IdlyIdeological

Would this work as a television series?

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Okay, so the fantasy genre is witnessing a bit of a revival for book-to-screen adaptations, with the success of the Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire, just a few off the top of my head. So, bearing that in mind, would the Stormlight Archive have the potential to make a good television series?

 

Now, let's just get this off the bat. I know talk of a screen adaptation is a little premature right now as there are only two books released from a planned ten. But it's something to bear in mind, no? Also, note how I said television series, because I honestly don't think you could accurately adapt SA into a series of films. Television should be the go-to visual medium for getting your books adapted. With television, the storytelling improves, the character development is enhanced, and the overall plot benefits from extra screen time as you're not required to take shortcuts or miss things out and so the setting of the world improves and, for something as diverse and with the scope of SA, television should be the preferred option.

 

If anything, the success of Game of Thrones proves you can take a sprawling, ambitious series of books, previously considered 'unfilmable' (a ridiculous concept in my opinion) and turn them into a television programme, with some entertaining, critically-acclaimed ten-hour series. So why can't SA master that translation? Sanderson's writing seems fit for a screen adaptation. While the show isn't as graphic or vulgar as ASOIAF, which may put off HBO, there's no reason why American stations like ABC or AMC take up the option.

 

What would you prefer to see? Will SA make for a good television series or would it work better as a film saga? Maybe it's better-suited to an anime? Maybe you wouldn't want it on the television or big screen at all.

 

Note: I know the Mistborn Trilogy is supposedly set for a film release with the rights up for sale, but I'd prefer talk of that to be limited somewhat on here because I have just started reading the first book.  

Edited by IdlyIdeological
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Mistborn as a film I really look forward to. I will respect your wishes though.

 

Here's what I think about SA though. It could be done, unless they just did the first five, I wouldn't want them to make one. Ten seasons at least!? I couldn't do it. 5 seasons.........I can do that :)

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Thank you. I'm about 70 odd pages into the first Mistborn book, and I'm enjoying it. The book possesses an interesting premise; I definitely get a sense of Hunger Games-esque dystopia from the setting. That kind of genre is selling at the cinema, so it's something I could see becoming quite appealing for studios. Doesn't quite have the scope of Stormlight Archive novels, but then this is some of Sanderson's earlier work. 

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SA has spren everywhere, which means a higher CGI budget. This is unfortunate for its chances of being made into a film. To use a GoT example: look at how rare the dragons are, and how much they cost. Even Shardblades will need CGI whenever they're used. I don't even know how you'd translate Lashing properly. At least in Mistborn, Pushing can be accomplished through cables while being true to the work.

 

I could see SA being made into an anime.

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The discussion has come up several times, but more as a "vote which medium" kind of topic, and for the most part this site wants to see it as an anime. It does seem to fit the mold a bit better for these two reasons (in my mind):

-Like Moogle said, the budget would have to be ENORMOUS or you would have to severely limit the world/quality of the world that has been built. Between the spren, Shardblades, Highstorms, and general Surgebinding, I think you'd use up an entire season's worth of CGI budget for the first episode (assuming it is Szeth's experience at the start of WoK + intro to each character). I think magic is just too big a part of the world to be so limited, you know? But I guess all it takes is one billionaire SA fan to produce the show...

 

-I think that the actors have incredibly specific personalities. I haven't brought it up before, but I think that you'd have to really nail these characters for their natural charisma to come across on screen. It's less of a problem than budget, but it is something that I think is very subtly significant. You could make a case that this is true for all acting, but I think there is something to be said for characters that are meant to have direct links to certain attributes. It needs to be conveyed in a way that isn't over the top but is always true to their nature. Tough job!

All that said, I would love to see SA as a TV show. To me there is something more magnificent in perceiving a real human body to be doing something than an animated character (however much I love anime). When I imagine the scenes as I read, it's never in an anime style, you know? But that is preference, not what would actually be best for the story.

PS I just kind of realized you can't do the Heralds scene at the start of WoK without revealing their faces and voices unless you throw their helmets on the whole time. It would be interesting to see how that turns out without being too revealing. There is supposed to be some mystery behind who they are, which occurs naturally as a book and much less so if you can see them.

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I would love to see the sa as a tv show, and i would even buy a tv for it.

and i would love to see mistborn as a movie.

And given the amount of people reading those books, it should make good money.

SA would probably have insurmuntable problems as a tv show for budget reasons.

But I really can't see why no one wanted to produce the mistborn movie.

 

Anyway, I quite lost hope. I will believe they make a mistborn movie when I'll be sitting in the cinema looking at the end credits.

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I think I've mentioned this before but I'm pretty much vehemently opposed to a live-action adaptation.  I just don't think it could do the world justice without costing a truly obscene amount of money.  The world is just too different from our own, it isn't like Westeros which is pretty much a close Earth-analogue, the flora and fauna is bizarre and alien and the ethnicities do not mesh particularly well with Earth ethnicities (most Rosharans have epicanthic folds).

 

I personally think it should be made into an anime-style production, as it would have the best chance at portraying the world the way it deserves to be portrayed at a reasonable cost and the only concern with actors would be getting the voice right.

