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Oathbringer release party ()
#1 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.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#2 Copy

PatrickDiomedes (paraphrased)

I just remembered that someone asked about the whole movie deal thing, and Brandon gave a more thorough explanation.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

What happened is that DMG, which is a Chinese company, came to him first about The Emperor's Soul, because they wanted to make stuff that has more Asian characters. And they wanted to do it in Hollywood, because Hollywood's seriously lacking in representation of Asians. So he sold that to them first, and then they called him back a couple months later asking about the entire Cosmere. At that time, Mistborn was still optioned by another group, but Brandon sold all the other stuff, and they started on The Way of Kings right away. And then as soon as Mistborn became available they bought that up, so that they had the entire cosmere. And he said that The Way of Kings is ahead right now, but Mistborn will likely be first, because it'll be easier to produce and stuff.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#3 Copy

fireflambe

This is a slightly old comment, but is the marvel cinematic universe similar to what you envision happening with the cosmere movies? The moment that was announced the first thing I thought of was how great it would be if it followed the MCU formula.

Brandon Sanderson

well, and its popularity is part of why I think the film companies were suddenly interested in things like the cosmere. I'd like to think I presaged the MCU with what I was doing--but the truth is that Marvel and DC had been doing crossovers before I was born, so...

Anyway, I've been trying to warn readers because many are starting to wonder things like you are. Is this like the MCU? Well, it is, and it isn't. The goal of the cosmere is to take individual fantasy worlds, then--over generations--tell an expansive story about their interactions one with another.

I'm not pointing toward an Avengers style, "Your favorite characters all team up" story. The magics will interact, as will the worlds, and even some of the characters--but the story is not about a super-team.

State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
#4 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Movie/Television Updates

Mistborn and Stormlight Films

These rights are held by DMG Entertainment, and they've been very good at working with me and showing me things. They have scripts for both Mistborn and The Way of Kings, which they are actively trying to make happen in Hollywood.

One way they're approaching this is to do a Stormlight VR experience, which we've talked about before. This is less about making a video game, and more about making something to show off to studios to kind of immerse them in the setting of the books. As I determined early on, this is an interesting but weird world, and having visuals (like the art in the books themselves) helps a lot with bringing people around to understanding.

They do plan to release the VR experience to fans on Steam, for those with VR headsets. It's not intended to be a full game, as I said, more a demo of the Shattered Plains—you'll get to personally experience the Shattered Plains from the novels and interact with the characters and creatures that inhabit them. We'll do some posts on it in coming months as it gears up to be released, and I've invited the developers to do some guest posts on my blog.

Regardless of what happens on the film and television front here, at the very least you have that to look forward to!

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

Questioner

So knowing that you're not likely going to get a chance to choose your own casting in Stormlight Archive, if you did who would you choose for Dalinar and Kaladin?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh boy, choosing Dalinar and Kaladin? I have no idea. The big problem with casting Dalinar and Kaladin is neither are Caucasian, and so... Like, casting the Alethi is going to be a really big challenge for the filmmaker. Do they just be like, "Alright, we're making everybody white because we don't know what else to do." Or are they going to because-- are they going to find a bunch of half-Asian, half-Middle Eastern actors? Because that's what the Alethi would look like to us, right? And so, how do you find an entire culture of people who have those specific-- I have no idea. Maybe they'll just go with Hispanic actors for them or something like that, I don't know. I have no idea. It would depend on what they decide to do for the ethnicities. 

So something like Mistborn is easier, where a lot of characters are Caucasian, or at least have a defined ethnicity. But even the Terris, you're like, "Terris aren't Caucasian, but they're not really Asian, they're not really black. They're their own race from Scadrial. How do you cast Sazed?" And so there's been a lot of talk about that with the guy-- the people with the Mistborn rights. They're like-- They're kind of leaning toward Asian--in casting someone Asian as him. But did that-- how does that work? Because you can't always tell someone who's-- whether or not they're Terris by the look of them, and things like that. It gets really weird when you're trying to cast fantasy races and ethnicities. So we'll see.

Questioner

I just wondered if you had someone in mind?

Brandon Sanderson

I do not have anyone in mind. The only-- I occasionally have ideas for Mistborn. You know, like for a while I wanted Michael Fassbender for Kelsier, but he just did Assassin's Creed, which is too similar. So we probably can't do him. For years I wanted Ellen Page as Vin, but she's aged out of the role now. I try not to think about who we would go get until we actually are casting, right? So anyone you name, tomorrow they could do a movie that's too similar and then that's not-- they can't do the role really anymore because they're headlining something that's a direct-- yeah, anyway. 

DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
#6 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.

Shadows of Self San Diego signing ()
#7 Copy

Questioner

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

Brandon Sanderson

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

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

Orem signing ()
#9 Copy

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The screenplay that we got with DMG came in at like 250 pages.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Love it!

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, but that's like a four hour movie, not really viable.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I'm good with four hours.

Questioner 2 [PENDING REVIEW]

Nobody wants to make a four hour movie.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, that's why we're looking more at television.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is that a possibility, of just doing shows instead?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, it's a distinct possibility. It really depends on what offers come and what DMG puts together, and stuff like that. But it is something that we have always been open to and they have always been pursuing. They just wanted to see, what does a screenplay look like? Turns out, it's a four hour screenplay.

BookCon 2018 ()
#11 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

If you ever get the go for a movie or TV show, who do you want to pick as Kaladin?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Kaladin is a hard one to cast. Because all of the Alethi are going to be hard to cast, because they're basically half Japanese/half Arab... So I'm not sure. I've been thinking for Dalinar lately, the guy who plays Drax the Destroyer. He's half Filipino and he has just the right look for Dalinar. You gotta look at him not in his make up for Guardians of the Galaxy. Get a little silvering hair on him. That's my latest casting choice. But I do not have a Kaladin.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#12 Copy

slevy221

I haven't seen or heard anything about the potential for TWOK movie ever since there was that article about using virtual reality to pitch the idea.

Anyone heard anything recently?

Brandon Sanderson

No updates, I'm afraid. Last big session I had with them was when I flew to LA in June. They're still working on the VR experience/pitch to take to studios.