Dungeons & Dragons Sequel? Here Are the Many Ways it Could Happen

When the source material is open-ended, the possibilities are limitless.

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Sophia Lillis, Justice Smith, and Michelle Rodriguez in 'Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves'
Paramount Pictures

Finally, Dungeons & Dragons fans have a worthy movie in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. But let’s acknowledge that, as good as it is, it’s woefully unrealistic. Because unlike most games of D&D, Honor Among Thieves finishes its story in a single session.

In a franchise-driven era, a movie like Dungeons & Dragons can easily spawn sequels and spin-offs even if the story is all wrapped up. To the movie’s advantage, it doesn’t adapt any canonical D&D story — not the hundreds of Dragonlance or Drizzt Do’Urden novels, nor campaigns like Tomb of Annihilation and Curse of Strahd — so now it’s nothing but open roads.

Role-playing games like D&D are naturally suited for episodic and anthology-style stories. So if you’re wondering if and how Honor Among Thieves can inspire more movies, you’re in the right place.

How Honor Among Thieves Sequels Can Happen

The story of Edgin (Chris Pine), Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), and their rescue of Edgin’s daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman) is mostly a closed book. The Forgotten Realms are safe(-ish) from Forge (Hugh Grant), who’s now serving his sentence for aligning with the evil Red Wizards. The only dangling thread is that sad, zombified corpse who just wants to answer one more question so he can go back to eternal sleep.

But if the box office returns on Honor Among Thieves are strong, and if audiences connect to the characters like they did with Guardians of the Galaxy, our heroes can easily embark on a new adventure. Conversely, if the movie does well but the actors don’t want to return, the filmmakers can create new characters and follow them to another part of the Forgotten Realms.

How is this possible? Because it’s Dungeons & Dragons! The D&D experience rarely involves playing as just one character in the same adventure forever. The game inherently invites iteration and refreshment, and experienced gamers have likely played several characters.

Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves doesn’t adapt any previously-existing story, which leaves its future open-ended.

Paramount Pictures

Honor Among Thieves replicates the D&D experience more than any D&D story. It’s a rollicking action-comedy romp in a paint-by-numbers fantasy world, which makes it an ideal introduction for newcomers and a loving homage to veterans. It would be quintessential D&D to keep following Edgin, Holga, Simon (Justice Smith), Doric (Sophia Lillis), and Xenk (Regé-Jean Page) in a new tale, as if the Dungeon Master is taking another campaign module off the bookshelf. But it wouldn’t be out of line to follow a new story with new characters either. Many D&D groups roll new characters when they feel their stories have concluded.

Whether Dungeons & Dragons becomes an episodic series, or an anthology, or something in-between (what if the same actors took on new characters?), the source material’s built-in fluidity affords this budding new franchise leeway to be anything. There are advantages here that aren’t present in, say, comic book adaptations, which are more obligated to adhere to a pre-existing narrative. D&D is still based on an existing property, and fans might nitpick if filmmakers get Tiamat or Strahd “wrong” in a future movie. But no one will be upset if the next D&D doesn’t perfectly replicate a specific story. There are no endings. They can’t be disappointed, at least in the same way that Game of Thrones fans were after that finale.

The D&D multiverse is vast, and Honor Among Thieves is just one story.

Boston Globe/Boston Globe/Getty Images

Honor Among Thieves is a rarity in the era of franchise-focused blockbusters. The movie doesn’t leave its story unresolved, meaning there are no obvious directions for the inevitable sequel. There’s no question Paramount wants to go all-in on a D&D Cinematic Universe, and surely directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have ideas for what’s next. But for now, Honor Among Thieves is something that tabletop gamers actually have a name for: a one shot.

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