- Director:Randall Wallace
- Writer:Alexandre Dumas,Randall Wallace
- Cast:Leonardo DiCaprio,Jeremy Irons,John Malkovich
- Time:2h 12min
|Cast overview, first billed only:|
|Leonardo DiCaprio||-||King Louis / Phillippe|
|Gérard Depardieu||-||Porthos (as Gerard Depardieu)|
|Anne Parillaud||-||Queen Anne|
|Judith Godrèche||-||Christine (as Judith Godreche)|
|Edward Atterton||-||Lieutenant Andre|
|Hugh Laurie||-||King's Advisor|
|David Lowe||-||King's Advisor|
|Brigitte Boucher||-||Madame Rotund|
|Emmanuel Guttierez||-||King's Friend|
There was a real masked prisoner at La Bastille, but rather than a twin brother, more recent conspiracy theories have him being Louis XIV's biological father. The official story of Louis' conception was that King Louis XIII, long separated from Queen Anne, was going to his hunting lodge and had packed stuff that he would need. It started raining and since the Queen had the only bed suitable for the King they slept together, conceiving the heir. The conspiracy theory is that Cardinal Richelieu convinced the Queen to have an affair with a "sperm donor," who then was sent off to Canada, but later returned to France and tried to extort money for his silence. The motive for the plan was that Richelieu feared that civil war would break out if the King died childless to be succeeded by his foolish brother Gaston. But the sperm donor theory is just hearsay and probably not true. Queen Anne might have had an affair, but she and Richelieu did not work together because they hated each other. Louis XIV also resembled Louis XIII enough to ensure to most people that he was a true biological son.
Although Louis XIV, who was a real king, is a prominently featured character in the movie, the closing credits state that all characters are fictitious. This statement involves a loophole common to movies of this nature. The film portrayal diverges considerably from authentic descriptions of the real person, so the character is fictitious in the sense that the words and actions of the character are not claimed to be things that the real person said and did.
Each of the four Musketeers are played by actors with different nationalities. Jeremy Irons is English, John Malkovich is American, Gérard Depardieu is French and Gabriel Byrne is Irish.
In the book, the motives of Bishop Aramis are far less noble than those portrayed in the film. In the story, Aramis plots to replace Louis with Philippe as part of a master plan to have Philippe appoint Aramis as cardinal, and an eventual candidate for Pope. Aramis also has hopes to stack the Louis cabinet with allies leading to further power and a possible appointment of Aramis as prime minister.
Alexandre Dumas, the author of the book for which this is based, adapted his novel on a historical account of a mysterious prisoner in the Bastille who was forced to wear a leather mask on special occasions for the two years between his imprisonment and subsequent death. The idea that he was a royal lookalike comes from a jest made by the historian Voltaire in the mid 18th century, about 70 years after the historical events.
Aramis' statement, "I am a genius, not an engineer," is a pun in the original French ("Je suis un génie, pas un ingénieur").
Leonardo DiCaprio's mask was made out of polystyrene.
Even though Gabriel Byrne in the role of D'artagnan is supposed to be in character as much younger than the older Musketeers, Byrne, Jeremy Irons, and Gérard Depardieu are in fact almost the same age. Irons and Depardieu were both born in 1948. Byrne was born in 1950. John Malkovich was born in 1953 making him the actual youngest of the four men.
This is the third in a trilogy of the Alexandre Dumas novels about the adventures of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, which also include 'The 3 Musketeers' and 'Twenty Years After'.
Alexandre Dumas's novel The Vicomte of Braggelone, on which this film is based, has also been filmed as The Fifth Musketeer (1979). which featured José Ferrer, who preceded Gérard Depardieu as Cyrano de Bergerac (1950).
Anthony Hopkins was the first choice of Randall Wallace to play Aramis. Though he turned it down due to filming commitments with Zorro mask (1998). Sam Neill and Alan Rickman were also considered for the role before Jeremy Irons accepted the part.
When Aramis (in his priest disguise) speaks Italian, the Italian dubbed version has him speaking Spanish instead.
MGM discovered the audience the movie attracted was "directly related to appeal of Leonardo DiCaprio", being 55% female and 46% under the age of 25.
Gérard Depardieu's son Guillaume Depardieu and daughter Julie Depardieu also appeared together in a Musketeer film: they played Athos and Constance in Milady (2004).
In the movie, Athos has a son named Raoul who falls in love with a girl named Christine. The same names as the lovers in Gaston Leroux's "The Phantom of The Opera."
Judith Godrèche landed her role because Randall Wallace was a fan of her work in Ridicule (1996).
The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jeremy Irons; and two Oscar nominees: John Malkovich and Gérard Depardieu.
The character D'Artagnan also appears in the play Cyrano de Bergerac (1990), which has also been filmed with Gérard Depardieu.
Kevin Kline passed on the opportunity to play Athos.
One of two 1998 movies with the same title, based on the same novel. The other was The Man in the Iron Mask (1998).
Some of the filming was done at the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, located in Maincy, near Melun, 55 kilometers (34 mi) southeast of Paris. It was built between 1658 and 1661, for Nicolas Fouquet, Marquis de Belle Île, Viscount of Melun and Vaux, the superintendent of finances of Louis XIV. Fouquet celebrated the completion of the château with a most extravagant feast, at which every guest was given a horse. King Louis however felt upstaged by the grandeur of the home, the event and suspecting that such magnificence could only be explained through Fouquet's pilfering the royal treasury, had d'Artagnan arrest Fouquet. d'Artagnan was assigned to guard him for four years until Fouquet was sentenced to life imprisonment. Soon after this, d'Artagnan was promoted to captain-lieutenant of the Musketeers.
Leonardo DiCaprio previously starred in the lead role of the 1997 movie Titanic, about the sinking of the RMS Titanic. His co-star in this film, Edward Atterton, would later star in the lead role of the 2000 television film Britannic, which is about the sinking of the Titanic's sister ship, the HMHS Britannic.
This film is one of the few, if not only film versions, that features the subplot of Louis XIV stealing Raoul's fiancée from him. The story plays out differently, however. Christine was originally Louise de la Valliere, a historical figure who was in fact Louis's mistress, and according to some document had previously been involved with a man called Bragelonne, on whom Raoul was based. In the book Louis does not send Raoul to Africa to be killed. He is instead sent to England on a diplomatic mission, and is recalled only when Louis's previous lover, Princess Henrietta Stuart (wife of his brother Philippe d'Orleans) calls him back. Raoul takes part in the conspiracy to replace Louis with Philippe (the twin), which ultimately fails. Sometime after this, he realizes that Louise loves Louis in return, and the heartbroken Raoul accepts a position with the King's cousin, Beaufort, in Africa, where he commits a kamikaze maneuver.
Although the book is often published under the title The Man in the Iron Mask, Philippe is not made to wear the mask throughout the book. Though he is imprisoned in the Bastille at the start, it is only after the failed attempt to supplant Louis with him that Louis gives the order to have his face covered.