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Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
#51 Copy

Questioner

Is there anything in the works right now roleplaying-wise for any of your other works?

Brandon Sanderson

Not yet, the response to the Mistborn rpg has been good so I do think we'll do something eventually but right now we just want to support that. It takes a lot of effort to keep one of these supported, because they make it but we have to read everything and talk about continuity and stuff. Maybe eventually.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#53 Copy

Questioner

Did I read that they were going to make a movie out of Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

The question is-- Somebody bought the rights. The question is whether they are actually going to use them for anything, and that I can't say. I really like the people who have them.

Questioner

Would you be involved in it if--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I would be involved.

Questioner

How much?

Brandon Sanderson

The contracts say I have to be able to go to the set at any time.

Questioner

You wouldn't be helping writing the screenplay?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh I don't write screenplays, it's a different skill. I think you do an expert do what an expert does. But so far they have sent me all of the stuff they've done and I've given feedback and they've taken it. It's a good sign.

Questioner

In your opinion what percent--

Brandon Sanderson

How close?

Questioner

--that they are going to start it.

Brandon Sanderson

15?

Questioner

That small?

Brandon Sanderson

That's high. I think that's very high for this business. My agent says one out of 30 gets made.

Questioner

So what's the criteria they would--

Brandon Sanderson

Investors, if there are people who are willing to give us a 100 million dollars... So if you happen to know anyone willing to sink a 100 million dollars into a film we could do it tomorrow.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#55 Copy

Questioner

If you had a choice for a game format, would you go single-player story? Or would you go multiplayer?

Brandon Sanderson

For a video game? I would do single-player probably. 'Cause that's what I play most of, myself. If I could do anything, I would probably do a Mistborn video game, single-player, with a strong narrative.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#56 Copy

Questioner

So a lot of your books are very cinematic in nature and lend themselves very well to other forms of media and I was wondering if you had to choose what would you do-- video games...

Brandon Sanderson

I would want to do all of those.

Questioner

All of the things?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I would love to do a big cross-media sort of deal. Whatever I can get away with, right? So we're doing a White Sand comic book right now, you probably know about that. White Sand, my unpublished novel, we're doing a graphic novel of that. I'm working hard to get the movies made, I will do anything I can get made. Just because I love storytelling in all its different weird varieties.

Questioner

There's the Mistborn dice game, do you know of anything for The Stormlight Archive? If they're ever going to do something with that?

Brandon Sanderson

I think the thing we are going to do with Stormlight Archive-- We're going to try a chasm assault board game. Where you put together chasms and bridges and things like that. That's what we think would work really well. We have a developer-- well game designer who wants to do one of those so we're going to work with them and try to get it made.

Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
#57 Copy

Jerry Dol

Do you think that there will ever be a movie trilogy or tv series of The Stormlight Archive like they have done with Game of Thrones and Harry Potter?

Brandon Sanderson

Boy, I'd love it if there were. I will work to make it happen, though with Stormlight I probably won't be optioning the books for film until a few more are out. I don't have a lot of power over what Hollywood decides to do, though.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#59 Copy

Questioner

Do you have any updates on games or movies or shows?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, let's go down the big run-down.

We've been having moderate luck with board games, people are actually producing the things that they sign up to do. So, we should be having another board game before too long. We have the House War game, and we have the Reckoners game coming out, and there might be another one to announce eventually. We've been having a lot more luck there than we have other places. Video games, nada. There's just nothing. I would love to do a video game, but-- yeah. I don't know what's going on over there. We sold the Mistborn rights, they were really nice, and then they didn't do anything for, like, five years, and eventually, they're like, "We can't make this."

So, Hollywood. Steelheart series is owned by Fox, with 21 Laps producing, that's Shawn Levy's company, he made the Night at the Museum films. They still own that, they are on their second renewal of the options, so they've had it for a number of years. I have not heard anything from them since last July, when they called and said they wanted to keep it still and wrote us a check. I don't know what's going on there.

Snapshot is owned by MGM. Snapshot is a novella I wrote about a year ago, it's kind of Phillip K. Dick-ish, with a little bit of Se7en, the serial killer show. It's different. MGM bought that, they have assigned a screenwriter. The screenwriter said his goal would be early this year, in his schedule, to work on it. And they've been fairly good at staying in contact with us every couple of months. We haven't heard from them since, about, December, when they said that there would be there, so we probably need an update there. But things seem to be moving just fine there.

