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r/books AMA 2022 ()
#51 Copy

VeryNiceName16

With everything else you guys are doing next year, what is the plan for the Stormlight 4.5 novella?

Brandon Sanderson

Still on my list to do when I finish Stormlight 5. I think it needs to be written; I am excited by it. We will see what happens, because Stormlight 5 is almost assuredly 2024 now. And that's partially the Secret Projects, but not as much as you guys probably would assume.

The main reason has been movie and television stuff. As jofwu anticipated in the first question, I still can't say anything. This is the year the Hollywood came calling, and came calling in a very big way, even before the Kickstarter. They saw that, basically - all of Hollywood was watching and seeing that fantasy can work that is not Game of Thrones. The Witcher, and Shadow and Bone, and plenty of other excellent properties. I mean, Arcane is fantastic; another fantastic example. They're like "Oh, people like these and it can be done if it's not George R.R. Martin". And every one of those studio execs has had someone say "Well, get us one of these," or "get us more of these."

And every one of them went to BookScan, which is the ratings for how books sell. And every one of them sorted the BookScan and said, "Alright, what authors are there out there that have not had anything made?" And, far as I can tell, I am definitely the best selling science fiction and fantasy writer who's never had an adaptation. I might be the best selling author in the world who's never had an adaptation. That's hard for me to say, because it's harder to penetrate different subgenres and figure out where their sales factors are. And, you know, it depends what you count as adaptation.

Basically, they all arrived at the same name, and then the Kickstarter happened. They were already calling, and then they started calling more. And so this is the year where I've had to take numerous meetings with all of the streaming services and a large number of the various studios and producers and things. And that takes time. Just takes a lot of time to be on all of those meetings.

We will bear fruit from this eventually. But I'm being very careful. In fact, when I did my call with Netflix, I led off by saying to them, "I am both very fortunate and very unfortunate. Very unfortunate in that I've never actually had anything made. I've sold tons and tons of things, and nobody was able to get one off the ground. That's unfortunate because I'm an unproven quality in Hollywood, and I understand that. I am also very fortunate in that none of those things actually got made. So nothing bad got made." And all the rights have come back to me, basically. And here I'm sitting in a world where everyone wants fantasy and I have my rights and I can say yes or no. That puts me in a very good position also. Which lets... you know, then I don't need the money. Hollywood doesn't know what to do with people that don't need their money. It's very bizarre to them. So we get to be very discerning and picky with what we want to do.

DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
#52 Copy

DrogaKrolow

Would you like to see your stories adapted into video games?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. I've tried a couple of times. So far they haven’t worked out. We had someone working on Mistborn for a long time. Video game industry is hard. But-- I mean, there've been some really great games made from books so I hope to have one someday.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#53 Copy

Questioner

Are you thinking of making a card game? I kind of searched your--

Brandon Sanderson

Am I thinking of making a card game? So Crafty Games who has the rights to the Mistborn stuff, they want to do a card game. I like what they've done with the RPG, if you play pen and RPG's we do have one, it's pretty decent, but first I think they're going to do a board game, and then that. So I have no plans to do one other than the standup cards, the one that are in the cosmere, may eventually have some sort of weird game that goes with them that I've come up with, but I can't promise when that'll actually happen. These ones don't have stats on them because they're not in the cosmere. But they're still cool.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#55 Copy

Questioner

Will Stormlight Archive ever possibly get an anime?

Brandon Sanderson

Will Stormlight Archive ever possibly be an anime. Anything is possible. *laughter* But it is unlikely unless somebody comes to me and really wants to make one. It's not a market I know well enough to pursue. I'll watch good anime when my brother gives it to me, but it's not like I know that market and how to make it happen.

JordanCon 2021 ()
#56 Copy

Questioner

A few years ago at a panel, you mentioned that with the interest in the Marvel Expanded Universes, that Hollywood suddenly had an interest in expanded universes. Now, with Wheel of Time, clearly they're looking for expanded universes. Can you tell us anything about the interest you've had lately?

Brandon Sanderson

I've had a ton of interest lately. A few years ago, I mentioned that I got a lot of interest because the Cosmere was a naturally shared universe; this was hot in Hollywood for a while. As evidenced by the terrible ones that they made and tried to force to work. So a lot of people were really interested in this. One of the big problems being that epic fantasy is super expensive, and they were really worried about doing epic fantasy. But epic fantasy is now becoming more of a thing that is just "the Lord of the Rings movies were good"; now we've got multiple good fantasy adaptations. So, yeah, the interest is high.

