It’s the geeks’ world now, and everyone else is just living in it. Long gone are the days when Stark Trek, tabletop, and comic book fans were a minority group getting shoved into their lockers by the “cool” kids. Superhero movies, sci-fi, and geek-inspired films dominate the box office these days, and not even the jocks have to hide their love for genre movies anymore.
This newfound universal embrace of all things genre has allowed actors like Chris Pine to soar to fame in roles like Captain Kirk in Star Trek Into Darkness and Wonder Woman’s love interest Steve in the 2017 self-titled movie (and its sequel). Pine is back at it again with Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, releasing on March 31. While people used to equate role-playing games as a shameful thing you do in mom’s basement as an adult, these decades-old nerdy favorites are finally getting their due in the spotlight.
Stranger Things helped get fans buzzing about the Wizards of the Coast phenomenon that’s existed since the early ‘70s — and it’s only gained in popularity since then. The upcoming movie Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves takes a cheeky approach to the live-action version of the game, boasting some big names like Pine as the lead role Edgin, Hugh Grant as Forge, Michelle Rodriguez as Holga, and Sophia Lillis as Doric.
Yet while fans anxiously await the RPG-inspired film to release, Pine has a slew of like-minded films they can binge in preparation for his Honor Among Thieves role.
Wonder Woman (2017)
It’s impossible not to fall in love with Pine’s character Steve in Wonder Woman. It’s clear from the start that Steve and Diana aren’t likely to live a long and happy life together, and there’s just something about a doomed relationship that sucks fans in. Some fans weren’t happy about the heavy focus on a love interest for Wonder Woman’s big debut film, given her feminist origins, but we just can’t help getting won over by Pine’s performance.
Not only does Steve win the affection of an actual demi-goddess, but he’s also a brave World War I pilot and spy willing to sacrifice himself for the good of humanity. Can anyone blame Wonder Woman for wishing Steve back in Wonder Woman 1984?
Ironically enough, if DC and Marvel ever collided and Pine’s Steve met the MCU’s Steve Rogers, the duo would become fast friends. But how would we decide who would be Steve One and Steve Two?
Star Trek (2009)
One of Pine's most significant (and longest-spanning) roles to date is his work on the 2009 Star Trek reboot as James Tiberius Kirk (more affectionately known as Captain Kirk by fans and characters alike). Long-time Trekkies fell in love with Kirk and Spock's epic friendship in the late '60s, and the fandom's passion for this pairing hasn't dwindled since.
Zachary Quinto is the reboot's Spock to Pine's Kirk — and the duo's take on the titular characters is as engaging and compelling as the original. The actors had a lot to live up to in reprising William Shatner (Kirk) and Leonard Nimoy's (Spock) iconic roles.
Naturally, there's no denying that the original shows and films were groundbreaking in their own right — with a largely diverse cast and strong female leads that we didn't see much during that period of cinematic history. Of course, the recent movies put a new, updated spin on the films, but the heart is there because these two guys are in the pilot's seat. It also doesn't hurt that Pine gets to showcase some rebellious, smooth-talking charm throughout the series. We all miss Han Solo, okay?
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
We’ve seen countless iterations of Peter Parker’s origin story on-screen, to the point that fans are begging for new Spidey content. It’s not often that we get to witness the tale of Spidey and the likes of Peter Porker and Spider-Man Noir grace the screen, but Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse granted that wish in 2018. Not only did the movie kill at the box office, but the concept was a refreshing change of pace from the stories we’ve seen countless times.
Though Pine is past the point of being able to take on one of these live-action Peter Parker origin story roles, he voiced the initial grown-up Peter Parker at the beginning of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Given that the movie focuses on Miles Morales, it’s not one of Pine’s longest-spanning roles, but it’s impactful in the film nonetheless.
Into the Woods
Fans know Pine will slay in his slightly satirized heroic role in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves for one simple reason: Into the Woods. The 2014 movie musical is a satire on fairy tales that sheds light on the unspoken truth of fairy tales like Cinderella: The princes in these stories are kind of self-involved narcissists. Pine’s role certainly amps that notion up to 11, where Cinderella’s cowardly philandering beau tries to hook up with anything that moves.
