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The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
#1 Copy


Do you have any plans of writing any prequels for the Mistborn [series]?

Brandon Sanderson

No, not right now. One of the reasons that-- I have to put an asterisk on that. I did write out a prequel story happening hundreds of years earlier that was going to be the video game, that ended up never getting made. So there's a chance I will do something with that,a graphic novel or something. So there is a chance. What I won't probably tell is the story that you read in the epigraphs, the story of Rashek and Alendi and all those things, because I feel like that story is told best the way it is in the books, that you get it revealed as it's going along. If I told it again, I feel like it would just be a rehash of that. I can see myself telling other stories potentially, but I am the type that generally likes to keep moving forward. There are some great prequels out there to books that I love, but mostly I like sequels, so I like to move forward. Not impossible, but yeah.

Skyward San Francisco signing ()
#2 Copy


You've written a lot of novels and talked a lot about form. Are you interested or excited about any new formats of writing that you might take in the future?

Brandon Sanderson

I would like to try my hand at video games. I play a lot of games. I am really interested in the way that video games tell stories in ways not like books. I generally (though I can enjoy those games) don't like the stories of games that try to do it like a book. So I like things like Dark Souls, that does its worldbuilding and storytelling in a way very different from the way that a book does its storytelling. Or even something like Infamous, where they make you run across to do something, and while you're doing it someone calls you on the phone and gives you an infodump. That's really interesting to me.

So I would like to try my hand at it at some point. My first attempt, which was getting a Mistborn videogame going, did not work out. But I have not given up. I have no news on that, but let's just say I have not given up on finding a way to worm my way into video games. And you see me doing this periodically. The Infinity Blade books were me wanting to work with video game storytellers to try and figure out how this format works better. And you'll see me doing more of this in the future.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#3 Copy


So as I was rereading Mistborn, I realized something that I hadn't deemed important before. Assuming that Rashek doled out the original Allomancy beads to create the first Mistborn, who did he give them to? Obviously, he couldn't give them to his fellow packmen because then they would have the same compounding abilities as him. Additionally, it stands to reason that he would not have given the beads to any of Alendi's entourage because of his deep-seated hatred for all things Khlenni. All in all, I'm just confused about the actual origins of the noble houses.

Brandon Sanderson

I actually intended to dig into this in the video game--which happened several hundred years after the event, but which would talk about the origins of the houses and things like that. It's possible we'll still do this some day.


Did you end up doing a lot of writing for the game before it got cancelled?

Depending on how much there is, it seems like handing it to Crafty for them to make a RPG module could make sense.

Brandon Sanderson

No, I didn't--but I had a lot of ideas.

My current goal is to hand it over to Ben (who does a lot of the artwork for Stormlight Archive) and see if we can turn it into a graphic novel. (Note that we wouldn't start on this until White Sand is done, though, as I don't want to have TOO many projects in the works at once.)

Shadows of Self San Diego signing ()
#4 Copy


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.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#5 Copy


Is it too early to ask if you'd continue with the story you made for the game?

Brandon Sanderson

I have been tempted to do it as a graphic novel, if White Sand continues to be popular.

For my part, I want to point out that Matt Scott was awesome to work with. He really did try to make this game--but we were trying during a time when original IP in video games was a dodgy thing to start with. Several console changes, the revolution in mobile gaming, and various issues on the business side meant we could never really get this going. But there was a never a problem with their vision, passion, or enthusiasm.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#6 Copy


How much of a Mistborn prequel would the game have been? Are we talking; post pit Kelsier, or more of a Lord Ruler's first days taking over the other nations? Something in the middle?

Brandon Sanderson

It was set early in the Final Empire's existence--second or third century, I believe. So a pretty deep in the past prequel.

State of the Sanderson 2018 ()
#7 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.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
#8 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Really, the third [White Sand graphic novel] is where we've done the most work, because authors-- this happens to a lot of us. Early work, we're good at doing scenes, and we're bad at endings, we're bad at bringing them together. And that's one of the things that I got better at over the years. And the ending of this one had some good things, but it had some really off-kilter things that we're fixing.


Are they gonna go to [Darkside]?

Brandon Sanderson

Don't have the plans yet, because I never wrote that book. But I do still have the outline, so it's possible that I'll go and I'll get with Rik [Hoskin]. (Who I really like; Rik has been great to work with. One of the best experiences I've had in collaborating has been working with Rik.) I can see myself saying, "Here are our story beats. I'm doing some dialogue, you're translating." We can maybe do something. But I can't promise.

The other thing is, we have that old Mistborn script, from the video game, that I could also turn into a graphic novel.

YouTube Live Fan Mail Opening 1 ()
#9 Copy

Gatlin A Jordan

The possibility of turning the plot of Mistborn: Birthright into a graphic novel.

Brandon Sanderson

Mistborn: Birthright graphic novel. We have discussed this, we have talked about it. This was, if you're unfamiliar with it, a video game that was in development for many years with a video game person, Matt Scott, that I really like. And it just never quite panned out. I had provided the initial story and outline. There is definitely something there, the thing is--to remember--I designed it for a video game and sometimes those things interpret or change well, adapt well, sometimes they don't. I'd have to think about it. I haven't given up hope on some day doing it, but we shall see.