Sorry, Patrick Rothfuss fans: The long-awaited TV adaptation of the Kingkiller Chronicle isn’t going to be here anytime soon. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, executive producer Lin-Manuel Miranda described the series as “still a code that’s waiting to be cracked.”
The series has been in development for years now: in 2015, Lionsgate won a bidding war for the rights to adapt Rothfuss’s work into a TV series, a movie, and a video game. In 2016, Miranda joined the TV project as creative producer. In 2017, Showtime had the show in development, but the network released the rights last fall.
At the time, sources told the Hollywood Reporter that Apple had been sent the series’ scripts (by Leverage creator and eventual Kingkiller showrunner John Rogers), but nothing seems to have come of that. The series has been shopped around since then, according to the EW piece.
Miranda explained to EW that his work on the TV adaptation His Dark Materials has given him “new perspective” on the adaptation. “It is an incredible world worth exploring, but it hasn’t been cracked yet.”
And if last year’s hot mess of a Game of Thrones finale taught us anything, it’s that adapting an epic and unfinished fantasy series is likely to come with no small share of difficulties. It’s been nine years since the release of book two in the Kingkiller Chronicle, The Wise Man’s Fear, and Rothfuss has only given the tiniest of updates in recent years, as when he said last year that things were “moving forward” with book three, The Doors of Stone.
But Rothfuss’s editor, DAW Books president and publisher Betsy Wollheim, seems less optimistic. In July, Wollheim wrote in a Facebook thread, “I don’t think he’s written anything for six years.” Newsweek reported on the discussion, which was a rare instance of an editor publicly criticizing a high-profile (if low-output) and beloved author.
Should Miranda crack the adaptation, The Kingkiller Chronicle would join a potentially crowded field of epic fantasy television, including series currently in active production such as (::deep breath::) Amazon’s The Wheel of Time, Amazon’s Lord of the Rings adaptation, HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon, as well as Netflix’s ongoing bard-heavy valley o’ plenty The Witcher.