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.