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Disney+ Sets Its Sights On Another Popular YA Fantasy For A TV Adaptation

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You can never go broke betting on the popularity of a movie or television adaptation of a young adult book series. Popular multi-installment franchises like "The Hunger Games," "Twilight," and the "Maze Runner" trilogy ruled the big screen — and found favor with the fans who fell in love with their literary counterparts — in the 2010s, while "The Mortal Instruments," "Gossip Girl" and "A Series of Unfortunate Events" and have become small-screen favorites. In short, there's never any shame in convincing teenagers to watch your network in droves when they're willing to subscribe to your streaming service with their allowance money.

Disney+ has grabbed a slice of the YA pie recently. Following the feature-length adaptation of "Artemis Fowl," which debuted on the streamer in 2020, it was announced that they'll be turning Rick Riordan's "Percy Jackson and The Olympians" novels into a series for the small screen. While Disney doesn't have a release date for that series on tap as of press time, the House of Mouse has set its sights on another popular trilogy of fantasy novels. 

Disney+ is set to adapt Eragon for the small screen

Per Variety, "The Inheritance Cycle" is a quadrilogy of fantasy novels for young adults written by Christopher Paolini, will be adapted into a live-action series by Disney+ in the near future. The first novel in the series is entitled "Eragon." No cast members have been announced, nor had a director or showrunner. "The Inheritance Cycle" follows the life of a farm boy named Eragon, whose bond with his talking dragon Saphira forms the basis of the series (via Amazon Prime). Eragon learns to ride Saphira and becomes a Dragon Rider and ends up in an immortal battle with the evil King Galbatorix, who rules over Eragon's home kingdom of Alagaësia with an iron fist.

While this marks the first time "The Inheritance Cycle" has been adapted into a television series, it isn't the first time that "Eragon" has been turned into a live-action property. Infamously, in 2006, 20th Century Fox adapted the first novel in the series into a film, which underperformed at the box office (per Box Office Mojo). It was also rejected by critics and audiences alike, sitting at a 5.1 out of 10 on IMDb and a 16% approval score on Rotten Tomatoes. Ed Speleers of "Downton Abbey" and "Outlander" fame made his acting debut in the titular role, with Garrett Hedlund and Jeremy Irons in key supporting roles. 

Between its acquisition of the "Percy Jackson" series and the addition of "Eragon" to its slate, Disney+ seems determined to give previously failed YA franchises a new lease on life. Could "Divergent" and "Alex Rider" be next?