The issue is: I am now at a place in my career where I don't have to say "yes" anymore. For the longest time, I needed that money from Hollywood. But these days, I'm not in that position. I don't have to worry about when someone comes in with a large check and says "here you go, Brandon!" I can say "no." And I've been saying "no" quite a bit, because there are certain guarantees I want that most places in Hollywood don't want to give me. And that's fine; they don't have to. But they also don't have to get my book series. And so I have said "no" to a surprising number of things lately as I have been targeting working with people that I really like. And been taking a lot of meetings with people whose films I really liked and impressed me, and have been working with some people... just doing a lot of things that I think will make the movies the way I want them to make (and potentially television shows).

I can't announce anything, if that's what you're asking. But if you read in between the lines and things I said, and various things, you might be able to pick together some of what I'm trying to put together.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#57 Copy

Questioner

Do you have any idea which book of yours might make it to the movie theaters first?

Brandon Sanderson

Which one might make it to the movie theaters first? So right now it's going to be a race because I would say that a lot of things are kind of equal footing, because most of my options that we have for films lapsed last year and then we resold them. So we're kind of starting from scratch on everything. We sold Legion again, we sold Mistborn again, and we sold The Emperor's Soul shortly before.

*crowd ooh's and aah's*

And then we sold Steelheart like on Friday. Steelheart had been optioned and they let it lapse. Mistborn had been and Legion had been, so we've got four new companies basically working on it, but every time we do this my profile as a writer has raised to the point that we get a better crowd, if that makes sense. Like the Steelheart deal I'm really excited about. I love the producer, he's the guy that did-- did you guys see Real Steel? Did you ever see that, the Richard Matheson story? The guy who did that. I loved that, I thought it was-- it was one of those movies I watched expecting it to be dumb, and it was great. But he also did the Night at the Museum stuff, and things like that, and so I'm really excited about that.

But the Mistborn script treatments are excellent, the best treatments I've gotten. What that means is that's what you write as a producer to give to a screenwriter to then write the screenplay, and then after that you get stars attached, and then after that someone finally gives you money and you make the film. So we're still a long way away, but the treatments are really good.

And then, you know, the guys who have The Emperor's Soul are super enthusiastic. They're DMG, they made the Iron Man films with Marvel, they're super enthusiastic and they went down the cosmere rabbit hole. They bought it and then they're like, "who is this--" let me see this deleted scene about this guy named Hoid. So I gave it to them and they're like, "wait a minute", and they started reading everything. And so they've come back to me and they're like "sooo, um, the Sanderson cinematic universe..." So I don't know what's going to happen with that, but there's lots of discussion about things like that. And they've been talking to the Mistborn guys, and so--

But this is all very new, meaning we're at the preliminary stages of all of it. There's like, nothing I can officially even announce other than "These people have bought these rights, these people have bought these rights". Maybe we'll get something made eventually. I've gotten really close before and it hasn't happened so, who knows.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#58 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.

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#59 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.

MisCon 2018 ()
#60 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

We do have my cameos. They're not contractually written in, but it's understood, that in each movie, I get killed. *laughter* If these things ever get made, my cameo is they have to put me in a crowd scene or have me die on-screen in an interesting way in every film... I don't necessarily have to have lines, but they have to work me in somewhere... Yeah, Wilhelm Scream, they've gotta Wilhelm Scream me. Maybe I'll work up to getting, like, how Peter Jackson died in Lord of the Rings. If you guys know, Peter Jackson gets killed in the third movie. He's one of the people from the north, or whatever. They're on the boats, and there's a bunch of arrows, and he's like *yelling sounds* and *dying sounds*. It's really cool; he's got a great death scene.

EuroCon 2016 ()
#61 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 ()
#62 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.

ICon 2019 ()
#63 Copy

Questioner

What are the chances - I actually really like the Mistborn Adventure Game. What are the chances of more roleplaying games set in the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

I've asked them if they'll do a Stormlight one and they're interested in doing it.

Questioner

Aha, I'm interested in doing it and I'm a really good designer. *clamor from audience* <How would I go about doing that?>

Brandon Sanderson

If you want to get one of my licenses, the best advice we can give you... the way that Crafty was, is, they made a really good game that wasn't themed. They came to me and said "I've done this, I know how to...". Like our base fear in choosing your people is that they won't be able to finish the product for people waiting for it and know how to distribute it. So, if you have done other games, if you have done that, then your chances go up. If you haven't, my recommendation is go and make your own, prove that you can distribute a game and manufacture a game and things like that - and then come to us. Because, we don't care how big or small you are, as long as you're able to fulfil on your promises and as long as you make quality stuff that people enjoy, right? That's... that's our thing. So, that's your path to getting one of the licenses, okay?

