Christopher Paolini working on scripts for a To Sleep in a Sea of Stars TV show

Eragon isn't the only one of Christopher Paolini's stories headed to the small screen.
Writer Christopher Paolini
Writer Christopher Paolini / William Campbell/GettyImages

Christopher Paolini is best known as the author of The Inheritance Cycle, a series of dragon-riding fantasy books that began with Eragon. Those four novels — plus last year's long-awaited sequel Murtagh — have built an impassioned following of readers for Paolini's fantasy world of Alagaësia. Eragon Shadeslayer and his dragon Saphira are even heading to television soon, with a Disney+ series currently in development.

But Alagaësia isn't the only fantastical universe that Paolini is building these days. Starting in 2020, he began introducing readers to another called the Fractalverse with his standalone adult science fiction novel To Sleep in a Sea of Stars. That book featured a galaxy-spanning journey after xenobiologist Kira Navárez discovers an alien relic, with enormous ramifications for humanity and the cosmos.

The same year that To Sleep in a Sea of Stars was published, Deadline announced that Paolini had teamed up with studios Made Up Stories and Snoot Entertainment to turn it into a movie, with Christopher and his sister Angela Paolini penning the adaptation. Then in 2022, Paolini quietly confirmed that To Sleep in a Sea of Stars was no longer being produced as a movie, but as a television series, writing on Twitter that the show was "moving along (slow but not stopped)."

Since then, things have been relatively quiet on the Fractalverse film front. A sequel to To Sleep in a Sea of Stars featuring a new set of characters, titled Fractal Noise, was released in 2023, and Paolini is still hard at work on a third book in the series. But what of the show?

According to a recent tweet from the author, things are still in progress. On March 6, 2024, Paolini was asked by a fan if all of the recent fervor over the sci-fi movie Dune had caused any increased interest in his own sci-fi project's film adaptation. Paolini replied by saying, "I'm currently editing/revising the script for episode #2 for the TV adaptation of To Sleep."

It's a small update, but for fans who are excited to see how the story of Kira Navárez and the Fractalverse would translate to film, it's an exciting one nonetheless. The To Sleep in a Sea of Stars show is still happening, and Christopher Paolini is currently working on scripts for it!

Christopher Paolini decided to be "much more closely involved" in future adaptations after the failed 2006 Eragon movie

Paolini is no stranger to adaptations; back in 2006, a movie was made out of his novel Eragon that universally disappointed critics as well as casual viewers and hardcore fans of his written works. It's no surprise then that with both To Sleep in a Sea of Stars and the new Eragon show on Disney+, Paolini is taking a more hands-on approach, serving as both a writer and executive producer. He got into the details for this during the original announcement for the To Sleep in a Sea of Stars adaptation, back when it was still being eyed as a movie.

Paolini emphasized how important it was to work with the right people when bringing a project to film, and how he was confident in Made Up Stories and Snoot Entertainment in part because of a recommendation from another creative friend who had just worked with them. "If you have to choose between, you know, a great deal on paper versus just working with the people you trust and know, you work with the people you trust and know, and that you believe in," Paolini said. "That's no guarantee that the final product will be good, but it's a great starting place, to have a good team of people that are passionate about a project. That's where you need to start."

"I don't talk about the Eragon film in public too much...for obvious reasons," he added with a deadpan look at the camera. "However, that experience left me absolutely convinced that if there were to be more adaptations of my work in the future, I needed to be much more closely involved, 'cause that wasn't the case with the Eragon film. So the lines of communication in that situation were not clear. And we're very happy with the team at Made Up Stories and Snoot Entertainment. Very comfortable with them, and I think this is going to be a wonderful collaborative process."

Hopefully, the collaboration is panning out to be just as wonderful as Paolini predicted. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars may be moving along at a somewhat slower pace, but with an Eragon series also in the works and the author's time split between the two — as well as his novel-writing obligations — it's pretty understandable. Better that everyone takes the necessary time to get it all right than rush things out the door.

There's no release date yet for the Disney+ Eragon show, and a distribution studio for To Sleep in a Sea of Stars has yet to be confirmed. We'll keep our ear to the ground for more updates.

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