It doesn’t take most Inheritance fans long to react to the Eragon movie from 2006. “Hardcore” Inheritance fans’ consensus was dissatisfaction with plot alteration. Unfortunately, in Hollywood this isn’t an uncommon occurrence—in fact, movie studios are infamous for heavily altering the plots of movies adapted from books. Movie studios face a difficult task in converting novels—unrestricted by time length or specific target audiences—into movies that will hit it big at the box office. In some cases, they can pull it off; in other cases, not so much. Continue reading and we’ll explore the specifics behind continuing the Inheritance movies!So what went wrong? In the eyes of this Eragon fan, the major mistake was the lack of confidence in the Eragon book. The narrative deviations are almost too extensive to allow an Eldest movie to follow the book’s plot without a great deal of backtracking. A lot was left out of Eragon, leaving this one-man team with a lot of work to get things back on (hypothetical) track.
I plan to explore how to pick up the Inheritance Cycle’s movies from where Fox left off. How can we fix the plot holes left by having to condense the Eragon book into a ninety-minute movie? How can we fill these holes without wasting thirty minutes of the Eldest movie explaining plot from Eragon? And in an effort to be entirely clear, we have no news of future Inheritance movie plans. This article is purely speculation and hypothetical planning from a wishful fan.
How to Pick Up Where Eragon Left Off While Staying True to the Plot
Like all movie adaptations of good books, Fox faced a difficult task –condensing the five-hundred page Eragon into a feature-length film. The plot was changed, cut, re-worked and in some cases, forgotten. Unfortunately, to continue the core Inheritance story, we have to start with clean-up duty. We have plot holes to fill, plot to re-work, and plot to introduce for the first time.
So how do we go about doing this? I see two major options:
1. Re-film Eragon but in the eyes of a different character. We wouldn’t be remaking the Eragon movie, we’d be telling the tale (in some cases, a different but related tale) from another character’s perspective.
2. Spend the first thirty minutes of our Eldest movie bombarding our audience with “plot fillers,” catching everyone up on what they missed in Eragon so that the plot in Eldest makes sense and flows nicely.
Since this is my hypothetical production, I’m going to choose option one. Option two doesn’t seem practical. Wasting the first thirty minutes of the Eldest movie telling tales from Eragon doesn’t seem like a wise decision. We also cannot forget Eldest’s length. . . we’re going to be struggling to convert the eight-hundred pages that make up Eldest into a decent length movie without cutting major plot and destroying the book. We need all the extra time we can get.
Though I’ve chosen option one, it does have its own minor downside. Eragon only has one character’s point of view – Eragon’s. If we choose to film a movie from a different character’s perspective, we’re going to have to work hard to stay true to that character’s back story without causing plot problems down the line. In my eyes, we have three characters to choose between:
• Brom – a character rich in history and knowledge, all relevant to the plot of Inheritance as a whole. We could delve into backstories leading up to the events in Eragon, explaining about dragons, their Riders, the war, elves, dwarves and more, all through Brom’s eyes
• Saphira – sure, she makes the same journey Eragon does, but she is her own being (aside from the sharing of thoughts) with her own unique story, having been conscious inside of her egg for a very long time, witnessing select parts of history leading up to the story of Eragon
• Murtagh – the fan favorite. Thanks to Eldest and Brisingr, we’re now privy to more information on Murtagh’s background than we knew during our first read-through of Eragon. Murtagh plays a vital role in the rest of the series; his father’s role in the Fall of the Riders, growing up in Galbatorix’s fortress, joining forces and inevitably “turning” on Eragon all tell a unique tale hardly explored in the Eragon movie
Unfortunately, Christopher killed Brom too early in Eragon for him to tell the whole tale, and Saphira’s story is too close to Eragon’s to provide a different story line. But Murtagh. . . Murtagh is a character rich in backstory relevant to the current plot and the future books. Murtagh’s tale will allow us to fill all the holes the Eragon movie has left us with. And not only will we be able to fix narrative shortcomings, we’ll be able to tell a whole new (though related) tale.
Coming Soon: Part 2, Murtagh – The Movie
Part two of Mike Macauley’s “The Hypothetical Future of the Inheritance Movies” will explore in detail his “second movie” in the Inheritance movie line-up, “Murtagh – The Movie”. Part two will be released soon here on Shur’tugal. Please remember that the above editorial is a hypothetical opinion piece only and does not reflect any opinions or future plans of 20th Century Fox.