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In 2006, Christopher Paolini, the “youngest author of a bestselling book series” according to the Guinness Book of World Records, saw his novel Eragon adapted for the big screen and have its cinematic premiere. The movie was directed by Stefen Fangmier and boasted a cast that included the likes of Jeramy Irons, Rachel Weisz, and John Malkovich. It was an ambitious adaptation and the movie was – as yours truly well remembers – advertised everywhere all of the time. It was an era when fantasy adaptations were common, which was the result of The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter being quite successful, and Eragon was supposed to be the start of a trilogy that ended up being exactly that – a start – but nothing more. Should we expect a sequel to Eragon or is the franchise “dead” for the time being? Keep reading to find out.
The 2006 adaptation of Eragon does not have a sequel and there are no plans for the franchise to be continued. Initially, there were plans for two sequels, but due to the poor reception of the first movie, these plans were ultimately cancelled, along with the potential franchise.
Today’s article is going to tell you about the sequel ideas and the franchise potential of the Eragon movie that came out in 2006. You’re going to find out whether there were and whether there still are plans for any sequels, and how Eragon’s reception influenced those plans. We have prepared an informative article for you so keep reading to the end.
Will there be an Eragon 2 ?
Eragon is a British-American fantasy film that premiered on December 15, 2006. It was an adaptation of Christopher Paolini’s bestselling fantasy novel of the same name and was expected to be a massive success for 20th Century Fox. With a budget of roughly $100 million, Eragon was a very ambitious project for the time and 20th Century Fox had high hopes that it would turn into a franchise that would end up adapting all of Paolini’s then-written novels (three in total).
In an interview published by MovieWeb, director Stefen Fangmeier had this to say about the studio’s plans for the franchise:
“I’m not quite sure what is currently going on. My own personal perspective is that until we sort of figure out what happens in the third book. Evidentially, I asked Christopher (Paolini; writer of the Eragon trilogy)…, about that and he was not volunteering much of what was going to happen. I think it’s very important to see where this ends up; how it’s resolved. I think until you kind of have an understanding of what the third piece of that puzzle is, it’s kind of hard to look at that second book, of course I read it, it’s very much a transitional story element. I think one would be best off to write the third film first, and then, being happy with that, going back to the second one and doing all the set-up work that will pay off in the third. Then probably filming two and three together as they did with Pirates of the Caribbean; as one production.
That means, given the time frame, it might still be another year before there are actually are scripts for both films and these things can move ahead. I don’t know if Fox is waiting to see the revenues the DVD will create. I think they were modestly happy with the worldwide box office.”– Interview with Stefen Fangmeier
So, the studio had initial plans to adapt both of Paolini’s books and the intention was to film them back-to-back had Eragon been successful, as was expected. Yet, we never got any sequels to Eragon nor are we going to in the future. So what happened? Why was the franchise abandoned? We’ll dig into the reasons in the sections that follow.
Why was the sequel to Eragon not filmed?
As we have established, 20th Century Fox had every intention to adapt both of Paolini’s sequels and even to shoot them back-to-back. The prerequisite was, of course, the success of Eragon but 20th Century Fox really counted on the movie being successful. And with everything set for a box office hit, Eragon was met with lukewarm (that’s an euphemism) reception by both fans and critics and the success Fox had hoped for was not anywhere near.
This prompted Fox to quickly cancel all sequel plans and that is why we never got to see a sequel to Fangmeier’s Eragon, i.e., that is why 20th Century Fox abandoned these projects and the whole franchise.
Was Eragon a failure?
We have established that Eragon never delivered on the expectations the studio had for it and that the movie cannot be labeled as having been successful. But, was Eragon truly a failure, or was it just one of those movies that was neither good, nor bad, a movie that ended up in a limbo between being invested in further and being rejected completely? Let us see.
Eragon’s budget was around $100 million and the movie grossed a worldwide total of $250,400,000, which made it the 16th highest-grossing movie of 2006 worldwide; with a domestic total of $75 million, Eragon was the 31st highest-grossing film of 2006 in the United States. Director Stefen Fangmeier believed that Fox was “modestly happy with the worldwide box office”, and we can only stand behind this opinion, stating that Eragon’s worldwide box-office performance was – for 2006’s standards – quite good and tat the movie was a financial success for Fox, despite being a critical flop.
But, where the film overperformed on the box office, it underperformed with the critics and fans. On Rotten Tomatoes, Eragon holds an approval rating of 16% based on 125 reviews, with an average rating of 4.08/10. The consensus reads “Eragon is a fantasy epic that lacks any magic, brought down to earth by unconvincing world-building and a litany of stars who seem bemused by the material.” It was the 10th worst reviewed film of 2006 on the site.
The Seattle Times described the film as “technically accomplished, but fairly lifeless and at times a bit silly”. The Hollywood Reporter said the world of Eragon was “without much texture or depth.” The story was labeled “derivative” by The Washington Post, and “generic” by the Las Vegas Weekly. Newsday stressed this point further, asserting that only “nine-year-olds with no knowledge whatsoever of any of the six Star Wars movies would find the film original.”
The acting was called “lame” by the Washington Post, plus “stilted” and “lifeless” by the Orlando Weekly. The dialogues were also criticized, with MSNBC labelling them as “silly”; the Las Vegas Weekly called it “wooden”. The book fans also heavily criticized the movie for its unfaithfulness to the original material.
Positive reviews described the film as “fun” and “the stuff boys’ fantasies are made of.” The CGI work was called “imaginative” and Saphira was called a “magnificent creation.” The performances of Jeremy Irons and Ed Speleers were also praised.
What did Christopher Paolini think of the Eragon movie?
Christopher Paolini was asked about his own opinion of the movie, and this is what he said:
“Heh. Well, I’m glad it was made, since so few books ever get made into movies, and it introduced millions of new readers to the Inheritance Cycle. That said, the movie reflects the studio and the director’s view of the story, whereas the books reflect mine, and everyone is free to enjoy them on their own merits.”– paolini.net
And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!