DMG has the Cosmere. They bought it up in pieces, and eventually just bought the rest of it from me. They have been really good to work with. DMG has always involved me in everything. They have shown me every screenplay and script they have come up with, and they made the VR experience as a tool to try to explain the Stormlight to studio execs who don't read books. Which you can get on VR systems, if you want. It's kind of trippy, with you down in the chasms in the Shattered Plains. But that was primarily so we can go to studio execs and be like "It's like this!" But they have been really good to work with. Right now, latest news is they're worried Stormlight is going to be too hard to do as a film series. Surprising! So, latest discussions with them-- Though, we did get a screenplay from them that came in at 250 pages. Which, if you don't know screenplay format, one page equals one minute, so 250 pages is 4+ hours. And it still cut out a lot, so they're like, "Well..." So, I don't know where that will go but that is where we're looking right now. Mistborn, they're still looking at for a feature. They have a screenplay that they are trying to get studios to partner with them, and things like that. They're doing the whole Hollywood runaround. So, who knows.

Most likely, the best thing that could happen for Stormlight would be for Wheel of Time to get made and do really well, and then everyone will be like "Wow, we want more epic fantasy. It's not just Game of Thrones, it's lots of stuff!" Hopefully, that'll go places, but I don't know any more than you guys really know about that. I can't say specifics. I did do a phone call with one of the people involved, they reached out and said "Hey!" but it's just "Hey, we're the TV people, hi!" So, we will wait eagerly for updates on that.

We haven't announced a deal, but we've signed contracts on Legion for another television show. Legion, this will be our third or fourth option on that. If you don't know how Hollywood works, they option things, which means they rent the rights, and they get them for three to four years depending, with payments every year or eighteen months. And during that time, they try to get it in development, try to get everyone excited about it, try to get it to a screenplay, and stuff like that. And at the end of those years, they either pay you the rest of the money, if they have the option-- it's like a rental that applies, it's like rent-to-own. The big price, that they pay a little of that price. Or they just decide to let the option lapse, and then it goes to someone else. So, that has happened at least several times. Nobody wanted it for a while, when the Marvel show was happening, and suddenly, they want it again.

So, there's your rundown. A whole lot of "Well, this looks promising, I think," which is how it's always kind of gone. Hopefully, Wheel of Time or Name of the Wind will come out and do really well, and that will spark everybody wanting to make very expensive fantasy properties and very expensive television shows. Because The Stormlight Archive will not be cheap. It will be really, really not cheap. So, if you have an aunt or an uncle who happens to runs Netflix Originals division, tell them they need a billion dollars. They've got it, right? They have to spend it, or they'll have to pay taxes on it, so might as well do Stormlight.

MisCon 2018 ()
#60 Copy

Questioner

Are you worried if DC goes into a more gritty antihero sort of thing, it will edge out the place for Steelheart?

Brandon Sanderson

Nah. I'm not even sure Steelheart has a place. Superheroes are so played out. I don't think I would fund a Steelheart movie right now. It was really fun to write because of my superhero background; doing a superhero deconstruction like that was a lot of fun. But, I mean, I don't know if I would go see it if someone else had made it as a movie. There's so much superhero fatigue right now.

I'm not worried about that. I would rather them just make great movies. I don't need my movies to get made. I'll be excited if we ever do get some made. I mean, I'm doing my thing. I'm really having fun doing my thing, right? I don't need my thing to necessarily get to the big or small screen for it to--

In my dream of dreams, I get to be Stan Lee. I get to make something that people really love and that comes together in a really cool way later on... I don't necessarily want to wait as long as Stan Lee had to wait.

Phoenix Comic-Con 2016 ()
#62 Copy

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The Movie Question

- A film adaptation is different than a graphic novel adaptation. A film brings in new fans who may not be avid readers, a completely different audience. A graphic novel will likely have a similar audience to his books.

- With book to film adaptations he says that there's only a one-in-three chance it will be a good adaptation of one of his books, and it's a risk he's willing to take.

- He quoted someone he couldn't remember saying basically that you can make a bad film, but that doesn't change the fact that the book is good. Someone once asked an author about a film ruining their book and they said "It's still there on the shelf, nothing's happened to the book."

- He sold the rights to people he feels he can trust to make good movies.

- Of all of them, Reckoners has the best chance at getting a movie but he made it clear that's just his hunch/estimate and we shouldn't run to Twitter getting excited about a movie that might not even happen.

The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
#63 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter Thirteen

Train-Top Fight

Yes, I had a fight atop a moving train. DON'T JUDGE ME.

I couldn't help myself, honestly. This fit perfectly with the narrative, and while I realize it's a bit of a stereotypical place for a fight sequence, I really wanted to see it happen. So there you go.

