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Forget Rings of Power — Disney Plus is adapting this beloved fantasy book into a TV show

Disney Plus app on a television
(Image credit: Disney Plus)

It’s a good time to be a fantasy fan with both Prime Video’s The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power and HBO’s House of the Dragon set to premiere over the next month, but Disney Plus could have a show primed to upstage them both.

Variety (opens in new tab) has learned that a live-action TV show adaptation of Eragon is currently in early development for Disney Plus. The streaming series would be based on “The Inheritance Cycle," a collection of young adult fantasy novels written by Christopher Paolini, and released between 2003 and 2011. Eragon is the first book in the series, followed by Eldest, Brisingr and Inheritance. 

This scoop was later confirmed by Paolini himself who took to Twitter (opens in new tab) to not-so-subtly verify that Variety's reporting was indeed accurate. The American author thanked fans on social media, noting that the project wouldn't have got off the ground without the large fan support for the Inheritance Cycle books and the 2021 #RemakeEragon social media campaign.  

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Eragon tells the story of a young farm boy who stumbles upon a mysterious egg in the forest, which then hatches into a dragon named Saphira. The first novel chronicles Eragon’s journey to becoming a fabled Dragon Rider, an ancient order of protectors previously wiped out by tyrannical king Galbatorix, under the watchful eye of mentor Brom. The rest of The Inheritance Cycle follows Eragon and Saphira as they make new allies and attempt to defeat Galbatorix in order to free the mythical lad of Alagaesia from his harsh rule.  

The novel series has been immensely successful over the last two decades selling over 41 million copies worldwide. For that reason, it wasn’t surprising when Eragon was adapted into a film in 2006. The movie starred newcomer Ed Speleers as Eragon, Rachel Weisz as the voice of Saphira, Jeremy Irons as Brom and John Malkovich as Galbatorix. The film was a critical dud and underperformed commercially with a planned sequel being quickly shelved after its disappointing release. 

After such an underwhelming first attempt at bringing the world of Eragon to life, there may be some fan trepidation about this Disney Plus show. However, the good news is that Variety understands that Paolini will be involved as a co-writer, and potentially even a co-showrunner. This should at the very least make the project reasonably faithful to the novels, unlike the 2006 movie which took the basic framework but otherwise made radical changes that were generally poorly received by fans. 

Fans have been vocal about their disappointment in the movie for years, and in 2021 started a #RemakeEragon campaign inspired by the success of the social media drive to get Zack Snyder’s Justice League released. This coordinated effort implored Disney to give Eragon a second chance and this time create an adaptation that was true to the spirit of the book. 

There’s no word on casting or any sort of release date information, but considering the show is reportedly in the early stages of development it’s very likely that Eragon won’t be gracing Disney Plus for several years yet. Nevertheless, just the confirmation that Eragon is being adapted once more, and that Paolini is involved this time, should be enough to keep passionate fans eagerly anticipating more information for a while to come.

Next: This classic TV show is set to leave Netflix in September.

Rory Mellon
Rory Mellon

Rory is a Deals Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on deals, gaming and streaming. When he’s not scouring retailers for PS5 restock or writing hot takes on the latest gaming hardware and streaming shows, he can be found attending music festivals and being thoroughly disappointed by his terrible football team.