The Eragon Re-Adaptation We’ve All Been Waiting For

Image Source: @MCAlagaesia on Twitter

Welcome, to another episode of film adaptation justice. Or, as one might say in the Ancient Language: Astori! 

If you’re a fan of Eragon and The Inheritance Cycle, you may remember the 2006 adaptation of the first book in Christopher Paolini’s series. It was meant to be the start of a thrilling franchise, but like many films inspired by novels, it failed to satisfy its fanbase and no further films were produced. 

Here comes the good news! After the announcement that Percy Jackson was getting a second chance to welcome demigods around the world to Camp Half-Blood, Eragon fans began a campaign (using #EragonRemake on Twitter) to receive the same treatment. Thanks to the miracle that is the internet, Disney saw the support behind the potential project and jumped on board. Behold, the power of book nerds behind keyboards! 

Though I still throw on the movie once in a while for the nostalgia of it all, I must admit I have many suggestions for how the new television version can fix the mistakes of the first crack at representing such an epic story on screen. 

  • Keep the cast big. The movie removed or limited many major characters (Angela, Orik, Murtagh, etc.) and whittled them down so far they fell flat instead of being appreciated for the role they play in Eragon’s journey. Without them, many key moments are cheapened. 
  • Preserve the plot. As with any similar situation, when the people making the movie are not the readers or writers of the story, they don’t understand the value of keeping as close to the source material as possible. This phenomenon doesn’t make sense to me; the book is the reason there can be a movie in the first place, so why remix it? My recent reread of Eragon only reminded me of how different the two works are from one another.
  • Maintain the grit of the characters. The movie glossed over many of the deeper aspects of the state of Alagaesia as well as the struggles and losses the titular character and his friends go through. I want the show to dig deep into the emotions of the humans, elves, riders, and dwarves alike to really hook people new to the series. 

Ultimately, the performance of all involved in front of and behind the camera didn’t do justice to the book, but Disney+ has a new chance to uplift the material rather than drag it down. With the right team (thank goodness Paolini himself is working as co-writer and executive producer), I think there is a great chance that this series can become the truest, most fantastical, and heart-gripping blockbuster it is capable of being. 

While there isn’t any news regarding more than the beginnings of Disney+ hosting the project, I feel confident in reporting that only good things are ahead for Paolini’s talent and the world of Dragon Riders.