This is a rather cinematic book—meaning I see it as translating easily to film. Unfortunately, I doubt that will ever happen. Not because I'm pessimistic about having films made in the first place (which I am), but because this is essentially book four in a series. Beyond that, it's a very odd book four, one that departs wildly from the previous trilogy in setting and (in some cases) tone.

What that means is that we'll probably never see a film. We couldn't start with one just of Wax and Wayne, because the setting is too much of a mismatch. Magic, plus the wild west, plus urbanized early 1900s, but it's not on our world and has three books worth of mythology to it? This sort of thing can work on paper, but I find it unlikely that studio executives would look at it and say, "Yeah, that sounds like a surefire hit to fund."

Still, we can still hope for the original trilogy making it to film. Perhaps if they’re really successful, we could see something happen with these books.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#66 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

As an aside, it's really funny, like I've had on and off sort of things go well with Hollywood and things not go well with Hollywood and things get optioned. Someone in Hollywood read one of my books and then went online and googled about it and found about this whole thing and then called me and wanted to buy the rights to the entire thing 'cause they're like "It's like the Avengers, everything's crossing over!" Apparently that's hot in Hollywood right now, which is very cool that someone in Hollywood was excited by it but it was kind of funny to me that now that's the big deal and this goofy thing I've been doing for twenty years is suddenly hot. So who knows it might turn into something, it might not. For those who are curious about movie things I have optioned most of the rights to a lot of my different books. I think the closest-- *sighs* What's the closest? I'm not sure what the closest is. The closest is probably The Emperor's Soul, though Mistborn is close behind it. I don't think either one is particularly close right now. That's just how Hollywood works. So don't hold your breath but I hope to have exciting things I can say eventually, because I really do like the people, both Emperor's Soul and Mistborn. They're some of the best people in Hollywood I've ever worked with, those two groups. They feel very genuine and I have a great feeling about it.

Kraków signing ()
#67 Copy

Questioner/Translator

So this is the question about White Sand. Why did this text become the basis of a comic - this one particular text - and how was the work going on converting White Sand into a graphic novel?

Brandon Sanderson

So White Sand was the very first book that I ever wrote, or at least a bad version of White Sand was the first book I ever wrote. I started it in 1994 and it was terrible. But I liked some of the ideas so years later I gave it another try. And it became my 7th or 8th book; I can never remember which came first: White Sand or Dragonsteel. And it was much better but still not quite where I wanted it to be. So I never ended up publishing it.

When a comic book company in America came to me and asked if I was interested in doing a comic book, it <immediately> sprung to mind. Because they wanted to do an adaptation of one of my books except I didn’t want to do a book that was already published, I wanted something for readers that was new. And I’ve always felt that White Sand was close to being good enough, it was just too long, it needed an edit. So the primary process for adapting it with Rick, who is a UK graphic novel writer involved him taking my text and cutting it way down to just the dialogue and the actions. And he did a fantastic job, we’re very pleased with that, but he did most of the work on that.

State of the Sanderson 2018 ()
#68 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Movie/Television Updates

So, let's talk about movies.

People tend to get really excited about news of my books being adapted—and rightly so. I'd be very excited to someday see one of my properties turn into a film, and I think it's inevitable that some day, we'll see it happen. However, the process of a book becoming a film or television show is a long one, involving the input of a lot of people. And fans tend to get very excited when something is being developed, but often don't realize that the stages of development can often take a long time.

I thought it might be helpful here to go over what some of those steps are, so you can get a better idea of how far along my various properties are. Understand that this is a rough guide, and individual properties might follow a different route. This is also kind of an outsider's take on it all, as I don't consider myself an expert in Hollywood. Those who know more about the ins and outs of the business would probably consider this a gross over-simplification.

Step One: Producers Option a Story

In Hollywood terms an "option" is kind of like a rental agreement. The most common way a story starts on its path to an adaptation is with an option. (Sometimes, there's even a step before this called a Shopping Agreement.) Basically, someone (usually a producer, but sometimes a studio) comes in and offers to pay an author every year to "option" their work, meaning the producer/studio gets exclusive rights to make a film on that work. They don't buy the rights completely, however. Usually, they set a buyout price, then pay 5/10% of that price every year or so to keep the option locked up. This gives them time to put all the other pieces together for a film without needing to commit to paying the full buyout price until they're certain the film is going to happen.