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I think I've mentioned this before but I'm pretty much vehemently opposed to a live-action adaptation.  I just don't think it could do the world justice without costing a truly obscene amount of money.  The world is just too different from our own, it isn't like Westeros which is pretty much a close Earth-analogue, the flora and fauna is bizarre and alien and the ethnicities do not mesh particularly well with Earth ethnicities (most Rosharans have epicanthic folds).

 

I personally think it should be made into an anime-style production, as it would have the best chance at portraying the world the way it deserves to be portrayed at a reasonable cost and the only concern with actors would be getting the voice right.

Don't be against someone spending obscene amounts of money on a story we love! 

Hey - 17thShard billionaires... he doesn't mean it. 

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My opinion is strongly that it should be an anime. If we could have a show with the animation quality of the Last Airbender and Legend of Korra series (Seriously, those shows have gorgeous animation) and great voice actors, we'd be set.

 

The main problem I have with a live action TV show is obviously the budget. Every Shardblade and every suit of Shardplate is unique. The pressure that the props team alone would be under is enormous. Not to mention spren, CGI creatures like chulls, and highstorms. You'd also have a problem with the TV show format: How would flashbacks be done? How do you portray the inner emotions of the characters?

 

Anime doesn't solve all of these problems, but it certainly wraps up the budget problem.

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I would agree that anime would be my preferred approach to SA. Mistborn should be live action films though.

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i think rendering roshar as an anime would take away all the beauty of it. really, i woould like to see the environment in a realisticc portrayal, not cartoon-style. If I have to choose between having a lower surrogate or nothing at all, I'd pick nothing.

Yes, I am fully aware that the sa will never be in live television because of budget. doing it as an anime would not fix the issue in my opinion.

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Yeah, I understand that financially, a Stormlight Archive would be difficult, particularly for a television series. However, I wouldn't underestimate the spending power of television studios, particularly if rising budgets and revenue continue. Realistically, a SA series wouldn't get off the ground for possibly another decade until the show writers have more source material to draw upon and Sanderson can avoid the possibility of the show taking over the books, as is looking likely with a Game of Thrones and GRRM's novels. Over the next decade, I would expect television budgets to rise. Again we go back to Game of Thrones, but it's the most salient contemporary comparison to make right now, and its budget is continuously rising every year. So there's no reason why the average television budget wouldn't be increased over the next several years.

 

However, I agree that the world of Roshar would be difficult to adapt on-screen without extensive use of CGI. There are slight changes that could be made. Spren would be difficult to portray with so much detail, but maybe the show could rein in their use slightly, without having too big an impact on the grand story, and make them less detailed, with the obvious exception of more prominent spren such as Syl and Pattern. I don't think Shardplate and Shardblades would necessarily be overly-expensive, yet this, allied with stuff likes Highstorms, would lead to a very CGI-reliant production.

 

As for an earlier opinion of actors unable to portray the characters accurately, I think you might be underestimating the high standard of acting these days, particularly in television, if you don't think an actor could make Shallan, Kaladin, Dalinar etc convincing on-screen. They're great, complex characters, sure, but I don't think they're beyond an actor's abilities. As for flashbacks, structurally-speaking, maybe have them as part of a cold opening and then roll opening theme song, episode and then end credits.

 

As for anime, I think it's realistically the preferred option right now, but as a few posters have highlighted, I would prefer SA to be adapted in a live-action, big-budget television series which, hypothetically and looking at the increasing costs of a contemporary television series, could be a realistic probability in the next several years. 

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I would prefer SA to be made as a real-life action TV series preferably hosted by HBO. HBO actually have the budget and the ambition to launch such a project much unlike the other mentioned such as ABC or AMC. These would not commit to a 10 seasons series nor would they be able to raise sufficient money to make it high quality. HBO, on the other hand, despite having a small obsession over sex scenes have been known to keep series on air for a decade and I do not think SA would be beyond their capacity.  They may result in adding a bit of sex here and there, but honestly this sort of things do not bother me.

 

As for the special effect, we must bear in mind they are getting cheaper and cheaper to do. Many companies are taking a leap into the special effect business and it is starting to become a cheap labor industry.  I do not think rendering sprens or shardblades on screen would be too difficult nor too expensive. The scenery does not appear more difficult than the one we saw on GoT, so doable with proper budget.

 

As for acting, a good casting is a good casting. There is a myriad of good decent age and looking (This is important for me. I absolutely hate having a thirty something (or worse a forty something) actor cast to play a 20 years old or to have a blond haired actor cast to play a notably dark haired character) appropriate actors that could pull of the first roles. We could even get a notorious actor for one of the smaller older role such as Sadeas or Amaram or Jasnah or Navani to draw in the audience.

 

I personally hate the idea of an anime. I do not watch anime and for me, it would ruin the whole thing. I could definitely see this happening, in a few years, probably after the first five books,.

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i think rendering roshar as an anime would take away all the beauty of it. really, i woould like to see the environment in a realisticc portrayal, not cartoon-style. If I have to choose between having a lower surrogate or nothing at all, I'd pick nothing.

