DMG Entertainment has bought the rights to Sanderson’s Cosmere Universe, committing to spending $270 million, which will cover half the money needed to produce the first three films. According to Variety, the first film DMG is keen to adapt is The Way of Kings, with Mistborn coming in soon afterward.
Fans of Sanderson’s work have been waiting for this day to come for some years now. His Cosmere, a collected work of different series that take place within the same universe, has been growing at an incredible rate these past couple years, and it’s becoming perfectly clear that Sanderson does indeed seem to have his endgame in order. But how far is DMG Entertainment truly willing to grow Sanderson’s works onscreen?
The Stormlight Archive series is a planned ten book saga, broken up into two major arcs of 5 books each (though it must be noted that only two books have been released). Mistborn was originally planned to be a trilogy of trilogies, but between the first and second trilogies, Sanderson found time to write 4 Wax and Wayne books that chronologically take place after the first Mistborn series. On top of these series, Sanderson has a number of other books that he’s created within this universe he calls the Cosmere, including Elantris, and Warbreaker. He’s detailed plans to write future series that delve more into how the Cosmere developed and how these stories connect, such as the forthcoming Dragonsteel series. Some of his short stories fit neatly into the Cosmere as well, such as The Emperor’s Soul, and Sixth of the Dusk. Even novels he’s finished, but hasn’t published, are getting new life in graphic novel form, such as his White Sand story.
I bring all of this up because the Cosmere is no small purchase. Sanderson has made mention that upwards of about 40 novels are planned to span the breadth of this universe – and noting his prolific nature, he’ll have little problem making that happen within the next decade or so. And yet, no movie studio would be crazy enough to literally adapt every story. So how will this story be told? Provided the movies are given the respect and budget they deserve, which it sounds like they will, I expect we’ll get a good grasp on whether or not the longevity of this medium of telling his stories will work or not. I do hope we get at least the first three films to gauge whether or not this deal was a solid move or not.
But what would be the third film on said list of movies they wish to fast track into development. Sanderson takes note in recent Reddit comments that, though the studio seems most excited about adapting The Way of Kings (a sentiment I share), he feels they’re closer to making Mistborn happen then anything. And that’s understandable. Mistborn, though an expensive production, won’t even come close to being as pricey as any books in The Stormlight Archive are to produce. Will the third film Variety mentions be a sequel to one of these two series? Or will they produce another film, such as Elantris, or The Emperor’s Soul (which coincidentally was the film that drew the company to picking up Sanderson’s work in the first place)?
Well. Nothing is set in stone, and technically the films aren’t even in pre-production. Sanderson himself, though happy to talk about the news, doesn’t seem too optimistic about it happening anytime soon, stating that “you will often hear announcements like this, then hear nothing more for years,” comparing it to Ender’s Game, which took 20 years after being picked up by a studio to be made into a film. But he is excited, and he’s happy DMG Entertainment were the ones to pick up the story.
Hopefully we’ll get an update relatively soon on whether or not the Cosmere’s being fast-tracked will actually make any impact on whether or not the film(s) does indeed happen. For now we can expect book 3 of The Stormlight Archive to arrive sometime next Fall.