My agent once told me that about 1 out of 30 of the properties he saw get optioned eventually got made into a film or show. An option is absolutely an important step, but a lot of times fans see an option agreement in place and start expecting a film any day—when really, this is just the first exploratory step in the process. Sometimes, producers even option rights they never intend on making into films. (I once had a producer brag to me that he—in order to make sure nobody in town was trying to sell something similar to his property—had bought up all rights to similar books for cheap, with the intention of sitting on them for five years to make sure he didn't have any competition. I was not impressed, to say the least.)

Step Two: Screenplay

Usually, after the option agreement is signed, a screenplay is commissioned for a film. For a television show, it will either be a screenplay for a pilot, or some kind of series bible or "treatment," a kind of outline that talks about the process the group would use in adapting the property.

This screenplay, treatment, or bible is what the producers will take around town to try to get studios, directors, and actors interested in a property. A book being successful is interesting to Hollywood, but what they rightly want to see is if that book can be made into a workable screenplay. Often, this process takes years, as a screenplay/teleplay will be commissioned—then go through several rewrites. Sometimes, the producers will decide to hire a second or even third screenwriter to do a pass on the script, if they decide it needs another take or specific revisions.

Step Three: Studio Interest

With screenplay in hand, the producers will approach the studios or larger production companies. (Or sometimes content distributors, like Netflix.) The goal here is to get interest from parties with deep pockets and the power to actually make a film. This step can occasionally be skipped if a studio was involved from the beginning. (This has happened with several of my properties.) Sometimes, the studio might be interested—but send the producers back to step three to do more revisions before offering any kind of official deal or promise of distribution. Sometimes, the producers will need to secure promises from multiple parties—like, for instance, they might get a smaller studio in the US interested, then have to get a foreign partner interested to provide funding for overseas distribution promises.

Step Four: Attaching Talent

With a screenplay in hand and the backing of a studio or similar group, the producers can now try to get a director or actor on board with the film. This crucial step will have a big influence on how/if the film will get made. Obviously, if you get a major director interested, that makes the studios sit up and take notice. Likewise if a major actor attaches to the project. For television, this often involves getting an established show runner attached. (In my experience, with television, sometimes this sort of thing happens in Step Two instead—with the showrunner being involved in the pitch documents. In that case, Step Three is the big one: getting someone big in the business to fund a pilot.)

Step Five: Actual Green Light

Finally, if all the pieces come together, you get what is called a green light. The film is scheduled for shooting, the studio commits a large chunk of money to the project, and people start getting hired. This is when the option actually gets exercised, and the author gets the payment for the contract they likely signed years and years ago. Once in a while, a group of producers will decide that the property they hold is big enough that (once their option period runs out) they decide to pay the buyout price to get more time to try to get the film made. Sometimes, instead, they'll just agree with the author to extend the option period for another payment.

Step Six: Film Gets Made

I've never gotten here, but I hear it's a lovely experience.

So, with that in mind, I can tell you where each of my properties are. Unfortunately, I won't be able to name a lot of names. For instance, if a director is interested but hasn't signed on officially, it's not my place to announce them as being involved. Likewise, if some producers have offered to option something, but we don't have signed paperwork, it's generally best if I stay quiet about the details so that they can do publicity on the deal in the way they would like.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#69 Copy

Questioner

What do you think of the VR experience.

Brandon Sanderson

I thought it was a lot of fun. I liked the feeling of the world quite a bit. The version I played was a little buggy, so I hope that they got the build working where it's not as buggy. But I thought the visuals were great, like the chull, the feel of the chasms. I think they did a great job with the feeling.

Oathbringer release party ()
#71 Copy

Questioner

Any plans for a Mistborn, or just Cosmere, collectible card game?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, yes. Asterisk. It's a hard thing to get going. It would probably be more like a deck building game than a CCG, just 'cause we would sell a box set of something you could draft or something like that, rather than trying to go the whole CCG route.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#72 Copy

Questioner

I have a young game-development studio and we're interested in making a Rithmatist game because I think the magic system lends itself very well to tablets and mobile devices. So what type of prototype or product would you have to see to be able to say "Yes this is good or no this is "--

Brandon Sanderson

That is an excellent question. So the question is he works for a game development studio and he wants to potentially make a game from The Rithmatist. And he's asking how he would go about doing that. So, we have had about five proposals on The Rithmatist and we haven't taken any of them. This is mostly because the game studios who proposed them, none of them have actually been able to show us developed games they made on their own. They all were game studios that were still working on something. And knowing the little I know about the gaming world, having friends who are in gaming, I take people who have actually finished things with more respect.

