The directors of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves have explained why their movie's druid can wild shape into an owlbear. The first trailer of Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves showcased Doric the Druid's ability to wild shape into an owlbear, a D&D creature that is literally a mix of an owl and a bear. While druid characters can transform into many beasts (and elementals, in some select cases) in the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop roleplaying game, they are specifically barred from transforming into an owlbear as owlbears are classified as a "Monstrosity" and not a "Beast." D&D fans jokingly commented on the deviation from the rules in the movie, although most of the controversy was tongue-in-cheek rather than coming from a place of true anger.
Earlier this week, Paramount released a new trailer for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves and IGN subsequently posted a detailed breakdown of the trailer featuring co-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. During the interview, Goldstein directly addressed the controversy and explained why they made the decision to let Doric turn into an owlbear. "We're aware that there was a certain amount of controversy that emerged in the D&D fan community after the first trailer showed our Druid wild-shaping into an owlbear," Goldstein said. "And it was something we discussed a great deal when we were writing it. We know that technically, it's not permissible, but we subscribe to the "Rule of Cool." And we felt that if we, as the dungeon masters of this movie, would let our players do this, then why should we deprive the audience of something that's as cool and fun as this?"
We'll note that many Dungeons & Dragons fans said something similar, stating that the movie was in essence Daley and Goldstein's D&D game and as such they make the rules.
The official description for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves reads: "A charming thief and a band of unlikely adventurers undertake an epic heist to retrieve a lost relic, but things go dangerously awry when they run afoul of the wrong people. Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves brings the rich world and playful spirit of the legendary roleplaying game to the big screen in a hilarious and action-packed adventure." Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves stars Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith, Rege-Jean Page, Hugh Grant, and Sophia Lillis.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves will be released on March 31st.