YouTube Spoiler Stream 1 ()
#64 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I do consider Stormlight television more likely than film, which is why I say it like that, but who knows? I mean, there is a world where we could conceivably do Way of Kings as a film, a longer film, two and a half hour sort of film. The big streamline that would have to happen is: Jasnah would have to be at the Shattered Plains, not at Kharbranth, and Shallan would have to find her there. And become her ward, and we see Dalinar's story through Shallan's eyes as she is going through her plot, rather than having quite as many... Dalinar doesn't become a viewpoint character in that version of the book, we see him through Shallan and Adolin's eyes, basically, mostly through Shallan. And we'd do our A story as Kaladin and our B story as Shallan. But that is not unlikely that we would do, even if we did a television show, we would just then expand those parts. Everyone agrees, I'm sure they all agree in the chat, it just works better as a nine episode miniseries in this new style than it would.

Moving Shallan to the Shattered Plains, I think, is a good move regardless of what we do. Because even if we do a television show, The Way of Kings audiobook is, like, 50 hours; and a television show would be 9 hours. You still need to shrink a whole bunch. When you guys see the Wheel of Time television show, they did a fantastic job; they still had to cut out a ton. Even with 8 or 9 episodes (I think they're doing 8), you just can't fit it all. I do kind of feel like that would be a good move, but we'll see. That is why I won't do it, most likely, until Mistborn has been done, because Mistborn is the proof of concept to get everyone on board for Way of Kings.

And people say, "Do Way of Kings as animated!" While I'm not opposed to the idea (I think a good animated version could be done), if we made an animated version of Stormlight Archive, it would play only to our fans, and to animation fans, perhaps. It would not gain a larger audience. The unfortunate truth is that animation for adults does not gain audience, right now. So we could do a cool one just for the fans, I'm not saying no to that. Or perhaps someone else breaks out the genre and makes it, with these new animation studios that are doing things for Netflix, to the point that it does become... I should say animated non-comedies, because of course something like The Simpsons has proven that you can do it. But animated dramas for adults just do not break out of their fanbase. Some ones for teens and younger have, and Last Airbender is of course the shining example of something that became a cultural phenomenon through an animated drama. But people just don't watch them as much as we would like. And the main reason for me to make a television show of Stormlight is to try to reach a different audience, a larger and different audience of people who are not willing to pick up a 400,000 word book but who would enjoy the story quite a bit. That is one of the purposes of doing a new medium, in my opinion. And so I am hesitant about animation for that reason.

It's an unfortunate aspect, I wish it weren't the case, but it is the case right now, which means that we would not get the budget that we would want. Even for animated, we would not get the budget that we want, we would not get the promotion that we want, and we would not reach the people. We would reach you guys, who want to see it, and that might be enough of a reason to do it, don't get me wrong. That's why I say it's not off the table. But I would want to see what a Final Empire film does, and the reception, first, of that. If that doesn't work for some reason, then I might say "Let's just make the best Stormlight animated that we can, so that we have it as a fandom, that I can just make this cool thing." And then maybe we would do that. But I'm hoping that what happens is that we're able to do a Mistborn film that is successful, and then I can use that to say, "All right; let's do a television show." You might say, "Brandon, people are doing Witcher, people are doing Wheel of Time, so couldn't you sell that first?" It is a possibility, it could happen. The problem is, people read Stormlight and they say, "Number one, this is huge; and number two, all of these spren and things are gonna cost a lot of money." A lot more money than The Witcher costs, because the Witcher you can go film on scene.

Now, something's changing in that regard. The Mandalorian is changing some things in, I think, exciting and good ways. And I really enjoy The Mandalorian, I think it is really well made. But we're not going to talk about the narrative aspect of it, we're gonna talk about the aspect that The Mandalorian is basically all CG with very small sets. They definitely do build physical sets, and they're really good at blending the practical effects, the physical effects, with digital effects, to the point that you're never quite sure, is that CG or is that a set? But much more of it is CG than we expect, and I think what that is doing is opening the doors for much more fantastical worlds done in the same manner. Because basically all of Stormlight would have to be CG, just almost everything about it. You could maybe get a few shots in southern Utah in some of the canyons, but maybe not. I think that anyone looking at that says, "This is basically all a giant CG thing," and that's expensive right now. But if those costs come down because of new technology, CG is coming down in expense over time, then perhaps. But right now, when I go to Hollywood and I say, "I have this cool thing called The Stormlight Archive, let's make this a television show." They come back and say, "This is too expensive for us to justify right now." So that's why there's not one yet.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#65 Copy

Oversleep

Also, you mentioned Snapshot to be set in one of the Core Realities in State of Sanderson 2016 but now that I look at it there is no mention of it? Was it taken out for some reason?

Brandon Sanderson

Snapshot can't be in the Reckoners universe right now, as the film rights are with different companies.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
#66 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.

