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General Reddit 2021 ()
#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I've come to the mindset that there are two general ways to approach adaptation. One is to try to be very faithful to the actual text, and the other is to redo almost the entire thing for the new medium, while trying to keep the soul of it the same.

I've actually written treatments of Mistborn that do both of these. As an exercise, I did one more recently (for the screen) where I threw out every scene from the book and asked myself, "If I were doing what was absolutely best for a film, but telling the same story, how would I have written this?"

That treatment for that screenplay was very different from the book, while at the same time still being the book--same soul, same characters, same basic plot beats. But no actual scenes from the book except Vin/Elend on the balcony. Everything was approaching the story from a cinematic viewpoint--and I found that in a lot of cases, this new treatment was stronger.

There is, of course, a continuum between these extremes. But it taught me a lot about adaptation. And the Wheel of Time I saw tonight was absolutely worthy to be called the Wheel of Time, even though a lot of the scenes were new.

My perspective is, perhaps, skewed by my experiences. I tend to be someone who LIKES seeing film and television adaptations do new things. That doesn't prevent me from, as a producer on this, warning Rafe of places where I think the fans will prefer he stay closer to the source material. (Indeed, there are lots of places where I would prefer that he did.) But it does let me appreciate what he's doing, and how well it works. And a part of me likes that I can go and treat this as something new, rather than just a clone of something I've already read some two dozen times.

ICon 2019 ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

If there would be, like, a movie about the... I hope for a movie, I really hope for a movie. *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

So, I always promise people [that we'll] try to have open casting calls, but I do not have power over that. So, I tried like... Wheel of Time... I said, "Can you tell me when the castings start happening?" and they already did it. So, they don't necessarily involve the author all that much.

Questioner

No, I wanted to be, like... a concept artist.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, concept artists? Well, the best way to do that would to be working for the people who are doing things like... basically, the concept artists would be hired by the team. For instance, we... if Netflix were to buy one of my books to make an animated thing, it would be the team that they work with in-house. I don't know how a concept artist gets a job for there, but being a concept artist who's worked with Dreamworks or with Netflix, or with some of these people who've done a lot of this sort of thing, improves your chances.

I'm certainly not opposed to it, we've looked into it, and the right team has to come together. I really wanna see how the new generation of animated stuff on Netflix happened, how it works and things like that, before we jump into it. But it is something I'm investigating.