Ask a bookworm what one of the worst movie adaptations of a beloved book was, and Eragon will come up immediately. But why was this fantasy epic such a flop? Turns out the entire movie was pretty much doomed from the start, with these details first gathered by Screenrant. Below are the biggest reasons why this movie only got a 16% on Rotten Tomatoes.
*1. The Writing Was On The Wall *
While the official credits only listed one man, Peter Buchman, with screenplay credits, the behinds the scenes process was way more chaotic. There were lengthy arguments between the Writers Guild of America (responsible for the screenplay credits) and the four (!!) screenwriters who ended up working on the official script. Conflicting visions and differing opinions definitely contributed to a rushed screenplay that lacked a clear vision.
2. First Time For Everything
Believe it or not, this was the director's first time directing a movie! Not exactly the most confident voice to bring a beloved novel to life. But it wasn't like Stefen Fangmeier was completely new to Hollywood. Before the movie, he already had decades of experience as a visual effects supervisor. He worked on high profile movies such as Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Jurassic Park, and Saving Private Ryan. And many readers would agree that the dragon's effects in Eragon is the best part of the movie. But all of that Hollywood experience didn't fully translate to the director's chair. This is the only movie Fangmeier has ever directed, but he's been doing visual effects work on Game of Thrones, so he's doing pretty well for himself.
3. No Time Like The Present
Ed Speelers, the British actor portraying Eragon onscreen, only had a week to prepare for his role. He supposedly beat out 180,000 actors for the role, and casting directors had even considered bigger names like Elijah Wood and Shia LaBeouf before him. After two auditions without a response, the casting team took their time to give him the good news. Now I haven't worked in any Hollywood fantasy epics, but I feel like you would need more than a week to figure out your character habits, start training for the fight scenes, and mentally preparing for the chaos of a blockbuster movie! Also fun fact: Speelers had been working on his high school's production of Hamlet when he booked the Eragon role. His cast mates were probably very jealous.
4. Where Are The Dwarves?
Why the heck were the dwarves written out of the Eragon movie?! It's not that I am the biggest dwarf stand out there, but it's weird that such a staple of the fantasy genre would be ignored in this fantasy movie. On a similar note, Arya the elf didn't even have pointy ears?! It could not have taken that much out of the budget to give her fake pointy ears! This point I bring up is about more than these specific characters. This movie was so reluctant to embrace fantasy tropes, despite them being a huge part of the book. The marketing was clearly aimed at the same audiences who had watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy, so why dodge these elements that fans enjoyed?
Overall, this movie had so much potential that it squandered. By not having a stable and knowledgeable team in place behind the scenes, the overall storyline suffered immensely. Now that Game of Thrones has ended and studios seem to be scrambling for the next big fantasy epic, why not reboot this movie? The Inheritance Cycle has the potential to act as Game of Thrones for an all ages audience, and I would definitely love to see that!
What other book adaptation flops would you like us to profile here? let us know in the comments!