Oathbringer release party ()
#67 Copy

Questioner

Are you worried, because of the length of the Stormlight Archive books, that the movies will not be able to encompass them fully?

Brandon Sanderson

What a well-stated way to say that... So, movies. Hollywood. Bless them, they try. No, seriously, like, there are a lot of really creative people who really are passionate about books in Hollywood, just none of them have any money? I'm exaggerating, strike that from the record. But we've sold the rights to people that we trust. Otherwise, we wouldn't sell them. It's always a gamble. We're never sure if it's gonna work. Like, even people who are really well-intentioned. The Golden Compass movie is a great example of this. Really good intentions. Everything about that movie should have worked: great actors, great design. And the movie was boring. And, it's like everybody tried really hard, and it just didn't work. And I know how that feels. I tried really hard on Apocalypse Guard, and it didn't work. And, so, yes, I am totally worried about that. But the thing about it is, if I don't risk that, then I can't ever have a good movie, 'cause I'll never have a movie.

Now, would we rather Stormlight be a television show? Probably. And I think the chances-- So, what I've been saying is, let's just hope that the other fantasy television shows do well. Let's hope the new Lord of the Rings one does really well. Let's hope that Pat Rothfuss's show goes really, really well. If a bunch of these things get made, and they're good, it improves our chances, and things like that. I've constantly said, I would rather a television show. But, you know, I wouldn't have thought that the Lord of the Rings films could be adapted as well as they were. And they worked. So, who knows. I'm willing to roll those dice, and see what we end up with.

Shadows of Self Houston signing ()
#68 Copy

Questioner

Are there any actors that you would love to see in an adaptation of your work?

Brandon Sanderson

Wow, excellent. Are there any actors I would love to see in an adaptation of my work? Wow, you know, you toy with this in your head, but I usually only do it after I've written the book because-- and then it's kind of hard because I'm like this character is the person in my head, not a specific actor. But we've had to start doing it, where people come when they're making the films and they're like "Who do you see in this role", or something like this. And so I have come up with some of these things. For instance, the guys who have Mistborn keep talking about Sazed, and they kind of want to go Asian with Sazed, which I think would work just fine for the Terris, and they keep using Chow Yun Fat as someone they would look at. Which would be pretty cool. 

Legion I wrote with a few actors in mind, one of the few books I've done that, so if you've read that I actually cast Ivy, JC, and Tobias as three actors I like. You should read it and see if you can figure out who those three are, because I've said online and you can read that and say "I wonder", and then you just google it and they'll all be there. One of them is from Firefly, so-- I'll give you a hint, this character's initials have been the same in like five or six different movies, and they're the same initials I use for the character and the fact that he's playing a character with the same initials, and so I use those initials. But for the most part I don't really think on this too much, because you spend a lot of time thinking about it, like when someone first bought Mistborn I was like "Ooh who do we get to play Vin"? And now all those actors, they're all like ten years older than being able to play Vin now, so it's like what was the point in doing all that. So I'm just going to let something actually get to casting, and then hopefully they'll invite me in and I can give my feedback.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#70 Copy

mathota123

With Cosmere movies looking more and more like a reality, are there any other types of media you would like to see your works in? Personally I feel Mistborn would translate very well into an anime.

Brandon Sanderson

I'd investigate that if it were an actual possibility, but the chances of it happening are basically zero. Anime companies are not regularly buying western books for adaptation--aside from the few by Miazaki's company (which I'm not going to try to spell because I can never remember how the vowels go.) I would of course say yes to them, were the chance to arise. But an anime based on my books is not something I've ever seen the faintest, tiniest nibble on from any Japanese company.

(Generally, western fantasy novels do not sell well in Japan; they seem to prefer science fiction in prose form, at least from America.)

Oversleep

How about western animation? For example, Avatar: The Last Airbender or Legend Of Korra? I feel Stormlight would do very well animated, since all the visual problems go away. And Legend Of Korra feels very much like Second Era Mistborn.

Brandon Sanderson

The problem is that these, though great, are still pitched as children's programming. I know there are all kinds of arguments with that, but the reality is that the marketing people control things like this, and the chances are really, really slim.

Starsight Release Party ()
#73 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.

YouTube Livestream 29 ()
#74 Copy

Kozmelt Isthai

If someone made a video game based on your books, would you like them to cover the same plots? Or create new stories in the same world?

