Since my first "If I Made Movies" blog [Read it here] my dear friend Meghan suggested I cast (and recast) a film version of Christopher Paolini's "The Inheritence Cycle", because let's admit even though they did make "Eragon" it was so different from the books the story was almost unrecognizeable... AND most of the characters were totally WRONG (ie: Eragon, Arya, Murtagh...). There are four books in this series: Eragon, Eldest, Brisinger, and Inheritance. Obviously, I can't do all the characters, but I'll do my favorites! Here we go!
Casting the Main Characters
Eragon 'Shadeslayer' Bromsson
This choice might surprise many of you, but I actually feel pretty confident about it. Since Freddie was a young boy in films like "Finding Neverland" or "Charlie and the Chocolate" factory I have always thought he was a super talented young man. I think the most surprising thing is how young he is, but if you remember Eragon was very young at the beginning of the novels, but he grows up a lot during the series. If you compare him to my choice for Murtagh, I think they could make believable brothers. Eragon is described as having brown hair and brown eyes (of which the original film's Ed Speelers was neither, though I think he did well considering). I know Freddie is a talented young actor that could access the plethora of emotions that Paolini writes into this character. I'd love to see him in some 'mythical' costumes beside Saphira. I think he'd be a really good fit. You must remember at the beginning, Eragon was also a farm boy who was forced to become a dragon rider and leader. I think it be really awesome to see that change in the film through Freddie. The more I write, the more I feel good about this choice. I think the big test will be when Eragon has his transformation, where he becomes part elf. I think he has a less natural elf look than say my choice for Arya, but prosthetic can do amazing things people, we'd work it out. :)
When I chose to do these books next it was because I had decided on this character. I've been happy about a lot of my character choices, but none quite as happy as this one. Katie McGrath is my favorite actress and I can't tell you how excited it would make me to see her as an Elf (my favorite race of mythical people). Above to the right, you see a piece of concept art by Kim Kincaid. Kim's artwork has been seen and approved by Christopher Paolini and when you read his description of Arya that is exactly how he describes her. She is to have long raven hair with slanted green eyes. It is to my utter delight that Katie can easily fit that description, dark hair, high cheekbones, thin eyebrows, green eyes, with a defined chin and jaw. It makes you wonder if Katie isn't elf already! Not only that, but Arya is an Elven princess. We've seen Katie play both the princess and warrior role before as Morgana Pendragon on 'Merlin'. We've even seen her interact with dragons before. In all honesty, Arya was perhaps my least favorite character in the books, but if Katie played her I think my mind could be changed easily. I can see her laughing in battle, defying corrupt or prideful leaders, and guiding Eragon deeper into the secrets of her people. I can see her being a leader, but knowing when it is time to follow. Oh, and don't forget she's hundreds of years older than Eragon, so Katie's age fits against my choice for Eragon. Most of all, I can see her always keeping right out of Eragon's reach, torturing him with her beauty and mysteriousness. Yep, I'm pretty psyched about this casting! :D
It took me about three minutes to think of this gentleman for my favorite character in the Inheritance Cycle, but when I did I knew he was the perfect choice. On the far right you see the image that Kim Kincaid did for Murtagh. I saw that image shortly after reading the first book and he has been my Murtagh. Eoin fits my image so perfectly, and I know this fellow can really act. Another 'Merlin' star, Eoin won my heart as the wandering rogue Sir Gwaine. I can easily see Eoin playing the nomad warrior with a dark past and conflicted alliances. I seriously can't tell you how much I wish this casting would actually happen. Murtagh truly belongs to no one, and even those who try and hold him in the end fail. He is loyal to himself, and later to his beloved dragon Thorn, for whom he will do anything. He has a temper, but he is a fierce defender and brave warrior. I really think Irishman Eoin Macken would be a perfect match for Paolini's dark hair, grey eyed, dragon rider, and half-brother to Eragon.
Okay, so I'm struggling with this one a bit. The first person I thought of for Nasuada was Angel, but I don't want this to turn into a "Merlin" reunion. And honestly, I'm not sure Angel quite fits the role. She seems too sweet, she doesn't have the fierceness I put with Nasuada. I adore Angel as and actress and am very familiar with her work, but I don't know if she has quite the look or personality that I would be searching for as the leader of the Varden. On the other hand, the other woman pictured above left, Marsha Thomason, is also British actress who I think has the look. She has the elegant strength that matches the Nasuada I imagined. The issue would be that I've never seen any of her work. I saw the period picture on the of her and just thought she fit my 'ideal' image of what Nasuada should look like. She is a leader, a warrior, a friend, and for a time a tortured prisoner. I think if called upon Angel could play all these things, but I need the character to have the look too. Marsha has the look and if she can act I'd go with her. However, I'd have to really search this one out.
You may be surprised to see the original actor who was cast in the first film adaptation of "Eragon" recast as his original role. I actually had two things I really enjoyed about the "Eragon" film. I absolutely loved Jeremy Irons as Brom. I thought he portrayed the role perfectly and I'd love to see him back with a proper story line and script. The biggest change would be his physical experience. Brom is meant to have blue eyes and longer silver hair and beard. A simple achievement in the world of film.
The second thing I liked about the film was Saphira. There were many who argued that the original filmmakers put too much money into Saphira and that was why they lost out on plot line and acting. I don't know if that is true, but I really loved how Saphira looked/talked/moved etc. I thought she was truly majestic and I loved her relationship with Eragon. If we could get the original animators back I'd advocate for this same image... except she would actually grow up and not be struck by lightning and suddenly be huge. JUST NO.
Roran is meant to be older than Eragon, but younger than Murtagh. We'd have to play with Jake's look a bit, but I wanted someone who was strong. Roran has a beard for most of the books and is a warrior with brown hair and grey eyes.
Katrina is the butcher's daughter and later becomes Roran's wife. Lucy is lovely and I think makes a wonderful Katrina with copper hair and brown eyes.
Jason Isaacs plays a fabulous villain. Galbatorix is mean to have broad shoulders, tanned skin, long brown hair, brown eyes with deep brow and bladelike nose, wide and thin mouth, close-cropped beard and mustache, and appears to be 30–40 years old.
Inspirational Board: The Setting
The terrain of Alagaësia varies. In the north, it is mountainous and heavily forested, while the heart of Alagaësia is consumed by the vast Hadarac Desert. Southwestern Alagaësia is fairly flat, but the towering Beor Mountains dominate much of the southeastern portion. The eastern portion of Alagaësia is flat, like a grassland. (Source)