Eragon Brings Newbies Together
Ed Speleers, the newcomer star of the upcoming film version of the best-selling Eragon, told SCI FI Wire that he was a big fan of director Stefen Fangmeier's work even before he knew the director's name. Eragon, based on the book by Christopher Paolini, marks visual-effects specialist Fangmeier's directorial debut, which is also the 18-year-old Speleers' movie debut.
"We were both new at this," Speleers said in an interview. "We both knew that we needed to depend and help each other, and we worked together amazingly," Speleers said in an interview. "I got really lucky. He's the best director."
Little did Speleers know when he was sneaking to watch a video of Terminator 2: Judgment Day when he was 5 years old that the film's visual effects were done by the man who would eventually direct him in his first film. Speleers is also a fan of Galaxy Quest, Twister and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, all of which Fangmeier worked on as visual-effects supervisor when he was part of Industrial Light & Magic.
"I really liked The Perfect Storm and The Bourne Identity, too," Speleers said. "I was a big fan of both of those, and it was great to know that Stefen worked on those movies. He really knew how to help me out when I needed it, from the middle of the forest in Slovakia to Budapest to Vancouver and everywhere we shot. He was there for me the whole time."
In a separate interview, Fangmeier said that he almost canceled the production because the filmmakers couldn't find the right actor to play the youth who finds a blue stone that turns out to be a dragon's egg. The director said he saw a sparkle in the audition tape of Speleers, who was attending a private boarding school in London. "I saw he could be a movie star. He was a natural," Fangmeier said. Speleers stars along with veteran actors Jeremy Irons, Djimon Hounsou, John Malkovich and Robert Carlyle in Eragon, which opens Dec. 15. —Mike Szymanski