Variety recently interviewed the directing team behind Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Thanks to this, we now know that male characters are weak and the strong female characters are … strong female characters. Yay.
John Francis Daley shared directing duties with Jonathan Goldstein and was one of the three writers for the upcoming D&D feature film. During the interview, Daley was asked about Sophia Lillis (Doric) and Michelle Rodriguez (Holga) being on the frontlines in the battle scenes.
Daley responded that it wasn’t an attempt at “wokeness” but rather, “We liked that Holga is the bruiser that does the dirty work for Edgin [Chris Pine’s character], and he doesn’t like to get his hands dirty. We also love emasculating leading men.”
It would make sense that a thief in the world of D&D would prefer to have a “heavy” do things he couldn’t. There’s a reason why bar owners would hire guys like me to be bouncers. We take on a job management doesn’t want to do and get paid for it. Simple enough, but because this is Hollywood, the heavies must be women, and the men must be lessened to prop them up.
Daley followed Goldstein’s backtrack claim that this was done “not for woke reasons” by giving examples like Spidey compared to Iron Man in the MCU. One is heroic and strong, while the other is “challenged and not simply heroic.”
Daley appears to have forgotten that Tony Stark was challenged and not always heroic. Tony, on occasion, would allow his ego to get in the way of his heroism. The same can be said of Spider-Man in Homecoming.
Men do not have to be emasculated to be vulnerable. Perhaps John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein do not know what the word “emasculate” means. By definition, to emasculate someone means to either castrate them or weaken them. News flash, women don’t want weak men on screen or in reality.
Men have vulnerabilities that do not make them lesser people or rob them of masculinity. Daley and Goldstein’s views on what makes a man appear to be viewed through a distorted lens.
However, I will give Daley credit for acknowledging that constantly having male characters look foolish is a detriment to any film, “What we love about Chris is that he’s hyper-aware of that and wants to make himself look as bad as possible, almost to a fault. Sometimes we’re like, “All right, no, you have to be a hero in this moment.”
The D&D film already had an uphill battle thanks to Hasbro’s OGL 1.1 fiasco, and the most recent trailer made it look like it was filled with second-rate MCU quips.[Source: Variety]
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