Kingkiller Chronicles Movie, TV Show & Video Game…? YES PLEASE! :-)
It was announced today that a deal had been made for the rights to Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles. Those who keep up-to-date with SFF book/movie news will know that this isn’t actually the first time that the Kingkiller rights have been snapped up – in fact, 20th Century Fox even ‘confirmed’ a TV series at one point. However, having put down a lot of money and being forced to come up with a pretty unique and ‘out of the box’ deal, the news we are hearing from both Patrick Rothfuss and Lionsgate Studios seem pretty positive.
Firstly, this complex deal we mentioned ‘will see the epic fantasy book series developed simultaneously into movies, television series and video games’. That at first worried me, because you have to wonder if perhaps they are going to spread themselves a bit thin or maybe considering low budget productions. However, once I read a bit more about the deal I am left feeling that it is most likely that we will see a Kingkiller TV show based on Kvothe’s tale and then movies based on other Kingkiller characters (similar to how Patrick Rothfuss has released short stories / novellas on Bast and Auri to build upon the novels featuring Kvothe, primarily). The comment in the press release that the goal of this project is to: ‘adapt the many stories across the mediums at the same time’ would certainly support that theory. Pat has also always been clear with us in the past that he wants to explore far beyond Kvothe’s personal story, visiting other parts of his as-of-yet unexplored world and other time-periods as well, so this could be a way he achieves this (in addition to further books).
This brings me onto the next important ‘punch the air with joy’ point: Pat and Lionsgate have made it clear that Patrick Rothfuss will be very much involved in whatever happens creatively with the Kingkiller Movie/TV Series/Video Game. From what I’ve read on Pat’s blog, his comments to movie producers that ‘there was no way you could turn The Name of the Wind into a movie’ and that the studio would need to come up with a way to ‘give the story room to breathe’ prompted this kind of a deal and left Lionsgate convinced that Pat’s work “demands multiplatform exploration.”
That to me is a really good sign and a very good decision on their part. Not only is Pat a fantastic writer, but he knows the fantasy genre and its audience – we know how closely he follows Joss Whedon, right? But he also attends pretty much every convention he can and the amount of media that guy consumes (see his blog) is just incredible. So yes, to return to my original point, as I’ve said before, I think Kvothe’s episodic adventures and intricate plot threads would make a great TV Show, but a movie and even a movie trilogy just wouldn’t work… so much would need to be cut and ‘movie-d up’ to get it onto the big screen that it would lose much of its beauty and appeal.
“You see, I never expected a studio would treat me like a human being. But through this whole process, Lionsgate has treated me with amazing respect. I’ve made what to me seem like reasonable requests, and they responded to them… reasonably. And I’m not just talking about pretty words here, they’re making contractual agreements granting me control of things. They haven’t just been reasonable, they’ve been kind, and understanding.
To be perfectly honest, it’s a bit disconcerting. I never anticipated that a Hollywood studio would treat me like a human being. Let alone want to work with me as a creative partner and respect the fact that I do, in fact, know a lot about how stories work. This story in particular.”
Patrick Rothfus on Lionsgate – October 2015
Through his blog, Pat told readers that if the deal had sounded off or if the movie studio hadn’t been willing to give him an acceptable level of creative control he’d have walked away. Now, I know it is easy to say ‘yeah… OK’ and roll your eyes to him saying this after the fact, but Pat’s books have reportedly sold over 10,000,000 copies and he had already sold movie rights for a decent sum of cash. Even if he was making under a $1 per a book, the New York Times Bestselling author that he is probably isn’t desperate for cash… he could have held out.
I’ve focused on Pat’s words and my own thoughts, but Lionsgate had a lot to say too. The project will involve all three of their departments after-all. “Pat Rothfuss’s imaginative storytelling, the spellbinding character Kvothe and the vivid world of Temerant in The Kingkiller Chronicle series have a passionate and savvy fan base and the potential to reach an even broader audience in adaptation,” said Erik Feig, who is the group’s co-president. “It is rare that a property comes along with a world so rich and multilayered that it lends itself to exploration across film, television and video game audiences at the same time.”
I’d like to end this blog post saying that I’m excited for this. I have a PS4. I have a television. I have a cinema right next to my home. Kvothe-ing up all four of these things would make me a very happy person. And, look, I made it though a whole blog post without mentioning book 3 O:)