Eragon was directed by Stefen Fangmeier, who has worked on many critically-acclaimed films such as The Bourne Identity, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and Galaxy Quest. Eragon combines a number of recognizable actors, such as Jeremy Irons and Djimon Hounsou, with relatively unknowns.
Christopher Paolini originally asked for a small role in the film; according to him, he was supposed to be a Urgal who is beheaded during the Battle under Farthen Dûr by Eragon. The timing of his European book tour created a conflict, however, and he was unable to fulfill his wish.
The official trailer for the film was originally rumored to have been attached to X-Men: The Last Stand, released on May 26, 2006; later, however, execs announced that the release date for the trailer would be pushed back, due to unfinished work. After multiple delays, the trailer was finally released September 15, 2006 with Gridiron Gang, a film by Columbia Pictures. The trailer can be viewed online at Moviefone. An international trailer was also released and can be viewed by following this link
An unofficial trailer was accidentally leaked on the internet late in 2005.
Several other trailers have been released. A complete list can be found at Shur'tugal.
A total of eleven Eragon posters have been released to date. They are below, in chronological order.
Eragon was rated PG (for "fantasy violence, intense battle sequences, and some frightening images") by the MPAA. It was also rated PG by its British equivalent, the BBFC. The Australian OFLC rated it an M, the OFLC version of a PG-13 for Moderate Fantasy Violence. It actually contains very little blood.
Many fans have expressed anger at both the movie and Stefen Fangmeier for cutting out too many important characters, places, and events. Most fans of the novel have pointed out that nearly none of the characters in the film fit their descriptions at all in the book (except possibly Murtagh and Nasuada - and even Katrina, the Twins, & Elva in the deleted scenes.)
A lot have blamed the film for making some changes that will hinder the possible production of a sequel. For example, Roran leaves Palancar Valley just because he doesn't want to be drafted into the army, rather than to earn money to start his own family with Katrina (who did not appear in the film). They also made Brom hunt down and kill the Ra'zac, who are crucial to Eldest and the start of Brisingr. Also, they made Arya the princess of Ellesméra, but not an elf. Elves inhabiting Ellesméra are crucial to Eldest. In addition, Jeod, Helen, Orik, Elva, and Solembum, who did not appear in the movie, feature prominently in the next books. Arguably the largest continuity problem for a sequel is the fact that Eragon's back is not scarred by Durza in the film, which is a major obstacle and plot point through most of Eldest. In the movie, they do not mention the other two dragon eggs still in existence (therefore Murtagh cannot become the rider of Thorn), and the Twins (who are important characters in the books) are not seen outside of a deleted scene. As another example, fans criticized the storyline involving the Ra'zac, as they are depicted in the movie as magical beings created by Durza's black magic, yet in the books are actual biological creatures with a thoroughly different appearance than the insect-infested, mummy-like Ra'zac of the film. Others thought the creature effects for Saphira, while very good, made her too slim instead of the muscular build that is freguently mentioned and also gave her an un-draconic look with feathery wings instead of the bat-like ones she and other dragons had in the book. Additionally, Galbatorix's dragon Shruikan (seen at the end scene of the film) is portrayed as being not much larger than Saphira, whereas in the book he is depicted as an enormous dragon with spikes as thick as the trunks of trees.
Also, Arya never breaks Isidar Mirithim, which becomes crucial in Brisingr as Saphira must repair it and so on.
According to rottentomatoes.com, the critical consensus is "Eragon presents nothing new to the "hero’s journey" story archetype. In movie terms, this movie looks and sounds like Lord of the Rings and plays out like a bad Star Wars rip-off."
The film did, however, get some good or lukewarm reviews. Claudia Puig of USA Today called it a "moderately diverting escapism that will appeal to fans of the fantasy genre". Tribune film critic Michael Philipps gave it two and a half out of four stars and called it "cheesy, but sincere cheese" and heavily praised Jeremy Irons in his role as Brom.
Michael A. Smith of crazedfanboy.com gave it three out of four stars, saying the film "is a fun film that is certain to join the ranks of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings in the world of fantasy films."
Quotes from critics
Stefen Fangmeier establishes himself as the "Uwe Boll" of family-friendly fantasy.— John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal
Why has 20th Century Fox released this embarrassment—whose quality would be dubious for a direct-to-video release—into theaters?— James Berardinelli, ReelViews
More than a Star Wars rip-off... The only thing missing here is a Chewbacca.— Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
The film's few moments of hilarity are no less welcome for being completely unintended...— Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
Fears that Fangmeier's debut would be the sequel to Dragonheart nobody wanted prove unwarranted. It's the sequel to BloodRayne that nobody wanted.— Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central
For those who love the "fantasy" genre known as sword and sorcery—and I count myself in their number—sitting through the movie version of Eragon will suck the will to live right out of you.— Chauncey Mabe, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
If you took all the dragon-centered movies ever made, and counted the good ones on your fingers, I bet you'd still have enough fingers left over to flip off Eragon as you walked laughing from the theater.— Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com
Laughably bad, mind-bogglingly derivative, and easily one of the worst movies of the year.— Pete Vonder Haar, Film Threat
Poor Paolini. This a**-sucker of a film must have brainwashed him into thinking that it made the slightest of justice to his wonderful story. Special thanks to Rachel Welsh. Out of a convoluted mess that comes close to becoming Aaron Seltzer's "Fantasy Movie", her voice work stands in recognition. It'd be better off in any Disney video sequel than this, though.— Gallie McGollum, Web Dork's Star Film Critic
Christopher Paolini has stated that he enjoyed the film. In an open interview held with a fan community in September 2008, he stated that if there were to be another movie, he would be as involved as possible in the process. He further responded that the movie reflected the film-makers' version of the story, whilst the books reflect his version of the story; he was pleased his book was adapted into a movie, given that few books ever are. Furthermore, the movie introduced many new readers to the series. Paolini also stated that "you have to make peace with the nature of the process when signing on the dotted line."
Differences between the book and movie
There are many differences between the book and the film, which have received much fan backlash.
|Tamsin Egerton||Katrina (Cut in the final edit)|
|Rachel Weisz||Voice of Saphira|
|Ralph Brown||The Twins (Cut in the final edit)|
Hungarian hired actors
- Ágnes Bánfalvy - Old Woman, Mother/Greta
- Máté Haumann
- Matt Devere
- Richard Rifkin
- Michael Mehlman
- Tamás Deák
- Pál Makrai
Original Music by
Costume Design by
Gergö Balika, unit manager
Ravi Dube, unit manager
Vaclav Mottl, unit manager: Slovakia
Peter Seres, production manager: pre-production
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
James Chasey, third assistant director
Bogi Móricz, second assistant director
David J. Aldred, storyboard artist
Tracey Wilson, storyboard artist
Patrick Tatopoulos, dragon concept artist
Special Effects by
Kinga Baranyai, special effects buyer
Herbert Blank, special effects senior technician
Visual Effects by
Natalie Lovatt, visual effects assistant coordinator
Glenn Marsh, visual effects modeler
Scott McGinley, previsualization artist
Karen M. Murphy, visual effects
Csaba Bagossy, production assistant
Giovanni Casalnuovo, assistant costume designer
Mel Churcher, acting coach
Geoff Freeman, unit publicist
Tamás Kertész, extras casting
Billy Merrell, truck driver
Steve Mortimore, unit location manager
Emoke Vagasi, assistant: Stefen Fangmeier
- Official movie site
- www.randombuzzers.com, "Christopher Paolini's November 2010 Q&A", retrieved August 10, 2011