Disney Plus gives this box office bomb another shot

Epic fantasy is the flavor of the month on streaming services right now, and Disney Plus is hoping to capitalize on the genre’s popularity with another live-action TV series.

As first reported by Variety (opens in a new tab), a new show based on Christopher Paolini’s popular novel series The Inheritance Cycle, is in development at the streamer. Eragon, which had already been adapted into a feature film of the same name in 2006, is one of the four books that will form the basis of the Disney+ 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 mighty 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 quickly followed by Eldest in 2005, Brisingr in 2008 and Inheritance in 2011. To date, the four books have generated combined worldwide sales of over 40 million of copies.

Despite the series’ literary popularity, however, 20th Century Studios’ big-screen adaptation of Eragon was a critical and box office bomb when it was released in 2006, earning just $250 million on a budget advertised $100 million and sporting an abysmal 16% review rating. on rotten tomatoes (opens in a new tab).

The film had a hugely impressive cast – Jeremy Irons, Rachel Weisz, Robert Carlyle and John Malkovich were among the names on its pricey call sheet – but audiences and critics were unimpressed with the lackluster writing. Eragon, his messy effects and generally uninspired take. an otherwise intriguing story.

In 2021, fans of Paolini’s novels expressed their support for a new adaptation of Eragon and its sequels using the hashtag #EragonRemake – and, of course, Disney heeded the interest. The author himself recently thanked these activists by quoting a tweet from Variety (below) confirming the development of the new series.

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It’s not yet known when Disney’s The Inheritance Cycle show will be coming to Disney Plus, nor are there any details about its duration or cast. Considering it’s still in the “early development” stage, we’ve probably got a few more years to wait before we see Eragon rolling back on the big screen. But hey, maybe a Disney Plus free trial might have come back by then.

Is it just fantasy?

Eragon (or The Inheritance Cycle) isn’t the only fantasy novel series getting the adaptation treatment at Disney Plus right now. A serialized version of Rick Riordan’s popular Percy Jackson franchise – which has already formed the basis of two films from 20th Century Studios – is also in the works on the growing streaming service.

Eragon isn’t the only dragon-inspired TV show making headlines this month, either. HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off Dragon Housegears up for its highly anticipated August 21 release, while Amazon’s super expensive Prime Video Series, power ringsbegins airing shortly thereafter in September.

As mentioned, Disney’s latest project certainly isn’t going to fight these upcoming shows for streaming real estate – it’s even possible that House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power will get second seasons before Eragon arrives – but Disney Plus bosses are clearly buying into the idea that fantasy fiction sells (if only on TV…).

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