Lionsgate has won the ferocious bidding war against MGM and Warner Bros. to bring Patrick Rothfuss’s epic fantasy series, The Kingkiller Chronicle, across several platforms. The series will be developed simultaneously into movies, television series and videogames, The Hollywood Reporter revealed today. The (lofty) goal is to adapt several stories across those different media at the same time.
The Kingkiller Chronicle recounts the life and times of Kvothe, a magically gifted young musician, magician and adventurer who grows to become the most notorious wizard of his world.
The first book in the trilogy, The Name of the Wind, was published in 2007. Book two, The Wise Man’s Fear, was released in 2011, while the third novel, The Doors of Stone, is tentatively set to hit shelves in 2016. The second novel, as well as three novellas that were published between 2013 and 2014, have sold more than 10 million copies. The books are so popular, it’s said that only George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones comes before Rothfuss's series in terms of bestsellers in the modern epic fantasy genre.
“Honestly, I've never been very interested in a straight-up movie deal,” said Rothfuss. “But Lionsgate was willing to work out something different, a multiplatform deal where they develop the films, TV series, and games simultaneously. That will give us the screen time to develop the characters and show off the world. What's more, through this whole process, they've treated me with amazing respect. I never thought a studio would approach me as a creative partner who understands how stories work.”
Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-president Erik Feig — who will oversee the development on the movie side along with creative executives Jeyun Choi Munford and Jessica Switch — said about the project:
“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 Feig. “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.”
Executive VP Television Chris Selak will be in charge of the TV side of the franchise, while Peter Levin, the company’s president of interactive ventures and games, will oversee the videogames.
Feig added that the books were not only unique to support multiple media, but that the franchise “even demands multiplatform exploration.” Do you guys agree?