There Be Dragons

May 6th 2011
  • Drama/Historical,
  • PG-13,
  • 120 min,
  • Other
  • Cast: Charlie Cox, Wes Bentley, Dougray Scott, Unax Ugalde, Olga Kurylenko, Jordi Mollà, Rodrigo Santoro, Geraldine Chaplin, Pablo Lapadula, Golshifteh Farahani, Rusty Lemorande, Ana Torrent, Alfonso Bassave, Alejandro Casaseca, Yaiza Guimaré, Jan Cornet, Lily Cole, Charles Dance, Derek Jacobi, Lito Cruz, Michael Feast, Robert Blythe, Dolores Reynals, Christian J. Giardino, Carlos Kaspar, Carlos Leal, Juan Cruz Rolla, Kevin Schiele, Zoe Trilnick
  • Director: Roland Joffé
  • Writer: Roland Joffé
  • Producers: Roland Joffé, Guy J. Louthan, Ignacio Núñez, Ignacio G. Sancha
  • Executive Producer: Rusty Lemorande
  • Art Directions: Sonia Aranzabal, Marcelo Salvioli
  • Castings: Norma Angeleri, Amy Hubbard, Cathy Sandrich
  • Costume Design: Yvonne Blake
  • D.O.P.: Gabriel Beristain
  • Editor: Richard Nord
  • Makeup: Michèle Burke
  • Music: Stephen Warbeck
  • Production Design: Eugenio Zanetti


"There Be Dragons" follows the story of controversial Opus Dei founder, St. Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer, in a sympathetic portrayal of the Catholic organization, bravely contradicting the sentiment set by Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code." In this action-packed film, director Roland Joffe surrounds the priest with fictional characters and deals with universal themes of love, betrayal and redemption.

The film begins when a young journalist begins investigating his estranged fathers relationship with Escrivá during the tumultuous times of the Spanish Civil War and uncovers a compelling drama of the two men's complicated lives and the dark secrets of his family's past.

Faced with the hardships and injustices that are tearing Spain apart, these two friends paths diverge when one pursues a life of faith and the other is swept into the brutality and horror of the Spanish Civil War.

As personal and national battles rage, the characters lives collide and their deepest struggles are illuminated. Only then can they face the ultimate choices that will result in tragedy or triumph, and a chance for final redemption.

"There Be Dragons" reveals the importance and timeless power of forgiveness in a story of loss between a father and son, of revolutionaries fighting for freedom, of a woman's search for love and meaning and the struggles of a man whose life impacts them all.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Filming Locations: Buenos Aires, Argentina; Segovia, Spain
  • MPAA Warning: Violence and combat sequences, some language and thematic elements
  • Production Budget: $30 million
  • Production Companies: Mount Santa Fe

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2011 Guide Analysis: "After acclaimed works "The Mission" and "The Killing Fields" in the mid-80's, British filmmaker Roland Joffe has been on a bit of a slide. His 90's work, "The Scarlet Letter" and "City of Joy", weren't as well received while his sole film last decade was the odious Elisha Cuthbert torture porn "Captivity" more famous for its marketing controversy than its actual product.

Now he returns to the kind of historical epic that he made his name on with this $30-35 million project set mostly during the Spanish Civil War in the late 1930's. An earlier version of the project was offered to the likes of Hugh Hudson and Alejandro González Iñárritu who both turned it down. Joffe initially did as well, but reconsidered and signed on with the condition that he'd be penning a completely new script.

The result is a complicated story involving a journalist (Dougray Scott) in the 1970's who learns that his father was a close childhood friend of St. Josemaría Escrivá (Charlie Cox), a Roman Catholic saint and founder of the Opus Dei movement. The film spends most of its time flashing back to the story of a love triangle between the father Manolo (Wes Bentley), a beautiful Hungarian revolutionary (Olga Kurylenko) and Manolo's militia leader Oriol (Rodrigo Santoro). Inevitable betrayals occur, all against the backdrop of the fighting.

This has lead to controversy that some accuse the film of being a propaganda piece for Opus Dei to combat the negative image generated for the organization via its rather damning portrayal in Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code". Both Joffé and the Opus Dei Prelature deny it, the former saying this is too costly an endeavour for such a reason, the latter saying their only involvement was help in obtaining accurate information about Escrivá.

Others haven't been that impressed with the fact that a cast of mostly non-Spaniards will be playing most of the major roles. An official trailer confirms that all the cast talk in English with Spanish accents, though quite a few of them don't seem to have nailed down said accents successfully. Opening in early May against the big crowd pleasing blockbusters, it's likely this will appeal to those who wan't something a bit more stimulating and uplifting. I'd be surprised though if it qualifies for any awards like Joffe's best works did."

Trailers & Clips

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Worldwide Release Dates

  • 25 March 2011: Spain
  • 19 May 2011: Portugal
  • 27 May 2011: Turkey
  • 5 August 2011: Colombia, Mexico