Fantasy fans, get ready for an epic dive into the world of author Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle. After visiting with a number of major Hollywood studios over the summer, Rothfuss and Lionsgate have agreed on a deal which will adapt the author’s books into movies, a TV series, and video games. The studio’s flexibility on their end of the deal actually helped to sway Rothfuss, who admits he wasn’t particularly interested in a straight-up movie deal since Hollywood has a habit of adapting character-focused sagas as action-oriented one-shots. When they offered to give his characters more screentime in the form of a TV series and video games, along with feature films, that sealed the deal.
News of the deal came via a standard press release from Lionsgate, but Rothfuss himself took to his blog to share the details of the agreement with his fans. “The Name of the Wind” is the first installment in his fantasy trilogy dubbed “The Kingkiller Chronicle” which follows the exploits of famed magician, adventurer, and musician, Kvothe. The tales of those adventures are related by a rural innkeeper (actually Kvothe, living anonymously) to a scribe known as the Chronicler; this setup serves as the trilogy’s framing story.
Here’s a look at the synopsis from the first book in the trilogy, “The Name of the Wind”:
The riveting first-person narrative of a young man who grows to be the most notorious magician his world has ever seen. From his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, to years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime- ridden city, to his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, The Name of the Wind is a masterpiece that transports readers into the body and mind of a wizard. It is a high-action novel written with a poet’s hand, a powerful coming-of-age story of a magically gifted young man, told through his eyes: to read this book is to be the hero.
Rothfuss described the process of his negotiations with Lionsgate and addressed some concerns that his readers are sure to have. His story starts with the previous option on his books expiring:
As many of you know, a few days before San Deigo Comic-Con this year, the option on my books expired.
What this means is that ages ago, I sold some people the rights (the option) to make a TV show based off The Kingkiller Chronicles. They tried to make it happen, but it didn’t work out. Then, when the option period expired, all the rights reverted back to me.
From there, Rothfuss enjoyed being the belle of the ball at Comic-Con while studios sought him out to meet about adapting his books. One in particular caught his eye when they followed up on his idea of adapting the books as both movies and a TV series with an additional suggestion: video games.
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.) …
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.
So fans of “The Kingkiller Chronicle” should have plenty of material to look forward to once Lionsgate starts rolling out the adaptations. Rothfuss offered one final word of consolation to his readers who might be a bit concerned by this news:
Now I know some of you will be reading this news with fear in your hearts. You’ll worry about them screwing it up. I understand. I know you love these books.
But hear me when I say this: You cannot love these books more than I do. You can’t care about them more than I do. I’ve put twenty years of my life into them. They ride next to my heart. They are my tangible soul.
And I’m not stupid. I hope by this point you know me well enough that you can trust me not to rush into… well… anything. If I cut a deal like this, it’s only because I really think there’s a chance for us to make something beautiful.
If you’re a fan of Rothfuss’ work, please let us know how you feel about this news. Love it? Hate it? Either way, you can still share your thoughts on who should be cast in the major roles. Let us know in the comments below!