Brandon Sanderson

It really depends on the book, honestly. I feel like Stormlight would be different from Mistborn in that regard. In Stormlight, I feel like I would want to have it be a story from the books; but maybe not one of the main stories, like delve into some of the Herald stories, or things like that. Where Mistborn, I feel like Mistborn is better off not doing the main story of the books. That's just because... Boy, I don't know. I'm not even sure if I can explain why; I think it's just a taste thing. In general, I think overall, I would err on something that isn't explicit in the books but has been mentioned for either of those, but I'd probably go a little further afield in Mistborn and stay a little closer to the characters in Stormlight that have already been mentioned, and things like that. And that might just have to do with the fact that Stormlight is pretty expansive, and I've touched all parts of the world. Whereas Mistborn, I haven't explored it as much, and it's narrowly focused on this one group of of people. (Two groups, depending on your era.) It's a good question.

YouTube Livestream 15 ()
#75 Copy

Questioner

Stormlight tabletop RPG game. Have you ever looked into that? Would you ever consider that?

Brandon Sanderson

We would consider it. Since we've done one with Mistborn, it is certainly something we would consider. And Stormlight would be the thing we would do. But the Mistborn game is still having active support, and we enjoy our partnership there with Crafty, so there hasn't been a lot of real nitty-gritty detail discussion of doing a tabletop RPG. I expect it will happen someday, how about that; but we don't have any immediate plans.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#76 Copy

ReadAndFindOut

[Wheel of Time TV Show is] official! Is this the Secret Project?

Brandon Sanderson

While this is pretty big news (a series order is the real deal--it means this show is going to happen) I'm not very involved in this. I've had some conversations with the show runner, and am very impressed with him. I think the series is in good hands.

But I'm not involved in any official way, and this isn't Secret Project.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#78 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.

Shadows of Self San Diego signing ()
#79 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 your 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 ()
#80 Copy

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.

The Alloy of Law Annotations ()
#81 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.

Boskone 54 ()
#84 Copy

Questioner

At this point, a lot of your work has been optioned. I was wondering if you would be interested in some of it being a serious animated tv show? Maybe that might also work for Wheel of Time.

Brandon Sanderson

I would be totally on board except for one thing, that there is no market for it worldwide. There are markets in very small places, but so far every animated in the US and in large parts of the world as well has either been something like The Simpsons, which is comedy, which can work for adults and they’ll watch that, or it’s been child-focused with some hidden depth of themes like the Last Airbender, which is the quintessential example. If I could get a television show on one of my books as good as that, I’d love it, but nobody’s going to finance it, because there’s no audience for it unless it’s a children’s show. And there’s nothing wrong with being a children’s show, this is what Pixar has figured out how to do, it makes movies that everyone will love. But anytime someone even tries to make a teen focused one, it’s a huge disaster. Treasure Planet was an example of this, which is famous in Hollywood for being a disaster, even though it’s a fun movie. Until US audiences grow up in their treatment of animation, it’s not a realistic thing, because the cost-to-earnings… I can’t just say, okay guys, spend 50 millions dollars on this, I know it’ll only make 5, but it’ll be really cool. Maybe if your aunt is an executive at Netflix, you could tell her, and they could be on the forefront of this, but until then, we are looking at Netflix-style, complete season, Stranger Things-type stuff, or traditional feature film.

Phoenix Comic-Con 2016 ()
#85 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.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#86 Copy

majendie

I wonder if anything could be done [for videogames] with the other short stories like Elantris... Or somehow all of them...

Brandon Sanderson

One company pitched a really cool VR game to me about Emperor's Soul, where you played a Myst style puzzle game in a mansion where you could rewrite the history of objects to change them into different things. I wish we'd gotten that one off the ground.

Dragonsteel 2023 ()
#88 Copy

Questioner

Do you have plans to self-produce your books into movies or TV shows? If Taylor Swift can do it, you can.

Questioner

Oh right, yeah, Taylor Swift. Let's point out, there's a little bit of a difference between a 45 million dollar Kickstarter and a 1.6 billion dollar tour. So, we've talked about this, and I've come to the conclusion that for right now I don't want to try it. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Reason number one is that I like my Kickstarters to have a ton of value in them, right? I always tell my team, I'm like, we have to be giving a lot of value to people on the stuff that they do with our crowdfunding or our Kickstarters. And that means that, of that 45 million dollars, we don't make a lot of that. We're putting most of that into the product, and into the shipping, and into the team, and into the company. And so, if we were to do a crowdfunded movie, we need like a 200 million dollar budget, 150 at the lowest, to do a film. And if I'm going to do that, I would want to be giving people a ton of value which means we'd probably have to raise 450 million, which is just a ridiculous amount to do on a crowdfunding, right? So that's number one.

Number two is, a lot of times, these sort of outsider projects don't work as well in Hollywood as you would hope they would. Taylor Swift was able to do a thing and put it directly in the theaters and whatnot, but what we want is a partner over a long period of time. I want someone like Universal, or Disney, or Warner Brothers, who has a long established reputation to buy in on the cosmere, and make things with me for twenty years, right? I don't want to just do one off, I want to build something over time and I feel like I need a really good partner in the industry to do that.

And you know, reason number three is, a fool and their money is soon parted. I've known too many people who think, yeah I can make a movie. And let's just say that there's a reason why The Room isn't that great, and it's because being good in one area doesn't mean you're good in another. I am really good at narrative. I'm getting good at screenplays, right? I'm getting to the point where I feel confident I could do the screenplays myself. But I can't direct, I can't cinematographize, I don't even know how to make that a verb, right? I can't do casting, I can't do all of these things that experts in their field, and yes, I could start hiring them, but I feel like, never having run a movie before, it would just be a disaster. So you would donate all this money, I would waste it all, because I wouldn't know what I'm doing, and this is how Kickstarters go bad real fast, right? I've only done these things when I know I can deliver, and I do not know I can deliver this for you.

So, for the mean time, I'm going to keep trying to use the standard mechanisms. I feel like, you know like, this year we got frighteningly close. Well, frightening is the wrong term. The frightening part is it didn't work out. But we got really, really close. I saw people on stage, in mistcloaks, acting and reading my lines, okay? Yeah. And then it all fell apart, and it's all dead, right? We got really close, but we're getting closer and closer. And Hollywood is really interested in the Cosmere. They recognize the value of my stories. They've been, for years, saying, we know this is going to come, break out, and it's going to be big someday. But it's all about figuring out how to make it work, and beyond that, Hollywood is kind of on fire right now. And so we're waiting for it to, for someone to put it out. So, regardless, the answer is, I've considered it, and I've discarded it for those reasons, but it's still possibly on the table. It is something that, you know, the awareness of the possibility is in the back of my mind, okay?

Skyward Chicago signing ()
#89 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Where are Brandon Sanderson properties as far as other media are concerned? So let's run down them.

Fox has The Reckoners. I don't know how being bought by Disney affects that at all. But they have been very enthusiastic about The Reckoners for many years, and I hope that they will continue to be.

MGM has Snapshot, which is lesser-known, it's like a cross between The Matrix and Se7en. It's very different for me. They are very far along, they have a really excellent screenplay, and that one, I wouldn't be surprised if that's the first one that gets made. Which would be kind of odd if the first Brandon Sanderson property is a serial killer thriller.

Speaking of thrillers, Legion is owned by a group, they just bought it this summer, and last I heard they were working on showrunners and had somebody interested, so that is in a good place also. We probably have to change the name, now that Marvel has a Legion show.

The Cosmere is owned by DMG Entertainment, whom I love. They have been great to work with. The Cosmere is very difficult to adapt. They have been good partners in trying to find the right way to adapt that. Nothing is off the table. I still think it's most likely that we would see Stormlight as a television show, Mistborn as a movie, but these things are still in the foundational stages, just of getting screenplays that we like and things like that.

I think that is everything right now. I'll do a bigger thing on my blog in December where I catch anyone up.

Any more board games? There was a Stormlight board game, and we have backed off on that because some of the early things we got, we didn't like the direction it was going. We have really liked the two board games that have come out. They have both turned out really well. They have both fulfilled their Kickstarter requirements, which is one of our number one things, we don't want to have that hanging over people. So they've both been really great partners. I still would like to see Stormlight, we were going to do a Shattered Plains style game. We'll see how that goes.

Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#91 Copy

Questioner

Have you been approached by anybody about making a movie?

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, "making a movie," okay, okay. *sighs* *crowd laughs* So, Holywood. Holywood! Holywood is this-- they do this thing where they option books, right? And this-- most of the deals you see, they get signed, are what we call an option. They come in, they say, "We think we might be able to get a movie made, but we don't know for sure. So we're going to rent the rights from you." Against-- Like leasing. Renting to own. Where we pay you a certain amount every year that's against a big payout, and if we ever decide to make a big payout we buy the rights outright. But until then we can rent them for like five years and pay you every year or eighteen months. These are very common in Holywood. They happen a lot. And it's-- now that I've become involved in this it's kind of interesting to me that, like, when something gets optioned it's like, "Huge news! Oh, it's gonna get made!" But one in thirty of these get made <by general>. And most of the deals you're hearing about are those. As well you'll probably hear about this deal, you'll be like, "Oh, somebody's going to make this film." And then five years later you're like, "Whatever happened to that?" Well, it was just an option deal. And I've had like ten things get optioned. Like I've sold things over and over again and stuff like that. And so yes, people have my works optioned. Nothing I've done has ever gone past screenplay except for Alcatraz, at DreamWorks Animation which went to storyboard before then they decided to kill it. So, yeah obviously you didn't get that movie. That was years ago. They made the Croods instead. *crowd laughs* No, really, I-- those were the two competing projects. So I got-- So nothing has gone past screenplay-- I have gotten a screenplay a couple times before, but the step after that is like to get a director attached, and then like, you know, then get a greenlight, or get actors attached. The greenlight is the hard thing. The only thing I know of that got greenlit recently is The Sword of Shannara, which is coming out in January I think. Everything else I know is just an option. And so, yeah. But Steelheart's at Shawn Levy's company, who did the Night at the Museum films. Emperor's Soul is at DMG who were producers on two of the Iron Man films. The rest of the Cosmere is optioned by somebody else, but they haven't announced it yet, so I can't talk about it. They're very specific about stuff like that. Legion's been optioned twice, and both people have not been able to get that made as a television show. I mean, everything's been optioned.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#92 Copy

