What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stranger

The Dastardly Dragon March 27, 2018

My fear of seeing films based on books started several years ago with the horrible movie adaptation of Eragon.

I love the book series. Not just because Christopher Paolini was incredibly young to have been published on such a huge scale. The books are really great. Coming of age stories get me right in the heart, dragons are awesome, and epic adventures bring me joy.

When I heard there was going to be a movie, I was the happiest. I wanted to see Saphira fly. I wanted to meet Roran. I was stoked.

My husband is an Eragon fan too, so we were sitting in our theatre seats like kids on their way to Disney World. This was going to be the best movie series since Harry Potter. There was a couple sitting next to us, and they asked us what the movie was about—they didn’t know anything about the books—and we gave them a spoiler-free rendition of how their lives were about to be changed.

The movie started, the egg was discovered, Saphira flew into the air and in a flash of light became a full grown dragon. Gone was the coming of age story I had grown to love, and it was all downhill from there. What followed was a bunch of poorly strewn together plot line with sketchy CGI.

The husband leaned over to the couple we’d met and whispered our apologies.

With a solid 16% on Rotten Tomatoes, there was never a sequel made, and I’m glad. That movie franchise needed to die.

Once I finally got over my revulsion, I looked into Christopher Paloini’s opinion of the movie. Basically, in a diplomatic way, he said the books are separate from the movie and should be thought of as two different things. Wise words from one so young. The Dastardly Dragon incident was the beginning of my fear of movies based on books. My heart has been broken many times since.

Have you ever had your heart torn out by a bad screen translation? Any success stories that you fell in love with?


5 Responses to “The Dastardly Dragon”

  1. Orvillewrong Says:

    I looked forward to seeing the film of Frederick Forsyth’s ‘The Dogs Of War’ but the lead role was given to Robert Walken, who I don’t doubt is a fine actor, but not in the role of an Irish mercenary leader. The only relationship between the book and the film was the name!

  2. Leslie Wright Says:

    Do you mean “movies based on books”? You have “films based on movies”.

    Sent from my iPhone


  3. The Percy Jackson movies were horrid, as well as poorly cast. Anna Beth was a blonde in the book, not a brunette. The films took far too many liberties with the story lines.

    • It’s so true! I really enjoyed the books, but the film turned Percy Jackson into a YA when it should have stayed middle grade. And that’s only one of the many problems. Why can’t script writers just leave the story alone?!

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