So, I’ve sold video game rights before, except nothings ever been made, I've sold Mistborn and things. I sold it to the people who came and said "Look we have a bunch of games". So if you have actually built games then I am really interested in talking to you about the potential of doing a Rithmatist game. If you haven't actually built and released games I would suggest go and build and release some of your own games, let us see that you can do it, and then come and talk with us. And if you do have released games and it's all good come up and I'll point you at my assistant Adam and he can tell you how to get in touch with my agent and send a proposal to me and the agent at the same time and we'll look it over.

Skyward San Francisco signing ()
#73 Copy

Questioner

If you had to make any of your books into a musical?

Brandon Sanderson

Ooh. Well, since we already have a canonical version of The Hero of Ages as a musical in the Mistborn world, in one of the broadsheets, we would have to go with that, we would have to do the version in-world.

Questioner

I think Warbreaker would translate the best.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that's probably true. If you want a real answer, that's probably true. It's probably the best.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#74 Copy

Questioner

I really enjoy the Graphic Audio versions of your novels. I really like the Way of Kings and the Words of Radiance. I'm wondering, how long after Oathbringer comes out would Graphic Audio be able to get their hands on it?

Brandon Sanderson

So the question is about the Graphic Audio. So for those who don't know, we do two editions in audio of most of my books. We do a straight-read edition, which is one, or two, narrators that just read the whole book and they'll do voices and things but it's a traditional audio book. The Graphic Audio instead does a slightly abridged version, where the abridgement is only taking out the he-saids and she-saids and things like this, and replacing it with a full cast to do the dialogue instead. So it's like one step toward a radio drama, or something like that. It's not fully there but they do add in a few sound effects and do the full cast audio. So they're fun sort of ways you can read the book. They're not abridged in that there are no scenes taken out, but they do cut out a word here and there.

And usually what happens is we do the straight edition first and eventually do a Graphic Audio edition because they take longer to get the full cast together-- to make the proper abridgements and things like that. I can't-- I have no idea how long it will take them, but I can ask. I actually haven't gotten this question, because we only just started doing dual editions. We started by doing some of them Graphic Audio, some of them not, and then figuring out what fans liked. And it turns out that what fans like is having both. So then we started Mistborn and caught Mistborn up, and then are doing the Stormlight books as well. So I'm hoping we will get to the point where we can do them simultaneously in both editions, but I can't promise that that will happen.

Starsight Release Party ()
#76 Copy

Questioner

If they made a movie out of Mistborn, if they were making it rated R, would you have a say to that? Would it bother you? What would you do?

Brandon Sanderson

I would have a say over some and I could get it in contracts for some. It depends on the contract. There are some we've had were we don't have that in the contract. I'm not powerful enough to get that in a lot of things but the more powerful we get, the more we can get things like that to be able to say no. Mostly, we try to pick people that we don't think would do that but the end of the day, no movie people give authors say over their movies because a movie costs 200 million dollars to make and it's just... Basically, when you sign rights away, you just have to see what they do. I would prefer that they not.

Steelheart Chicago signing ()
#79 Copy

Argent (paraphrased)

Pat Rothfuss recently worked with the folks from Albino Dragon to create a Kickstarted Name of the Wind deck of cards in which each face card features a character from the book. All those designs were discussed with Pat, and the final result is shaping up to be pretty spectacular. Are there plans, or if not - are you open to planning, - to do something like this for one or more of your own worlds?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

I know about Pat's deck, it's really awesome stuff! I can only say that I do have plans to do something similar, but you will have to wait for Words of Radiance to find out more about it.

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#80 Copy

Questioner

I've been following the head writer of the Wheel of Time series for Amazon Prime. He was doing a Q&A on Twitter last month, and in it, he did not confirm Perrin in the series. How do you feel about that? And how do you think it'll affect the series?

Brandon Sanderson

I think, knowing Rafe [Judkins] a little bit (I've had a couple calls with him), he's not confirming things because they haven't settled on approving any of his outlines and things yet for the series. So he's not going to confirm a lot of things until he gets this outline together, and things like that. And The Wheel of Time is a really tough beast, because of how many characters there are, and how many introductions you have to give, and things like this. I would not imagine that they would leave Perrin out, but it's possible, I can see a world where you'd leave Perrin out of the first season, or at least have him as a background character, and then delve into him later on. Because you kind of need Mat and the dagger in the first season. And you definitely need Rand in the first season. But the Perrin stuff could easily be moved to another season, because it doesn't have payoffs until, like, Book Four, or something like this. That would be my guess, but I haven't talked to him specifically about this.

