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ERAGON

About The Production
ERAGON, a fantasy adventure for young people based on the phenomenally successful novel by Christopher Paolini – the first book in the young author's epic Inheritance Trilogy – is a timeless yet modern tale.

The book's most fantastical character – a flying dragon named Saphira – arrives via the high-tech wizardry of the industry's most honored visual effects houses: WETA Digital (the "Lord of the Rings” trilogy, "King Kong”) and Industrial Light & Magic (the "Star Wars” films, "Jurassic Park”). In addition, WETA created ERAGON's climactic and massive battle scene, in which the forces of good, led by the young Dragon Rider Eragon and Saphira, battle the armies of the evil King Galbatorix.

For over two millennia, dragons have been – depending on the culture and times – beloved, feared, or even worshipped. Today, the mythical creatures are a mainstay of pop culture. ERAGON's Saphira is inspired by the rich heritage of the storied winged creatures, but for the first time, the power of state-of-the-art computer generated imagery brings myth to photo-real, emotional life. What "Jurassic Park” was to dinosaurs, ERAGON is to dragons. Indeed, Saphira is a step beyond the dinosaurs of "Jurassic Park,” as her facial imagery conveys thoughts and feelings.

Upon its initial release in hardcover by Knopf in August 2003, the novel Eragon became a worldwide publishing phenomenon. The book was an instant bestseller and has since spent 87 consecutive weeks on The New York Times Bestseller List, and 21 consecutive months on Publisher's Weekly Young Adult Fiction Bestseller List, including nine months at #1. Eragon has sold 2.5 million copies in hardcover and paperback in North America alone, and the book has been published in 38 countries.

Eragon is the first novel of a trilogy. The second book, Eldest, was published in the United States and Canada in August 2005, and quickly became the number-one selling book in the United States. It has sold over one million hardcover copies, was number-one on The New York Times Children's Best Seller list, and was a USA Today Top-50 Bestseller. It won the Young Adult/Teen 2006 Quill Book Award.

At the time of release of the ERAGON motion picture, the novel Eragon held the number-one slot on The New York Times Children's Paperback Best Seller List, and Eldest was number-one on the Times' Children's Hardcover Best Seller List. Sales of both books increased steadily with the release of the Eldest Limited Edition the move tiein books – and with the help of the film's promotional activities.

Paolini's own story is a fantasy in itself. The first edition of Eragon was self- published by his family. The following year, Alfred A. Knopf published the novel worldwide, to huge acclaim.

Paolini, now 22, grew up in Paradise Valley, Montana – a location which inspired much of the story's fantastic environments. His novels reflect his personal experiences growing up in a valley of the Beartooth Mountains of Montana, not unlike the valley that Eragon called home.

Screenwriter Peter Buchman, whose credits include "Jurassic Park III,” wrote the screenplay. Buchman, a fan of fantasy and science fiction literature and films, says he was "blown away” by the author's precociousness, his mastery of plot lines and characters, and his ability to create several completely imaginary worlds. Buchman worked hard to serve the richness of Paolini's story and characters – and the book's legions of fans – while crafting a screenplay that would attract newcomers to the world of ERAGON.

At the center of both novel and film is the bond between Eragon and Saphira. "Christopher came up with this wonderful idea of a young man who develops a bond with a dragon,” says Buchman. "That relationship is at the core of the book, and that's what we had to translate to film.” <

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