Can you believe it’s been 20 years ago today that Draco and Bowen first soared into our hearts on the wings of Dragonheart?
Back in 1996, Dragonheart competed alongside new releases like Twister, Mission Impossible, and Independence Day. While the initial reviews were mixed, even Roger Ebert couldn’t deny that there was a certain magic in Dennis Quaid wielding a sword and scheming with a dragon voiced by James Bond:
“While no reasonable person over the age of 12 would presumably be able to take it seriously, it nevertheless has a lighthearted joy, a cheerfulness, an insouciance that recalls the days when movies were content to be fun.”
The creation of Draco the Dragon was a fantastic feat in and of itself at the time. Jim Delmont from the World-Herald gave the dragon his own half star:
“OK, three stars may be pushing it a bit, but the splendid dragon conjured up by Industrial Light & Magic is worth an extra half star or so.”
And fans still can’t help but stay loyal today:
Hey 1996 called & they want their dragon special effects back…
— Nayrrrrrr (@nayrrrrrr)
— Joe Palanca (@Joe_Palanca)
To continue the anniversary celebration, let’s look back at the actors that brought Dragonheart to life, then and now.
Dennis Quaid – Bowen
Did you know? Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, and Patrick Swayze, Robin Williams, and Liam Neeson were all considered for the part of Bowen.
Sean Connery – Draco
Did you know? Draco’s facial expressions were actually based on Sean Connery. Connery had to take over 200 different photos making different faces so that the special effects team could use them as reference for the dragon.
Dina Meyer – Kara
How is it possible that Dina Meyer looks even more gorgeous now than she did 20 years ago?
Did You Know? Director Rob Cohen cast Meyer after auditioning only one other actress for the role. In the Making Of Dragonheart, he said that he needed an actress would was “strong and someone who could, in the end, handle herself with these double viking axes and look believable.”
David Thewlis – King Einon
Cohen decided on David Thewlis for the role of Einon after seeing his performance in Naked. In Making Of Dragonheart, Cohen put it this way:
“What makes the villain scary is the brain, not the brawn.”
Pete Postlethwaite – Gilbert of Glockenspur
Pete Postlethwaite won the part of Gilbert after Cohen saw him in Im Namen Des Vaters (1993). He chose him because:
“anyone who was assured in a dramatic role could take Brother Gilbert and make it real and charmingly funny.”
Jason Isaacs – Lord Felton
Jason Isaacs played Lord Felton in Dragonheart. He later played Lucius Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies, the father of Draco Malfoy. Draco Malfoy was played by Tom Felton. Coincidence??? Probably, but still cool!