatures, and Pine bringing a sense of humor to the armor-plated spectacle. Filmmakers debuted one clip showing Pine's lute-playing Edgin, Rodriguez's Holga and their group on a quest and having to dig up a bunch of dead soldiers with mixed results, while another had the heroes facing an angry panther with magical tentacles, a dangerous gelatinous cube and other beasts in a maze. 

Daley, who's been an avid player of the game since he was a 14-year-old actor on the set of "Freaks and Geeks," said they wanted the movie to have camaraderie and “the feeling of playing the game.” The comedy aspect “sets us apart from everything else in the fantasy space.”

Grant sensed a "Monty Python" vibe in the script, and Pine loved its "Spielbergian energy: open and light and buoyant."

Chris Pine (from left), Michelle Rodriguez and Regé-Jean Page talk up "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" on the first day of San Diego Comic-Con.

Page, who co-stars as paladin Xenk, underwent a bunch of training to be a warrior. "I got to swing a sword for a living," he said. Another reward: "I had the best (butt) of my life." And Rodriguez gained 10 pounds of muscle and drank a bunch of protein shakes to play Holga.

Pine's 13-year-old nephew is a big D&D fan but the actor wasn't: "It was surprising I didn’t find it until 42." He was sent a "treasure box" of game stuff and did a deep dive with his parents and relatives. "It was an amazing thing to see my whole family light up in that way.”

Edgin (Chris Pine, left) and Xenk (Regé-Jean Page) check out a fancy helmet in "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves."

When it was brought up at the panel that Grant was a "D&D" fiend, Rodriguez quipped, "I think you mixed it up with S&M," which brought laughs from actors and audience alike.

"She’s not wrong," Grant deadpanned. "I’ve been an enthusiastic Dungeon Master for some years. That’s a British pastime. A national sport, almost."

Grant also acknowledged t was his first time at Comic-Con: "We did try to come with 'Sense & Sensibility' but we were turned away," he joked.