I do know earlier, different people working it, they had tried to take Mat out of the first season, because he kind of comes to his own in Book Three. And that turned out to be kind of a disaster. It's just them trying a difficult thing, and not taking anything off the table, I think, is a smart way to approach it. I would be very surprised if Perrin got pulled out completely. But I don't know, I haven't seen any outlines or things yet. And they're definitely not required to show them to me, or anything like that.

Shadows of Self Newcastle UK signing ()
#82 Copy

Questioner

Obviously a movie's going to be a long way off, but how much input would you have in it and would it be like what you want compared to what--

Brandon Sanderson

How much input would I have in the movie? That really depends on the producer. I can't-- I'm not powerful enough to get in the contract. I'm actually like two ranks, two like not powerful enough-- the rank of of author above me, George RR Martin's rank, they don't even have the power. It's the rank of author above that, like Jo Rowling or Stephanie Meyer-- they have enough sales that they can demand something in the contract and, you know, I'm a number one bestseller but there's a big leap between me and Stephanie Meyer or JK Rowling and so-- There's-- I would have to say no. With some authors, they just say no; I would roll the dice and gamble on getting a good movie and I try to stay very in touch with the producers, so they know I'm a good resource, and some of them have made use of that, and some of them have made less.

EuroCon 2016 ()
#83 Copy

Questioner

We have to wrap up, I think, so everyone here is going to kill me if I don't ask you about DMG which acquired the rights to your Cosmere. I wanted to ask how are you feeling about this, do you know at this stage how involved are you going to be? I heard you mentioned that the best adaptations are those that are done by people, just by leaving them do their thing, but I was also asking myself, in regards to this, if you're planning on any other cross-media stories? We have White Sand, we have whatever happened to Mistborn: Birthright. I wanted to ask about that too, because...

Brandon Sanderson

So, we'll start with Mistborn: Birthright. Unfortunately, it is dead, sorry. This was a video game we worked on for many years, and it just is not going to happen. As for other cross-media stories, I am very open to doing more. It will depend on how White Sand is received, and whether I can do other video game projects that look like they will work. As for the film, I spent a long time interviewing a lot of different people before we decided to go with DMG. I chose them primarily because I feel they understand the Cosmere, and are willing to approach it as a whole, as opposed to little pieces of something not connected. How much I'll be involved really remains to be seen. They've promised to let me be involved, they gave me a fancy title, we will see once the film's actually in production. I have every reason to believe that they will involve me, and so far they have done so, but I don't want to be the one directing or writing these films, because I am not a director or a screenwriter.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#84 Copy

Questioner 1

So I hear that you have a director for Steelheart--

Brandon Sanderson

Do we have a director for Steelheart. So Steelheart was purchased by Shawn Levy's company, at Fox, Shawn Levy directed the film Real Steel, which I really like, he also directed the Night at the Museum films, which I enjoy.

Questioner 1

Do you have an idea as to when casting might start?

Brandon Sanderson

So the way this goes-- breaks down for those who aren't aware. First thing they do, usually, when they buy a property is they commission a screenplay. Which they did. Screenplay came in some time in January, I haven't seen it yet they are sending it out for a polish. Once they are satisfied with the screenplay, at that point that's when they go to the studio and try to-- Oh that's when they try to get talent attached. Usually a director, like Shawn Levy is enough talent if he says "Yup, this screenplay turned out good, it's my next project" that would get it a greenlight and they would go to casting. So it's actually going really well. If it weren't a studio deal, if it weren't through Fox, at that point they would have to get some talent attached and then they'd have to convince a studio to give up funding and stuff like this. But if Shawn Levy likes the screenplay and says "Yes I'm doing this" it will then go to casting.

Questioner 2

Would you have any option on the screenplay?

Brandon Sanderson

Would I have any option on the screenplay-- No I do not have any power over the screenplay. No. When you sell rights like this most of the time you just have to hope they do a good job. I feel I gave them a pretty good screenplay in Steelheart in the book itself so I'm hoping Steelheart the book works out as a film.

DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
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DrogaKrolow

Few months ago we've received great news about some of your books which will be adapted into movies. So what do you think, which one is most likely to get adapted first?

Brandon Sanderson

I’ve always thought that Mistborn would be the most likely 'cause it's the easiest to translate to a film, but the people who bought the rights to the Cosmere bought everything but Mistborn 'cause Mistborn was owned by someone else. And then they bought Mistborn a year later, when it became available. So Mistborn is a year behind the others. Emperor's Soul and Stormlight have been going the longest. Stormlight is so hard. Right, we’ve just got the screenplay in and the screenplay is like *does a gesture* you know, it's like for a five hour movie or something like that. And they're like "We have to cut this down!" "Yes. Yes, we do." And that is super hard. And Mistborn is a lot easier to adapt. So I still expect we'll see Mistborn first, but who knows.

