dragonheart-4

Depending on your tolerance for cheesy fantasy movies, you’ll either be appalled or pleasantly surprised to know that Universal is still pumping out Dragonheart sequels. It’s been 21 years since the original movie hit theaters, but last year’s prequel, Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse, evidently did well enough to warrant keeping this franchise alive. Now we have the first trailer for the latest entry in the saga, Dragonheart 4: Battle for the Heartfire, and this one has enlisted the voice talents of Sir Patrick Stewart to voice the dragon.

Dragonheart 4 is directed by Norwegian filmmaker Patrik Syversen. Take a look at the trailer:

If you’re baffled to discover that this exists, here’s a quick history lesson. Dragonheart came out theatrically in 1996, but all of the sequels have gone straight to home video. Dragonheart: A New Beginning arrived in 2000, but it wasn’t until 2015 that Dragonheart 3: The Sorcerer’s Curse came out. It seems pretty clear that Universal decided to capitalize on the surging popularity of Game of Thrones to get this franchise revved up again, and this sequel looks to keep that streak alive.

While the production values and fight choreography of this trailer leave a little to be desired, I must admit there’s something appealing about the idea of kicking back with friends and diving into a marathon of Dragonheart movies – provided there are enough drinks to get us through all of them.

I want to leave you with two interesting pieces of trivia. First up: Dragonheart 3 was the screenwriting debut of Matthew Feitshans. He’s the stepson of Raffaella De Laurentiis, the daughter of legendary film producer Dino De Laurentiis (Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Destroyer, Red Sonja). Raffaella is a producer in her own right (she produced the first Dragonheart movie), so the sword-and-sorcery genes are strong in this family. Feitshans is back on script duties for Dragonheart 4, so hopefully diehard fans will appreciate the continuity there.

And secondly, Feitshans has indicated on Twitter that these smaller Dragonheart films could possibly lead to a remake of the original movie.

That would be an fascinating trajectory for a fantasy franchise. Typically, it’s horror movies that see theatrical releases, direct-to-video sequels, and then theatrical reboots (the Puppet Master franchise comes to mind as a recent example). But off the top of my head, I can’t think of any fantasy movies that have followed that path. With Game of Thrones about to go off the air, I certainly wouldn’t be opposed to seeing the Dragonheart franchise get rebooted for the big screen. After all, fantasy fans have to get our dragon fix somehow.

Dragonheart 4 hits Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD on June 13, 2017.

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