Lionsgate has won a bidding war to adapt Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle series! And not just into a movie, or a television series—but both, and a video game, to boot! This deal sets up the studio to develop the multiple stories from The Name of the Wind, The Wise Man’s Fear, and various novellas (including The Slow Regard of Silent Things) simultaneously and across multiple platforms.
Rothfuss broke the news on his blog, explaining how the option on his series had expired this past July, right around San Diego Comic-Con. However, apparently that deadline lit a fire under several studios, as the bidding war began at the same time. Rothfuss spent most of SDCC in meetings about adapting the series, and shared how he explained just how impossible it was to turn The Name of the Wind into a movie. He elaborated on how a movie adaptation had never been a huge draw for him:
I’ve never been that interested in a straight-up movie deal. Pretty much every fantasy movie created so far has been an action movie, or plot centered, or both. And my books aren’t like that. My books are about the characters. They’re about secrets and mysteries and the hidden turnings of the world. My books are all about antici-
-pation. And a movie, even a long movie, simply doesn’t have enough time to fit all of that stuff in. That’s why my original option was for a TV show. I wanted space for the story to breathe.
Of all the studios, Lionsgate (who Rothfuss described as “agile and innovative,” with their movie and TV departments actually communicating) got what he was saying, and came back to him with this pitch:
Then Lionsgate got in touch. “About that whole TV-show-and-a-movie thing you mentioned,” they said. “If we’re going to do some sort of big narratively intertwined multi-platform development deal based on your books, wouldn’t it make more sense to do a video game along with the TV show and movies? Because seriously, why wouldn’t we want to do a video game too?” (I’m paraphrasing a little here you understand.)
I said, “What?”
As Rothfuss told The Hollywood Reporter, this deal “will give us the screen time to develop the characters and show off the world.” Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-president Erik Feig added,
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 fanbase and the potential to reach an even broader audience in adaptation. 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.