In the latest episode of Crew Call, we talk to Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves directors, scribes and EPs John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein about the vision they sold to Paramount to make the dark and dingy world of the role playing game, not just fun, but funnier. And even more so, a broad film that appealed to the die-hards and non-die hards alike. That take seems to be working after a rapturous SXSW world premiere and critical and audience scores well over 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Per box office sources right now, the Paramount & eOne movie is headed to a $40M weekend start, at the top end of where tracking saw it, after a $16M Friday (that includes $5.6M previews). Meanwhile, the second weekend of Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4 is eyeing $8.2M, and a $30M take, -59% for a running cume of $124.6M.
“What the existing script had, it was a heist film, and we thought it was an interesting way in,” Daley tell us about jumping on D&D. Had the duo stuck to the same old, same old gothic feeling of the IP, “It would have been the most generic film, if it had that tone,” the former Freaks and Geeks actor tells us.
John Gonda at Paramount was a key exec in bringing the duo’s vision aboard.
Goldstein met Daley he was an actor on The Geena Davis Show and the former a writer on the show; the two became fast friends and collaborators working on a pilot that Daley would act in. They wrote a feature spec $40,000 Man which sold to New Line, and their partnership was golden. They would go on to breathe life into Horrible Bosses as scribes, and direct and write such Warner Bros. comedies as the Vacation reboot and Game Night. We talk to them today about hitting a stride in comedy films, and watching the genre burn out into its current state.
You can listen to our conversation below: