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General Reddit 2018 ()
#1 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.

Skyward Houston signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I wanted to ask have you ever considered making any of your books into an animated series?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I would! If the right people approached me, I would certainly not turn that away. I think there are more people wanting to get series made than there are people making good ones, but I would jump on it if the right people came along.

Shadows of Self Houston signing ()
#4 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.

DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
#5 Copy

DrogaKrolow

Who would you like to be the composer, do the music for your movies? Do you have any idea?

Brandon Sanderson

I have never been asked that before! Wow! I have no idea. Right? Like I listen to a lot of soundtracks and I like them all but I'm not an expert in this. Michael Kamen was always my favorite. He's passed away. So we resurrect Michael Kamen and have him do it.

DrogaKrolow

A Lifeless?

Brandon Sanderson

What's that? Yeah, yeah, Michael Kamen the Lifeless.

Boskone 54 ()
#6 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.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#7 Copy

Questioner

So you've branched out into graphic novels. What about other types of media--?

Brandon Sanderson

So the question is, "I've branched out into graphic novels. What about other types of media? TV and things like that." Well a graphic novel is something we can kind of have enough control over to make it happen ourselves. Right? Like I know the people at Dynamite. We can work directly with the writer. We can work directly with the artist. And so a small team can put together a graphic novel. It's more than required to put together a book, like I do, but it's still a small team. It's basically me, the writer, the illustrator, and then Isaac and Peter working on this. So, you know, five people can put this together.

A movie--have you seen the credits scroll? *crowd laughs* I can't really do that on my own. So the best we can hope for is for me to sell the rights, which I've done for most of my properties, and hope that someone in Holywood can actually make a film out of them that's good. And that's just a roll of the dice. So, yes we're trying. It is slow. Watch my website--we'll say if there's any news. There really isn't right now. Fox has *Steelheart*. They've been doing work on the screenplay, which looks good. But, you know, the screenplay is the easy step--the next two steps are the hard ones.

State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
#8 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Movie/Television Updates

Other Properties

Legion and Dark One are currently in negotiations. The rest of the Cosmere is covered by the DMG deal, as we want one company working on that at a time. We have a small deal for Defending Elysium that has it under option with a screenwriter, and the first draft screenplay is good. That leaves AlcatrazThe Rithmatist, and a couple of shorts (DreamerPerfect StateFirstborn) with no options right now.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#9 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.

Shadows of Self Newcastle UK signing ()
#10 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.

MisCon 2018 ()
#11 Copy

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

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.

Skyward Chicago signing ()
#12 Copy

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

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.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
#14 Copy

Question

Has anyone approached you about making a movie?

Brandon Sanderson

A few people are laughing because we did sell rights to the entire cosmere this summer.

*cheers*

Some people are like terrified by that news. So what happened is there is a company that optioned the Emperor's Soul, just itself. They really liked it. They're like, "We're gonna do Emperor's Soul." They're a Chinese company, DMG. Iron Man 3 was one of their things that they helped produce and stuff like that. So they've done some cool stuff. And I'm like, "Sure, I'll sell Emperor's Soul." And then they read Emperor's Soul and they're like, "Huh, this is connected to Elantris," so they read Elantris. And then they started reading and then they dove into the cosmere. And I still remember when I called one of the people from DMG to see how things are going and he was  just like, "I just started reading the cosmere and I just spent 20 hours on the fan websites and things." And so they came back to me a few months later and said, "Has anyone optioned the cosmere?" And I'm like well, "Mistborn is under rights to someone but the rest of the rights are available." So they started negotiations to buy the entire cosmere. Then when Mistborn lapsed from the people who had that, they bought that too, to fold them all in, and then they made the announcement, "we have the cosmere".

People were very confused when they saw, the "we have the cosmere," because they were working on The Way of Kings and Emperors Soul but they didn't have Mistborn, which is the one that makes the most sense to do. They immediately put that into production but they're further along on Way of Kings and Emperor's Soul.

I sold to them because they seemed to get it. Anything in Hollywood is a gamble, I can't promise this will even happen, but they get it. They understand the cosmere, they're behind this, they want to do these films the right way. So I am very excited and eager and I will keep you guys up to date as we know more.

Though as a side note, every time something really cool happens to me, Pat Rothfuss, who is a good friend, kicks down the door, saunters in, and says, "Hey Sanderson, guess what? Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote Hamilton, is writing The Name of the Wind. How's that sound?" So, I'm like, "Oh Pat, oh every time..." If you haven't heard that, Lin-Manuel Miranda, the Hamilton guy, is attached to Name of the Wind. So that looks like it's going very well also. I'm actually very eager. I think it's a really good match. It's just funny to me, I make my announcement then and Pat's like, "Oh by the way, better announcement!"

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#15 Copy

Questioner

So what are your thoughts on the Wheel of Time pilot?

Brandon Sanderson

The Wheel of Time pilot? I... think... See this is kind of on the record because of the recording. I think the actors and the director are to be praised for doing so much with so little time. I don't think it should have been made and I don't think it is a good direction for The Wheel of Time to be going. But that is in part because I know Harriet was not pleased with it.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#16 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

If you could pick a director to direct the Cosmere novels, who would you pick?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Right now, the Russo brothers. I like how they consistently balance a large cast, and make sure they all felt part of and integrated into the story.

Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
#18 Copy

Questioner

...I'm actually a video game designer.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh cool.

Questioner

And the one thing that I kept thinking as I was reading The Stormlight Archive was "Oh my god. I want to play that" Is there any, kind of, y'know-- Do you see those moving in to some other media besides just books, or video games or...

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question. So, other media. I like video games a lot. I remember-- You're going to get a lot of stories tonight, this is what happens, I'm a storyteller-- I was 11 years old, my father shipped me off to visit my uncle for the first time on my own. Got on the airplane and everything, went to Utah from Nebraska. And my dad gave me two hundreds, two one hundred dollar bills, he said "Pay for your food" and things like this... *laughter* You're laughing you know what happens. I just let my uncle pay for everything and at the end of it my conscience had gotten to me and I said "Uncle [Don?] my dad gave me money, I should give this to you to pay for the food". And he just laughed at it, like "No you're not going to do that. We're going to the mall right now. We're going to spend that money because if you don't your dad will take it back" And I went and I bought a Nintendo, original NES, with my two hundred dollars at KB Toys. And I came back with it and my dad was like "Where did you get that?"

I love video games and I want to be involved-- Which is why, some of you have watched, I did the novellas for Infinity Blade, which is a video game. Which you can read online but if you havenit played the games they won’t make any sense. I'm just going to warn you right there. I am involved-- We have sold the rights to Mistborn as a video game, but we have entered some development problems, the video game industry is almost as bad as the movie industry when it comes to delays and things like this. You have studios fall through, get divided, all sorts of things. I'm still hoping but the deal was I got to write the story and all the dialogue for the video game. It's going to be-- We are going to do it-- an action RPG, the model I told them I wanted to use was Infamous, which was one of my favorites from lately, in the Mistborn world. If we can get that working then I bet I can get a Stormlight book turned into a video game.

As movies go, movies are even harder. I was on the phone with movie producers right before I came here. I got a phone call, and we're doing a lot of that, talking with them, we've sold a lot of rights, we've seen a lot of scripts, but nothing's ever been made. So right now we have Legion, Emperor's Soul, Mistborn, and Steelheart all have significant motion but far from actually done. And The Wheel of Time is kind of off-again, on-again, off-again, on-again with adaptations. I think television show is what they are currently working towards.

DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
#19 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.

Kraków signing ()
#20 Copy

Questioner/Translator

There are games, comic books and films had been made or are being made based on your novels. How do you coordinate work so there are no, lets say, errors in it and tell something about <that experience>

Brandon Sanderson

Coordinating to make sure there are no errors: I wish that Hollywood would let us do that! Mostly they kinda do what they want to do and then send us what they've come up with. I am working with one company right now that seems like that they are willing to listen a little bit better.

<Throughout> other things that hasn't been particularly difficult. <For> the RPG, I am a gamer, I love RPG and so it's very easy to work with them. In fact where it came from is they came to one of my signings and said "Do you want to make an RPG?" and I'm like "Yeah, I want to make an RPG!". So we had some brainstorming sessions where I told them my favorite styles of game and they built rules that they've thought to match Mistborn and kinds of things I wanted.

We'll see what happens with the movies. They are in development and they're very early in the process.

Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

Do you have any plans <for, like, having any of your novels made into graphic novels>?

Brandon Sanderson

"Would I like to have any of my novels made into graphic novels?" We're actually doing one right now. I've hit-- I've kept away from doing this for a while because I didn't want to just give people the same story. So <I kept thinking>, "Oh, I'll write a side story for something." But then that requires so much time for me, that if I were going to do that I'd just release it as a novel. So we <caught> this kind of weird place where I wasn't sure what to do. But then my agent pitched taking one of my books that was unpublished during my days that I was trying to break in, that was pretty good, and had a good magic system, but needed a lot of editing. And said, "Why don't we do that? Because we can edit it during the same time that we're preparing the graphic novel, and then do a graphic novel version." And that turned out really well. We got another writer to help me and do the writing-- someone who knew comic books. And the script turned out fantastic, so we sent it in as being turned in. They've done 5 out of 6 issues. And it will be 18 issues, but they'll issue them in 6-issue clumps. They actually will only be graphic novels, there won't be-- And there will be three of those. So the first of those should come out next year. The first six. It's called White Sand. If you want to read the book, I do send that book out to people who just write to me. Because I don't think the book as it stands is good enough to charge you for. So be aware that if-- But it was written about the same time as Elantris, and it's just a little worse than Elantris.

Oathbringer release party ()
#22 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

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 [PENDING REVIEW]

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.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#23 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.

Oathbringer Edinburgh signing ()
#25 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

The casting for these films. Is that just gonna be, like, professional people, or will it be open to the public?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I have asked them to hold open casting calls. So, I don't know if they'll do it, but I have asked them. We're not even that close yet, though, right? It takes forever. We're not close enough for you to start being eager about that. It's still a few years if-- even if it happens.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#26 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.

Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#29 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.

Firefight Houston signing ()
#30 Copy

Questioner 1

So, last time you were here, I know that the Mistborn movie had kinda fell through. Any other nibbles, are we gonna see something?

Brandon Sanderson

Any other nibbles? ...So, Mistborn had just fallen through last time. We did resell Mistborn, and I've seen the treatment. So, the steps to getting a film made. Start with them giving me money. *laughter* The important part. Step two is usually a treatment, this is where they take the book and they do, not a full screenplay, but kind of a ten-page summary adaptation of what they're going to cut, what they're going to add, that they will then hand to a screenwriter. Next step would be to give that to the screenwriter that they hire, who they usually have hired, and have them do a screenplay of it. Next step then, generally, is going to people with lots of money and say "Hey, will you fund this?" Conversely, they can go to people who are content-makers, like a director or the talent, so to speak, or a star, and get them attached. So, when one of those happens, it's easier to get the other ones. And then, finally, is a green light. So, you can see, we're right at the beginning again. We had gotten to the screenplay stage last time, but the screenplays were just not that great, and the people who were doing it before were just not very powerful in Hollywood. I love them, they were great guys, but they came to me very early on, and so it was a longshot.

So, the new treatments are very good. I'm hopeful for what's happening there. For other things, we have The Emperor's Soul, in works with DMG. They worked with Marvel on the Iron Man films. They're a part of the funding company for those. We have just sold Steelheart to Fox. Specifically, to the producer and director of Real Steel (which is a great film, if you haven't seen it) and the Night at the Museum movies. And then, we have one more in the works... Legion. We have a Legion television show in the works.

So, as far as I know, the Wheel of Time rights have lapsed, and there's a discussion of what to do with those now. Because the people trying to make a film of those were not able to get a film made. They should have been doing a television show all along, I know, but-- Anyway. So there we are, that's how it stands, and the video game is still kinda spinning its heels as well.

Questioner 1

So, have they optioned the first trilogy, or just the first book? How does that work?

Brandon Sanderson

With Mistborn, they have optioned the entire thing. They basically optioned the whole world. Though, the people who have The Emperor's Soul, it's very fun, because they started to go down the cosmere rabbit hole. Yes, for those who don't know, my epic fantasy books are all connected, and they're all in the same universe. And so, their guy they assigned to it, the studio exec, read the book, and he's like, "Ah, there's some references to other things." And he went and read those, and he went and read those, and now he's read everything. He called me, and he's like, "Uhhhhh...." He's flown out twice to try to get a handle on the whole cosmere thing, what they can put in, what they can't put in. They wanna have a Hoid cameo at the very least, and stuff like that. So that's been very, very fun.

Questioner 2

Will you be able to advise on these movies? Do you have any creative control at all?

Brandon Sanderson

Do I have creative control, or can I advise? Well, in several of the contracts, mostly the Mistborn and the Emperor's Soul one, I have executive producer roles. In Hollywood, executive producer is the throwaway credit, though. That's one that they pat you on the head, bring out out, let you watch, and then they give you, like, a chair with your name on it you can take home or something, I don't know. They've been very easy to work with so far, so I have confidence that they would allow me, and in both contracts we got the requirement that I can come on-set anytime I want to, not just the one time, which is good. And they've taken my advice on the treatments. I am not powerful enough to get anything more than that. You have to be, like, two levels above me before you can really get any influence in Hollywood. Even, like, Tom Clancy, when he was starting, couldn't. JK Rowling could. And people like that. So, if I can get a good film made, and it takes off, I think all future contracts I'll have more influence, but right now I'm just kind of up to what they will let me.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#31 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.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#32 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.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#33 Copy

Questioner

I wanna know about Alloy of Law, if there was an actor who was going to play Wayne, who would you--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh who would I cast to play Wayne in Alloy of Law? I have no idea. I don't cast characters. I pay a lot of attention to directors but I feel like the best actors are the ones that always surprise you. Like if you were to tell me Matthew McConaughey was doing what he did these last couple of years, if you would have said that ten years ago, I would have laughed at you right, because the best actors can do so many different things. So I don't know, I have no idea who I'd cast. The only actors I've ever really cast in my books, if you guys have read... Legion, about a guy who's schizophrenic but not really, he sees hallucinations but they help him solve crimes; I cast all the hallucinations as actors, so if you pay close attention you can tell who each of these hallucinations are because a lot of them are famous actors. Except for Kalyani who's a friend of mine.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#34 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.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#36 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.

EuroCon 2016 ()
#37 Copy

Questioner

So, of course we need to ask you to start about something which is important, which is the sale to DMG of the rights for the Cosmere. Now it's not just, I mean, it's the champion's lake that we're talking about, right? You're at the same level as many very important authors, and the rights will be sold to the cinema, TV, and so on, so forth, the Cosmere books, which can be about thirty. My question is, are you excited about that? Are you scared, or both? Because you know that when dreams come true, sometimes it's not as nice as it seems. So, the question is, now that you have made your dream come true, will you think that you were better when you were writing and having that dream, or is it okay now?

Brandon Sanderson

A writer I once read got asked what he thought of the bad movie that got made from his book. Actually, the phrasing of the question is, "What do you think of what they did to your book?" And I have always remembered his response, which was, "My book is the same. It's right there. They did nothing to my book; they made a bad movie." My dream is not to make movies, my dream is to write books, and I am living that dream right now. Now, the chance of having a good movie come out is exciting to me. I wouldn't have sold the rights if I didn't want to take that chance, and hopefully we'll get some great movies and great television shows, but if we don't, I still am writing books, and my books are what I started this to do. I am going into this with my eyes wide open. I have had some good friends who had some terrible movies made of their films and I have talked to them about their experience, and I am willing to risk that happening. You can't get a Game of Thrones if you don't risk an Eragon.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#38 Copy

Vrlover123

How is [Rithmatist] not a VR game yet.

Brandon Sanderson

I have tried for years to get one made, and would love to do it. I also am fine with (not for profit) fan creations in most instances.

The problem has always been that people who are interested in making a Rithmatist game don't have enough experience in the industry to really make me think they could do a good job with it. (I have had a lot of offers from first-time game makers, for example.) However, the sales of the book--while good--are not enough to interest big game makers. (Where we've had trouble even getting something like a Mistborn game made, a series with several multiples more fans than the Rithmatist.)

Shadows of Self Houston signing ()
#40 Copy

Questioner

Any more information on like the efforts to go to the movies--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh the movies stuff--

Questioner

--or television or even maybe animated?

Brandon Sanderson

Television or things like this. So for those who don't know, what we do with Hollywood is they come and they option our books. This is where they give us some money not to sell the books to anyone else while they try to get things together to make a film, and most of the time it doesn't pan out. Sometimes it does, but making a film takes a lot of effort, takes a lot of time, so they want to make sure that they've got the rights looked-up while they do that. So it's basically like renting the rights, but it's a rent-to-own, because eventually they have a buy-out price they have to pay, but all the rental payments kind of apply to that. And I have had things for option since 2006 I think, and nothing's ever gotten made, and right now I have under option Mistborn, I have Emperor's Soul, I have Stormlight, I have Steelheart, and Legion just lapsed, so if somebody wants that, let me know. And all of those are in various stages of production, I've chosen production companies that I feel good about, and so I feel good about all of them, but I don't know what the chances are, right.

The most recent one was Steelheart, with Shawn Levy's company, he did Real Steel, that's what convinced me, it's a Richard Matheson story that he adapted. He also did the Night at the Museum films. And they've been really cool, they invited me in, I got to tour Fox Studios, and they're working on a screenplay, I'm hoping that will turn out well but I have really no power to make Hollywood do stuff. Nobody really does, even the people there, I think they're all kind of confused by how it sometimes works out. So I would do animated if the right project came along, and someone offered me, and I thought it looked good. I'm not opposed to that. I'm not opposed to TV. We just have to see who comes to me.

Skyward Denver signing ()
#41 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I was at a book signing in Chicago a few years ago and you were giving out these little Szeth figurines with statistics on the back of them. What ever happened with them? What was that going to be?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That was me trying to get [Crafty Games] to build a hybrid card game slash-- a deckbuilding/boardbuilding game that still I have hopes will someday happen. It was, you build the board as you build the characters, things like that. They were way more interested in the board game itself, which came out well. It's possible we'll still do the deckbuilding/boardbuilding game. Keep a hold of those Szeth figures.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#42 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I've had to hide this news for a long time. It was almost one year ago that the Dark One outline finally snapped together for me at long last. We had interest almost immediately from Fremantle, and I've done multiple flights to LA to chat with them about it. I think this one might finally be the real deal when it comes to a Sanderson adaptation--which is amusing, considering we don't have any books for Dark One yet. But if this goes forward, I'll be sure to write some.

Aurimus_

I'm a big fan of this multimedia approach, but I'm wondering what inspired it. Was it your idea or Fremantle's? Is this an experiment for other properties in the future at all? A lot of us on the 17th Shard discord have discussed the sheer size of Stormlight, for example, and worry about DMG either going the Hobbit route (hours upon hours of content for a single book, which'll really rack up even by the time we reach OB), or missing out on a ton of content. If Dark One pans out well, would you use this multimedia approach for Stormlight? (I'm a big fan of the idea of a Black Mirror style show for the interludes, but straight up separating them from the rest of the books would take a lot away, especially with characters such as Szeth and Venli)

Brandon Sanderson

With Dark One, I've pounded myself against the idea for years. Finally, I sat down with it and said, "What if I were going to design this for a television show or graphic novel first?" Using Stranger Things and the recent Westworld reboot as guides, I dug into a parallel narrative--half in our world, half in another world. A kind of dark "portal fantasy" story.

It came out as an eight episode outline that I really liked, with a solid outline for two prequel novels about the previous generation. (Characters still important in the episode outline.) With this in hand, I took it to Hollywood and said, "If you guys are interested in doing the episodes, I'm interested in writing these books--and we can intertwine them in a (hopefully) very cool way."

Fremantle was on board immediately. (They'd been intrigued by Dark One from a one-page outline they'd seen, back before I did this new treatment.)

Warning: I can't say how much of my original outline will end up in the show; I've never written for a television show before, and the showrunner will know better than I will what will or won't work. But (theoretically) the graphic novels will follow the outline pretty closely.

If this works, will I apply it to the Cosmere? That's the goal. I do like the idea of getting some experience with TV/Film through non-cosmere projects, particularly as we see how things shake out these next few years in regards to TV/film distribution.

cusoman

Brandon, I'm curious how you see the same scenario playing out with Cosmere material considering the material already exists and the opportunity for the same intertwining wouldn't be quite the same. Unless of course you go back and interweave new stories with the already completed books?

