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Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves Blends ASL With Its Magic

Studios have been trying to get a good Dungeons & Dragons movie on the big screen for many years, and 2023 promises to have the latter attempt with a rather impressive cast coming out in March. We got a chance to see some footage from the film during the Hall H panel at San Diego Comic-Con, and the official trailer was released right after. The trailer and footage look like the film isn't taking itself too seriously, which might be the right move. Collider got the chance to speak to Justice Smith, who plays the sorcerer of our merry group of characters in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Smith revealed that he added something special to the movements he made while casting spells.

"Oh, yes. I do a lot of spell casting in the film, and I worked with this lovely choreographer to create unique gestures for each spell," Smith explained. "And I know a bit of sign language, so I try to incorporate that [into] it. Whatever the spell does, I try to incorporate the word in sign language into the gesture of this spell. Not for every gesture."

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Justice Smith plays Simon, Sophia Lillis plays Doric, Chris Pine plays Edgin, and Michelle Rodriguez plays Holga in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves from Paramount Pictures. © 2022 PARAMOUNT PICTURES. HASBRO, DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, AND ALL RELATED CHARACTERS ARE TRADEMARKS OF HASBRO. © 2022 HASBRO.

Smith went on to say that he dislikes when a movie has a character has magical powers; they just make random gestures with their hands. He wanted everything to be unique when it came to Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves.

"I hate [in] movies when they have magic powers, and they just go like this [gestures vaguely with hand]," Smith said. "I was like, "I want everything to be unique and creative." So, remembering which spoken word of the spell goes with which gesture and at what time. I guess it wasn't difficult. That was just fun, but I think Regé found it difficult to learn that."

It's a little surprising that no one has thought of bringing ASL into on-screen spell casting because it seems like such an obvious throughline. Perhaps someone else did before Smith and Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, but making each spell look unique or giving the same spell continuity makes it feel more realistic.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves: Summary, Cast List, Release Date

Summary: A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves brings the rich world and playful spirit of the legendary roleplaying game to the big screen in a hilarious and action-packed adventure.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, directed by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley, stars Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Regé-Jean Page, Justice Smith, Sophia Lillis, Chloe Coleman, Daisy Head, and Hugh Grant. It will be produced by Jeremy Latcham, p.g.a., Brian Goldner, Nick Meyer, and executive produced by Denis L. Stewart, Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Chris Pine, Zev Foreman, and Greg Mooradian. It will be released on March 31, 2023.

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Kaitlyn BoothAbout Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. She loves movies, television, and comics. She's a member of the UFCA and the GALECA. Feminist. Writer. Nerd. Follow her on Twitter @katiesmovies and @safaiagem on Instagram.
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