Epic Fantasy is currently the flavor of the month on streaming services, and Disney Plus is hoping to cash in on the genre’s popularity with another live-action TV series.
As first reported by Variety (opens in new tab), a new show based on Christopher Paolini’s popular novel series, The Inheritance Cycle, is in early development at the streamer. Eragon, which was previously made into a 2006 feature film of the same name, is one of the four books that will form the basis of the Disney Plus production.
The Inheritance Cycle tells the story of a young farm boy who, after discovering a mysterious dragon egg, learns to become the legendary Dragon Rider, a powerful warrior destined to save the land of Alagaësia from its evil king.
Eragon, the first novel in Paolini’s series, was published in 2002 and was quickly followed by Eldest in 2005, Brisingr in 2008, and Inheritance in 2011. To date, the four books have combined sales of more than 40 million copies worldwide.
Despite the series’ literary popularity, the 20th Century Studios big-screen adaptation of Eragon was a critical and box-office bomb upon its release in 2006, making just $250 million with a reported budget of $100 million and a terrible rating of 16%. On Rotten tomatoes (opens in new tab).
The film had a hugely impressive cast – Jeremy Irons, Rachel Weisz, Robert Carlyle and John Malkovich were some of the names on the expensive phone book – but audiences and reviewers alike were unimpressed with Eragon’s lackluster writing style, messy effects and the generally uninspired take on an otherwise intriguing story.
In 2021, fans of Paolini’s novels expressed support for a new adaptation of Eragon and its sequels using the hashtag #EragonRemake — and apparently Disney was listening to the interest. The author himself recently thanked these campaigners by citing a Variety tweet (below) confirming the development of the new series.
Uhhh… 😎 (You are all the best fans.) https://t.co/V1CLyePzw4July 25, 2022
It’s not yet known when Disney’s The Inheritance Cycle show will come to Disney Plus, nor details about its length or cast. However, since it’s still in the “early development phase”, we’ll probably have to wait a few years until we see Eragon riding the big screen again.
Is this just fantasy?
Eragon (or The Inheritance Cycle) isn’t the only fantasy novel series now getting the customization treatment at Disney Plus. A serialized version of Rick Riordan’s popular Percy Jackson franchise – which has already formed the basis for two 20th Century Studios films – is also in the works at the burgeoning streaming service.
Eragon isn’t the only dragon-inspired TV show making headlines this month, either. HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off, House of the Dragonpreparing for the highly anticipated release on August 21, while Amazon is super expensive Prime Video Series, The rings of powerbegins streaming shortly after in September.
As mentioned, Disney’s latest project certainly won’t be fighting these upcoming real estate streaming shows – in fact, it’s even possible that both House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power will get a second season before Eragon’s arrival – but Disney Plus- bosses are clearly buying into the idea that fantasy fiction sells (if only on TV…).