ibelieveyouhvmystpler

On the tv show front the Wax and Wayne series would especially interest me. The mix of western and industrial age mixed with the feruchal and metal powers is just amazing.

Brandon Sanderson

Getting W&W to the screen is one of my main goals. That series is the one I believe in the least out of them all (when starting it.) I began it on a lark, and then, it ended up being one of the biggest surprises (even for me) in how it turned out.

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.

Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
#94 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.

Skyward San Francisco signing ()
#97 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.

Shadows of Self Newcastle UK signing ()
#98 Copy

Questioner

What is the status of the White Sand graphic novel?

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand graphic novel. Let me run down the big list of things people are waiting for. So, White Sand graphic novel is on the good list, that's going really well. The author we had adapt it was fantastic and the artist is doing a great job. We're doing it in eighteen issues. However, because the people with The Wheel of Time (I don't know if any of you guys bought those graphic novels) but they released those individually, people bought subscriptions up front and then it took them forever to deliver on those. Because I have been burnt by that I said "You can't release any of the issues until you have a certain amount done". So because of that, they just decided they would release them only as graphic novels. So they're doing six-issue chunks. So it's kind of weird, there's eighteen issues, but really it's three books of six issues, and they are working on issue number six right now to release the first chunk next year. And we're very pleased with it.

So, the big list. I am working on Stormlight 3 right now, so you can follow on the progress bars. Once I'm done touring, which I've been doing for way too long, you'll start to see those inch up again, and if I finish it by May or June then it can come out next year. If I don't finish it by then it would be the following Spring. So that's what I'm working on right now.

In the queue we have the sequel to Shadows of Self coming out in January and we have the last of The Reckoners, and that is coming out in February. That's a little too close, I wish they hadn't scheduled them like that, but I'm not in charge when they put the books. 

After I write Stormlight 3 my goal is to write a new book that's kind of in the teen-ish-- it's kind of hard because Steelheart here is not published by a teen publisher, the only one published by a teen publisher here is Rithmatist. But something for the Steelheart-- like older teen/young adult-ish, crazy, wacky things like that; I've signed a contract on that. So that'll be my next project. 

Then I'm going to do Rithmatist 2, then I'm going to do Wax and Wayne 4, which is the last of that sequence. Then I'm going to do Stormlight 4.

If the book you're waiting for is not in that list then it's going to come after Stormlight 4 so don't hold your breath.

Mistborn videogame is basically vaporware at this point I'm afraid. I love the guys that are making it. They're still working on it, they still plan to release it. I haven't seen even a demo or early footage or anything like that, so I'm not certain they'll be able to do anything and you guys should not hold your breath on that.

So, movies, I've sold Mistborn, The Emperor's Soul and Steelheart, all are in production, but that doesn't mean anything in Hollywood, in production can mean anything. None of them have started filming yet. Until something starts filming you should assume that it's a hopeful dream. Those are the hopeful dreams that people are paying me a lot of money for. So, there you are.

Arcanum Unbounded San Francisco signing ()
#99 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.

MisCon 2018 ()
#100 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...

Dragonsteel 2023 ()
#101 Copy

Questioner

Hollywood comes to you, says, alright, we've got whatever budget you need, we give you full creative control.

Brandon Sanderson

Woah. Ooh. Oooh. Ooh, you're speaking my language.

Questioner

One thing, it has to be a musical. *all laugh* What do you pick?

Brandon Sanderson

I go get the director of RRR, and I say, alright, you made a musical awesome action movie, show me how to do it. India's really good at that. So, so we do something like that.

Questioner

Which book, or anything, would you...?

Brandon Sanderson

I mean, it feels like you could do any of them. Like, how much of the singing done by the singers counts as musical, right? But the truth is, Stormlight can't be a traditional film. It's got to be a long-form, right? So, we're down to a few options if we want to do an actual, in theaters, traditional theatrical release. That would depend, right? Are we making television show or not? If we're making, like, a premium cable sort of thing, then we can go Stormlight. If we're not, then we basically got to go with Mistborn. Mistborn is the thing that can be contained in a two to two-and-a-half hour film. And so, yeah. Warbreaker: The Musical though, huh? Yeah, mhm.