The one thing that fans probably weren’t expecting from Pine’s performance in this film, however, is his incredible singing voice. Pine's vocal prowess would fit right in with the best of Broadway, and it’s a shame he doesn’t get to utilize it more in his career.
Rise of the Guardians
Chris Pine's Jack Frost role is so beloved by Rise of the Guardians fans that it sparked an entire fandom on its own. Naturally, fans have clamored for a Jack Frost-centric sequel (or prequel) for years. The 2012 movie poses the question of what it would look like if each holiday had a guardian that protects the innocence of the children they serve. Think Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy.
Yet Pine's Jack Frost is laced with humanity, tragedy, and a compelling backstory that doesn't overshadow the character's carefree zest for life. As far as animated characters in movies with a young audience go, it was pretty groundbreaking. And despite the fact that it's been over a decade since the movie debuted, fans are still talking about this role.
A Wrinkle In Time
We’ve seen Chris Pine play plenty of love interest roles throughout the years, but not many as a loving father. Pine is getting to that point in his career where it makes sense to play more family-oriented roles on top of hunky love interests. As it turns out, his role in the 2018 movie A Wrinkle in Time is one of his most hard-hitting and brilliant roles thus far.
The film is a mix of fantasy and human elements, and Pine plays Mr. Murray: Meg’s missing father. The movie boasts an incredible cast, starring Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, and Michael Peña.
Of course, the film adaptation was a long time coming from the original 1962 book by Madeleine L’Engle. Most kids might remember tackling the YA sci-fi book in middle school, and it’s a classic for a reason. The book did get a TV movie in 2003, but the 2018 Blockbuster iteration knocks it out of the park — especially with Pine’s performance.
Don’t Worry Darling
Few movies have quite reached the hailstorm of drama that followed Don’t Worry Darling prior to its release. And though the film didn’t get the best reviews, Pine’s performance as Frank stands strong. Pine gives moviegoers a chilling and manipulative villain who would give any incel a run for their money — and it’s spine-tingling to watch.
Though we’ve come to know Pine’s roles as typically sweet and wholesome, his work on projects like Into the Woods and Don’t Worry Darling shows off his incredible range as an actor. Frank is a puppetmaster, quite literally orchestrating the lives of his victims, and Pine seamlessly toggles between charismatic charm and disturbing menace throughout the movie. Pine takes fans on a wild rollercoaster throughout Don’t worry Darling, and that alone makes it a worthwhile film to check out.
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
There are few things rom-com fans hate more than a sequel retconning a previous happy ending. At the end of The Princess Diaries, Mia and Michael appear to be endgame, with a reconciliation and romantic declaration at the film’s close. So, fans were shocked when the film’s sequel, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, eliminated Michael from the story altogether. Pine replaced him as Mia’s new love interest Nicholas Devereaux, but fans weren’t even that mad about it.
The characters have an enticing enemies-to-lovers thing going on in the plot that sees them paired up against their will — only to realize that there’s more to both of them (and their feelings for each other) than meets the eye. Sure, it’s a bit cliché, but what do you want from a series titled The Princess Diaries? His appearance alongside Anne Hathaway marked Pine’s first significant role, and some might say the film helped launch his career.
Pine's acting performance shouldn't get lost in the conversation of Outlaw King. The Netflix original film really allowed the actor’s range to shine, and it’s one of the more intense pieces we’ve seen from the actor.
Like Dungeons and Dragons, Outlaw King is a period piece — but Pine gets to be a whole lot more serious in this historic piece. Pine takes on the role of Robert Bruce: Scotland's King in 1306. The actor does a brilliant job of bringing the King's bloody controversy to life, toggling between likability and disdain. For fans of the 1995 film Braveheart, Outlaw King fills in some of the questions posed at the end of the beloved '90s film regarding Robert's future.
Hopefully, Pine’s performance will lead to more intense roles like this because fans would undoubtedly love to see more of this energy from the actor’s catalog in the future.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Theives premieres in theatres on March 31st! See it at Regal.