MisCon 2018 ()
#86 Copy

Questioner

Any updates on movies?

Brandon Sanderson

So... Hollywood is Hollywood, right? We've sold Mistborn three times now to three different groups. We've sold Legion twice.

So here's how we stand right now: the Steelheart books are still owned by Fox. Sean Levy's company, he did the Night at the Museum films, but their option lapses in July, on July 1st. They've renewed the option multiple times, to the fact that this is their last option month, and we haven't seen a screenplay. Which is not a good sign. So, I would not hold my breath that, in a month, they're going to greenlight a movie. They had a screenplay, they discarded a screenplay, they have not commissioned another screenplay. They have one month left. They could just come out and be like, "Here's a bunch of money, Brandon!" They're not gonna do that. It'll lapse in a month, most likely.

Legion has been recently purchased a couple of weeks ago. Couple months ago, actually, but by a place called Cineflix, in Canada. Legion was really hot for a while. Then Marvel made a TV show called Legion, and all the interest dried up. And then the Marvel show just kind of went away; I don't think they're doing it any more. And now suddenly everyone wants to buy Legion again... If they make a TV show, they would change the name. The Legion collection is coming out in the fall, and we still have Legion on the title, but it's called The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds as a subtitle.

Snapshot, my novella, came out last year, it's optioned by MGM. They have put a screenwriter on it who is doing a really good job. I'm very impressed with the work the screenwriter's doing. I'm very optimistic about that project. It's looking really good.

The Cosmere is optioned by a group called DMG. They are a primarily Chinese company who-- What they do is, they finance American movies in exchange for getting the Chinese rights. So, they did this on Iron Man 3, and a couple of other films. And they have the rights until next spring. I really like DMG, it's why I sold them the Cosmere. They have been going through some changes lately, the studio exec that was on it has left the company and started a new company. And that's always a little bit of a setback. They have a screenplay for Stormlight. It came out at 250 pages, which is a 3-hour movie. Which they're like "Eh, this is too long." And it still cut out a ton, so they're now looking at television. They wanted to try the thing first, but the fact that everyone's gobbling up the television rights for fantasy properties now makes them say "Ooh, maybe we should actually do a television show on this." So, really, it's gonna depend on, how does the Wheel of Time show go? How does the Witcher show go? How does the new Lord of the Rings show go? And things like that will have a big influence. Amazon's doing a prequel Lord of the Rings series about Aragorn as a ranger. The Witcher is on Netflix. It's been greenlit for about a year, so it's actually moving. And then the Wheel of Time show, just got announced, didn't it? Who has that? I don't know if I can tell you, I don't know if it's been announced. The television show has been announced, I don't know if they've announced who's doing it yet. But somebody is doing a Wheel of Time television show. It's not been greenlit, but it's had a lot of good rumblings. It looks good. I can't say who it is, unless it's been announced, but I've done calls with their showrunner, who I like. They seem to be treating the property with respect. I think there's a decent chance you'll get a good Wheel of Time show now. Decent-- in Hollywood, decent's still a 10% chance, right? But that's higher of a chance than any of my things look like right now, except potentially Snapshot, which I wouldn't give as high percentage, even, because it's not as far along. But I'm very impressed by how it's going.

So, there you go...

General Reddit 2018 ()
#88 Copy

mrmahoganyjimbles

If you were presented with the 3 options:

  1. Adapting the whole of the Cosmere to AAA videogames.

  2. Adapting the whole of the Cosmere to Blockbuster Movies.

  3. Adapting the whole of the Cosmere to HBO/Netflix production level tv shows

Assuming these would each do the series the justice they deserve, which would you take? I would think that going on a series by series basis would be best (i.e. like a movie for Elantris or Warbreaker, a videogame for Mistborn or a TV show for Stormlight), but let's say whoever is offering wants the rights to the whole of the Cosmere.

Brandon Sanderson

You know, I've never been asked that question--and I've not given it huge amounts of thought. But I think it's a great question.

I think...perfect world...I'd go with the television series. I think that in a perfect world, 20-season of magically-somehow-all-awesome episodes would be the best way to approach doing the stories I tell.

The_realpepe_sylvia

You guys forgot anime! I have this feeling these stories could be told so much better through animation

Brandon Sanderson

I wouldn't say no if the right anime studio came to me.

Ben McSweeney AMA ()
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TsorovanSaidin

How awesome an anime do you think Stormlight would make?