JordanCon 2018 ()
#102 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.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#103 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Movie deal? Let's preempt that one. Yes, we are doing Cosmere as a movie series. *audience cheers* What happened is-- The short version so I don't get in too much trouble. The short version. We started-- They came to me for The Emperor's Soul, like three or four years ago. And I was like, "Emperor's Soul? You realize this takes place all in one room?" *laughter* And it turns out they're a Chinese company and they had been looking for good fantasy properties, and action properties, or fantasy-- whatever, they just wanted properties where they could feature a Chinese actor because they feel there aren't enough Asian people given roles in Hollywood. And so the company's specific goal was to do this. They're one of the production companies for Iron Man 3, so they've done some things. And so they came to me "Emperor's Soul stars a Chinese woman and it's this awesome fantasy story. We might have to leave the room and go to different locations, and stuff like that, or field trips. But we want to try and adapt it." And so I said, "That sounds really cool, go for it." So they bought Emperor's Soul and then a few months later I got a phone call from them. And it was a guy in LA, one of their American correspondents they said "Start working on how we would adapt this. Pick a-- Work with a screenwriter and things like this." And he said "Alright let's get some backstory, it's related to Elantris I'll read that. Oh Elantris is related to Mistborn, I'll read that." *laughter* So he called me having just read all the works of the Cosmere across about a month and having spent about eight hours on the 17th Shard's Coppermind. *crowd cheers* So that's actually how the movie deal happened. He called and said "I need all the unpublished books."

There are two unpublished Cosmere books I'll send out to people. They're not very good but you can write us through my website and we'll send them. Theoretically... So if you want'em-- It takes about a month or two to get back to you on them, but will send them to you. Because I don't think they're worth charging for, but-- One of them is White Sand, which is now a graphic novel, it's the prose version of that. So hopefully you can get the graphic novel and compare it to the prose. and the other one is Aether of Night. Which is really fun but it's like two books that never matched. Like how I have those ideas, right? So you read this book and it's like this mistaken identity, Shakespearean comedy, fantasy thing plus one of the Shards of Adonalsium trying to destroy the world. And it just doesn't mesh. But it's got cool magic. So if you want those you can write to us.

So he got those, he read those, he's like "I need everything." and got all that and I'm like "What do you want?" and he's like "I'm trying to convince my boss to buy the whole Cosmere." And he did, he convinced his boss to buy the whole Cosmere. Except for Mistborn which was optioned to someone else. So when people read the thing and said "Why are they developing Way of Kings first?" Well technically they were developing The Emperor's Soul first. That came back as "This a really hard one to develop because it takes place in one room." And so they're like "We're going to fast-track Way of Kings." Way of Kings is also very hard to develop, but that's what they started on. And when Mistborn became a available this summer they bought that and that's when they did the big announcement. "We now have the whole Cosmere and they put Mistborn immediately into development for screenplay. So I bet the screenplays come in at about the same time, even though they had Way of Kings for about a year longer. Adapting that book-- We want feature film because there are so few places to do a tv show right. There's like two markets, maybe three. Amazon, Netflix, HBO. That's basically-- There's so few options, and there's way more movie studios and things like that. If it doesn't fit into a film we all agree that television is next. But if the screenwriters can get it into a film that we like we'd rather do-- we'd rather do that. Our chances of getting something good go up. There are lots of markets for television but most of them don't have a budget, right? So that's what we're looking at. Everything's looking well. They're great people. Multiples of them have read the entire Cosmere now. And when I get phone calls from them I get asked questions like this. *laughter* They're good people, they're doing a great job. I can't guarantee we'll make any films, right? It's Hollywood. It took twenty years to do a Spiderman film. It took like twenty-five to get an Ender's Game film, and that's practially written-- When you read the story it has "Oh this is a screenplay" all over it. So I can't promise that we'll get it done but we're going to give it the old college try.

JordanCon 2021 ()
#104 Copy

Questioner

If there were adaptations of any of your books, but you had to play one of the semi-major characters, who would you play?

Brandon Sanderson

I have to think about this. Can I have acting lessons?

Probably Breeze is gonna match me. With acting lessons, I could maybe do Breeze.

Billy Todd

I was wondering how well you would fit Sazed.

Brandon Sanderson

I would fit Sazed probably poorly, I think. Get me a fitness coach, and possibly. I don't think it's impossible. I just think that sitting in a chair and telling people what to do is (for those who know me) a pretty good role for me. Brandon's life is grand ideas, and then those people *motions to Dragonsteel team members* actually having to make it happen.