Chris Pine touts Dungeons & Dragons film at San Diego Comic-Con 2022

Hugh Grant, who made his first appearance at the California event, is also set to star in the fantasy flick

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Chris Pine had never played Dungeons & Dragons until he was asked to star in a film about the popular role-playing board game — now, he's a convert.

Speaking to thousands of fans in a convention hall at San Diego Comic-Con, Pine said he hoped the big-screen adaptation of the game, due in cinemas next March, would help "spread the gospel of D&D". It's something everyone should play in high school, he said.

"You can get the bully, the jock ... all in a room and I guarantee you in 20 minutes no one will remember what kind of class they came from, or who their best friends are, or who the dork is," he said. "They just want to laugh."

The Wonder Woman actor helped launch the return of the city's comic con for the first time since 2019. The annual, star-studded celebration of superheroes and pop culture was cancelled for two years owing to the Covid-19 pandemic. Organisers said they expect a crowd of 130,000 guests across the weekend.

Hugh Grant speaks onstage at the 'Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves' panel. AFP

Dungeons & Dragons co-writer and director John Francis Daley said he aimed for the film to capture the feeling of camaraderie and "family coming together to face obstacles" he experiences when playing the game.

Called Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves the film also stars Fast & Furious actress Michelle Rodriguez, Bridgerton actor Rege-Jean Page and British rom-com favourite Hugh Grant, who said the movie "had a real Monty Python vibe".

The appearance on Thursday marked Grant's first at the city's renowned comic con.

"We did try to come with Sense and Sensibility but were turned away," Grant joked, in reference to the 1995 period film her starred in.

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Updated: July 22, 2022, 12:17 PM