Clocked

Hugh Grant cast as major baddie in ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ film

Hugh Grant is set to lend his bumbling British charm to the new Dungeons & Dragons film. In a heel-turn, he will play the villain.

While Hugh Grant might not have the pulling power that he once did in Hollywood, he is currently having a bit of a renaissance. The upcoming Dungeons & Dragons adaptation has just added him to its cast, with reports claiming that he is set to play the film’s main baddie.

Once Hollywood’s favourite choice for handsome, slightly dopey, charming, and British, Hugh Grant has enjoyed a period of relative inactivity. However, recent roles in the acclaimed series The Undoing, alongside Nicole Kidman, and another villainous turn in The Gentleman, have put him back on everyone’s radar.

hugh grant dungeons & dragons
Image: Hugh Grant in Cloud Atlas (2012)

In his prime, it would have been preposterous to think of Hugh Grant playing a bad guy – unsavoury and arrogant perhaps, but not outright evil. However, times have changed, and it appears Grant has been enjoying experimenting with his acting range.

In an interview with the ABC, Grant considered his particular style when it comes to villainy:

“The trick anyway is that if you’re playing someone evil, they have got to be FUN evil. They don’t have to be good, but they have to be enjoyable. Which really is part of the trick of acting. It’s important to be real but I think it’s also very important to be in some way entertaining. In the end, that’s what we’re making, entertainment. And that sometimes gets forgotten.”

dungeons & dragons
Image: Dungeons & Dragons (2000)

This philosophy should serve him well when it comes to the Dungeons & Dragons adaptation. The idea of Grant playing a seriously threatening warrior type is a little dissonant. However, tell him to dial in a maniacal laugh and a devious smile, and throw him a gaudy red wizard’s coat, and I think we might be onto something.

These sorts of adaptations are always on delicate footing when it comes to pleasing fans and appealing to a mainstream audience. However, I for one will admit that I’m relieved that the Dungeons & Dragons film appears to be embracing the campier elements of its DNA. Besides, they couldn’t do anything worse than the 2000 attempt. Right?

Hugh Grant joins the Dungeons & Dragons cast alongside already announced members Regé-Jean Page, Michelle Rodriguez, and Justice Smith. It is currently set for a 2022 release.