Very excited to see what comes of this venture! I've loved the concept from the moment you first mentioned it and I can't think of a better way to see it come alive than how you're doing it here.

Brandon Sanderson

I can't really say at this point. There are just too many variables. There are a lot of ways these things could be approached, however.

Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
#43 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering if there was any update on the movies, similar to video games?

Brandon Sanderson

The movies are moving along better. They're taking some time, but they are moving along better. I think, right now the farthest along are going to be Steelheart and Emperor's Soul. 

Questioner

Okay. Are they like in production right now?

Brandon Sanderson

No. They are in screenplays. So, yeah, nothing's really gotten done.

Questioner

Are you writing the screenplays?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm writing the treatments.

Questioner

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

I don't want to write the screenplays but I can do the treatments.

State of the Sanderson 2018 ()
#44 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Games and Other Licensed Work

I'm interested in doing some more video game work. Ever since I got to be part of the Infinity Blade games, I've had the itch to do this again. Right now though, there is nothing in the works that I can announce—I've had some short preliminary conversations with game studios, but no contracts. I'll continue to look at doing this, and will announce what I can, when I think something might actually be happening.

Unfortunately, Mistborn: Birthright never came together. (Though I'm on very good terms with the folks there.) And you can ignore any rumors about CD Projekt Red. Some fans got hyped when I said I liked them as a studio—and some news sites even picked it up as a story, for some reason. But that was just me mentioning in a random post that I think they do good work. I've never met with them—or talked to them—and have no reason to believe they even know who I am.

Video games aside, we do have some exciting and fun licensed properties that we've been working on, and I figured I should have a section in the State of the Sanderson for updates on these.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#45 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

You guys might find this amusing. I read this threat [about Andrzej Sapkowski suing CD Projekt Red] last night at about 3:00, and came REALLY close to posting, "Dear CD Projekt. You can have the Mistborn rights, if you want them..." But this was looking like it would explode as a thread, and I REALLY didn't want to wake up to several hundred replies in my inbox. I have work to do today...

In all seriousness, I'd love to do something with CDPR. They've made by far the best book-to-video game adaptations ever. It's the sort of thing the rest of us salivate over--if for the simple reason that the entire genre (books, film, and games) benefit from something high-quality on the market like the Witcher games.

I would seriously consider giving CD Project Red the rights to my books for free, because the overall cultural impact that a great story adaptation can have is enormous. Though...I suspect they're done dealing with self-important fantasy authors, and are likely more interested in creating their own new IPs.

Brandon Sanderson

Well, this kind of exploded, didn't it!

I appreciate the outpouring of enthusiasm and kind words in this thread, but let's rephrase this title a little. Saying that I'm considering giving them the rights for free implies that I have the option. I haven't talked to CDPR (though I've considered several times sending them an email and seeing if they'd be willing to meet next time I'm in the area.) I'm not in a position to offer them anything. Part of the reason I didn't post in that other thread until I was summoned was because I didn't want to come off as presumptuous.

But...I did read the original article and think, "Man, is Sapkowski crazy? I'd practically kill to have such a high quality adaptation of my work." If you magically gave me the chance to have an adaptation on the level of the Witcher--but with no payment given to me--I'd take that in a heartbeat. I'd much rather know it will be good (or at least be in the hands of someone skillful and passionate) than gamble on big money up front with a risk of bad quality.

Please, though, don't put CDPR on the spot or bother them too much about this. I've had some discussions with those who run video game companies, and I know a little of the stresses put upon them. If something goes wrong with a book I write, and it flops, then I'm the only one who suffers. But video game companies work on tight margins for years, employing the passion and enthusiasm of hundreds, to create a game. They need to pick their projects VERY carefully, because a flop has huge ramifications for all of their employees.

I'll continue to explore getting a good video game adaptation of Mistborn and/or Stormlight--in part because I want to play them myself. But the proper way for me to do this is keep meeting with companies, talking to them, and learning more about their business. I didn't want to hijack a thread about another author to do this, and I feel a little bad that this exploded like it did.

(That said, you guys are awesome.)

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
#46 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 ()
#48 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.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#50 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.