Hugh Grant spent so much of the ‘90s as a floppy-haired, befuddled, stammering rom-com hero that it made his turn as a jerk in Bridget Jones’s Diary all the more of a delight, to audiences and perhaps even more to him. Since then he’s jumped between good guys and bad, though more often bad. Not everyone can do the morally suspect co-lead of The Undoing and the main villain of Paddington 2 — his pick for his finest film, and who would dare disagree? — in one career. And now, according to Variety, he’s about to add another baddie to the bedpost: the antagonist of the latest film stab at Dungeons & Dragons.
If this sounds like bizarre casting, it sounds like this latest iteration is taking a more comic bent. It’s being written and directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley, last seen with the hilarious (and very well-directed!) Game Night. (You of course remember Daley as young, gawky Sam Weir on Freaks and Geeks.) Grant will be joining an already stacked cast, including Chris Pine, Michelle Rodriguez, Justice Smith, Bridgerton star Rege-Jean Page, and It breakout Sophia Lillis.
Still, Grant has some big shoes to fill: The last time there was a film based on the deathless RPG classic, back in the year 2000, the villain was played by another overqualified English thespian, Jeremy Irons. But if Grant can hold his own against a raincoat-clad CGI Andean bear with the voice of Ben Whishaw, surely he can crack some quips while surrounded by some dragons and orcs and whatever other creatures pop up in D&D.