The amount being paid to Chris Pine to appear in the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie has been revealed, with the actor set to earn $11.5 million. Based on the hugely popular tabletop roleplaying game (TTRPG) of the same name, the film will also star Fast & Furious‘ Michelle Rodriguez, Detective Pikachu‘s Justice Smith, Bridgerton‘s Regé-Jean Page, and Notting Hill‘s Hugh Grant. Filming is currently underway in Iceland and Northern Ireland after being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the movie set to release in 2023.
Created in 1974 by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is inarguably the most famous and popular TTRPG spawning multiple editions, supplements, novels, and video games. The game has seen a significant resurgence of late, in part thanks to the latest fifth edition (5e) being easily accessible for new players, as well as the rise of YouTube and Twitch shows that stream D&D games such as Critical Role, The Adventure Zone, and Oxventure. In 2019, Critical Role announced a Kickstarter for an animated episode based on their first campaign, to be titled The Legend of Vox Machina, which eventually earned over $11 million dollars, leading to a full animated series.
Pine placed 16th on Variety’s list of highest salaries in Hollywood, being paid $11.5 million for the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie. That amount is over $8 million more than Robert Pattinson, who took 17th place, being paid $3 million for The Batman. The next highest-paid star above Pine is Keanu Reeves who is set to earn somewhere between $12 and $14 million for The Matrix 4, an amount that has not yet taken into account streaming buyout. By contrast, the highest-paid actor on Variety’s is Daniel Craig, who is set to earn $100 million for his appearance in the yet-to-be titled Knives Out sequels.
Historically, $11.5 million would have placed Pine far higher on the list. However, streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon, who compensate their talent for projected back-end box-office profits they would ordinarily receive were the film to be released only in theaters, have affected this of late. By contrast, studios like Disney, Sony, or Paramount offer their talent a commission based on box-office performance, however with these studios seemingly moving towards streaming through the likes of Disney+ and HBO Max, this looks as though it may change.
Very little is currently known about the Dungeons and Dragons film other than some character names and that Grant will be playing the film’s antagonist, Forge Fletcher. Considering that most of the fun of D&D is creating new characters and stories, though, it would make far more sense for the film to tell an entirely new and original story. The film already appears to be delving into the lore of the game, with the characters reportedly on a quest to recover the Eye of Vecna, a powerful artifact once held by an evil Lich. Leaked set photos have offered a glimpse at some of the characters’ costumes, offering hints at the types of individuals that will feature in the film, although there is yet to be any official confirmation.
So far, Dungeons & Dragons looks to be shaping up well, with Pine leading a strong cast and Game Night’s John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein writing and directing. As such, there’s a great deal of promise. Moreover, considering the mainstream appeal of D&D, there is a great deal of expectation riding on its success. We will just have to wait for further information as filming progresses to find out more about Dungeons & Dragons before it releases in 2023.