Ben McSweeney

OH MY GOD SO AWESOME.

I am biased, as an animator, of course. But I think the world of Roshar is too fantastic and unique to be anything other than fully animated. If you do it with actors, they're gonna do it in the big green rooms, and that so rarely works out well.

I'd be content with a CG animated series (Shardplate kinda begs it), but it'd be a lot trickier to do well. That being said, I've seen some really great CG, so it could be done.

TsorovanSaidin

I'm so happy you agree. I've been a pretty huge fan of Knights of Sidonia on Netflix. That's a perfect style for Plate in my opinion.

Ben McSweeney

KoS is pretty great (awesome manga, too), but the cines for Guilty Gear Xrd are just sick.

Game cinematics offer the best examples of quality, but it's not easy to get a studio in the range of Plastic Wax or Blur to dedicate the resources required for a full feature or a 22x12/24 series. Well, mostly it's just crazy expensive. But costs are always adjusting, the field is expanding, and we've got a lot of books left to publish before anyone's adapting it for animation or film.

ari54x

I think some of the 2.5d CG animation they do could work well for Stormlight- you know, where it's mostly illustrated but some action scenes use cell-shaded 3d models as a reference for the perspective and animation so it's really spot-on? That would be really cool.

Ben McSweeney

Oh, it's entirely feasible. Just a matter of the right budget with the right people at the right time. 'Course, that's a tricky triumvirate. :)

ari54x

Definitely. I'm hoping White Sand does well as a start to prove that drawing Brandon's work is a good idea.

Ben McSweeney

I think it might. And if nothing else, it's one more branch on the tree. Reaching out to new audiences is almost always a good strategy. :)

#NookTalks Twitter Q&A with Barnes & Noble ()
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ALMTY BAM

Any plans for any adaptations in the near future?

Brandon Sanderson

If, by this, you mean film adaptations--we're trying very hard. Unfortunately, it's up to Hollywood more than it is me.

Stevie Finegan

Would you prefer film or TV adaptations? (If the choice was magically yours)

Brandon Sanderson

Depends on the series. I'd like to see Mistborn and The Reckoners as film, Stormlight and Wax and Wayne as TV.

Shadows of Self San Diego signing ()
#92 Copy

Questioner

So, the game Mistborn: Birthright, it's been two years now.

Brandon Sanderson

...I love the guys who were working on it, but I, if I were you, would consider it vaporware until you hear more. They've had some real troubles with their funding. They're great people who have just not been able to get the game going. They make a lot of easy, quick games for movie tie-ins, this one is *inaudible*, so it's just been a lot harder for them to get going. Again, they're fantastic people, and I hope that they'll get something going about it eventually, but I'm not gonna talk much about it until they do.

So, someone's gonna ask, the movie thing. So, Shawn Levy, owns The Reckoners, optioned that in June. He did Real Steel, the Richard Matheson story. If you haven't seen that movie, it turned out really well, with Wolverine in it. He also did the Night at the Museum films. And they're working on a screenplay. DMG owns The Emperor's Soul. They were producers on the latest two Iron Man films. They're a Chinese company, they really liked Emperor's Soul, so they came and optioned that from me. The Mistborn books are with the people who have the video game rights. We've combined those together into one right, I gave them a year to work on that. They've been very encouraging on how they're working on that, but it's Hollywood, so who knows what will happen. Legion just lapsed, so if you're uncle makes movies, tell him to make Legion, from Brandon. Stormlight is under contract, but I can't say with who yet. So, I think everything novel-wise except for Rithmatist, probably-- Yeah, 'cause somebody optioned the Cosmere. Minus Mistborn. They got really excited by this whole, "Wow, it's a shard universe" thing, which is really hot in Hollywood right now. They're a really good company, but they came to me like, "We can do Marvel with Fantasy," and I'm like, "I'm not gonna say no!" We'll see how it turns out, but that's where we are.

DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
#93 Copy

DrogaKrolow

What about cameos? Do you have some ideas in your mind?

Brandon Sanderson

Cameos for me? I want to die in a different way in every movie. As payment for killing off characters. And so I want to be like the Redshirt or whatever, the person who gets killed in a new creative way. That's my thought.

Orem signing ()
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Questioner

I wondered how involved you are with the board games.

Brandon Sanderson

The board games I usually leave more to my assistants because I don't play board games. The RPG I was, like, all over, right? Reading all the drafts and things like that. But I play Magic, I don't play board games. But my agent loves them and Kara loves them, and so basically when board game stuff happens I say to them, "You guys need to determine if this are any good, because I have no idea."