Yes, I am fully aware that the sa will never be in live television because of budget. doing it as an anime would not fix the issue in my opinion.

 

I would really disagree that it "would take away all the beauty of it".  There is some incredibly awesome work being done in that medium and it is totally capable of portraying Roshar faithfully.  Ben McSweeney, one of the artists who works on the Stormlight books, thinks it should be made into an anime.  I'm inclined to go with him on this.

 

I would prefer SA to be made as a real-life action TV series preferably hosted by HBO. HBO actually have the budget and the ambition to launch such a project much unlike the other mentioned such as ABC or AMC. These would not commit to a 10 seasons series nor would they be able to raise sufficient money to make it high quality. HBO, on the other hand, despite having a small obsession over sex scenes have been known to keep series on air for a decade and I do not think SA would be beyond their capacity.  They may result in adding a bit of sex here and there, but honestly this sort of things do not bother me.

 

As for the special effect, we must bear in mind they are getting cheaper and cheaper to do. Many companies are taking a leap into the special effect business and it is starting to become a cheap labor industry.  I do not think rendering sprens or shardblades on screen would be too difficult nor too expensive. The scenery does not appear more difficult than the one we saw on GoT, so doable with proper budget.

 

As for acting, a good casting is a good casting. There is a myriad of good decent age and looking (This is important for me. I absolutely hate having a thirty something (or worse a forty something) actor cast to play a 20 years old or to have a blond haired actor cast to play a notably dark haired character) appropriate actors that could pull of the first roles. We could even get a notorious actor for one of the smaller older role such as Sadeas or Amaram or Jasnah or Navani to draw in the audience.

 

I personally hate the idea of an anime. I do not watch anime and for me, it would ruin the whole thing. I could definitely see this happening, in a few years, probably after the first five books,.

 

I really can't see Brandon giving HBO the rights to any of his works, you may not have a problem with HBO adding gratuitous sex scenes, but I'm pretty sure Brandon would.

 

"The scenery does not appear more difficult than the one we saw on GoT" I'm sorry, but did we read the same books?  Game of Thrones takes place on a remarkably Earth-like world, you could pretty much go anywhere and say "Oh this sort of environment could totally exist on Earth" (evidenced by the fact that they can go on-location to shoot, instead of having to build artificial environments).  Roshar, excepting Shinovar, is a pretty alien world it doesn't look like any place on Earth so any live-action production is not going to have it as easy as GoT.

 

My issue with actors isn't over whether they could accurately portray the characters.  From a personality perspective, I have no doubt there are actors who could do them faithfully.  However, Hollywood and Western media has an awful tendency to whitewash everything. 

 

Would you care to explain *why* you don't like anime or why you feel it would "ruin the whole thing"?  If you don't watch it how are you qualified to make that decision?

 

The main issue I see is that there are a number of people here who view anime as a lesser art form, to which I say go and watch some good ones, you might change your minds.

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I would prefer SA to be made as a real-life action TV series preferably hosted by HBO. HBO actually have the budget and the ambition to launch such a project much unlike the other mentioned such as ABC or AMC. These would not commit to a 10 seasons series nor would they be able to raise sufficient money to make it high quality. HBO, on the other hand, despite having a small obsession over sex scenes have been known to keep series on air for a decade and I do not think SA would be beyond their capacity.  They may result in adding a bit of sex here and there, but honestly this sort of things do not bother me.

Now I'm picturing a delegation of fans asking sanderson to include more sex in the sa to increase chances of it being turned into a tv show :o

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I really can't see Brandon giving HBO the rights to any of his works, you may not have a problem with HBO adding gratuitous sex scenes, but I'm pretty sure Brandon would.

 

 

Well, for one SA is too new to be opted just yet and you are right that Brandon may have some issue regarding the sex thing. For myself, I am sure HBO can manage to film something without putting sex in every episode, just once or twice a season could be doable. You know, you film a bit of Dalinar and Navani, a bit of Adolin and Shallan (providing they ever move from the shy kissing thing). You could also add some secondary characters intimate scene, etc. I wouldn't destroy the series and if it is what it takes to get a product of similar quality as GoT, then I would gladly live with it.

 

My issue with actors isn't over whether they could accurately portray the characters.  From a personality perspective, I have no doubt there are actors who could do them faithfully.  However, Hollywood and Western media has an awful tendency to whitewash everything.

 

I guess you are talking movie casting which can be, I agree, horrible. However, the casting for GoT is actually quite good. I must say I am satisfied by it and if they come up with something similar for SA, I would be satisfied too.

 

Would you care to explain *why* you don't like anime or why you feel it would "ruin the whole thing"?  If you don't watch it how are you qualified to make that decision?

 

Anime is a very specialized field who may have its followers, but it is far from being mainstream, unless you live in Asia. If it where made as such, it wouldn't be watched by many people, it wouldn't turn into the phenomenon of GoT. I wouldn't have the opportunity to talk about the latest episode around the coffee machine at work like I do with GoT. It would remain a niche product and I would prefer if it didn't.

 

Also, I believe anime or any animated art does not convey the same realistic vibe real-life actors can provide. I agree the quality of animated arts have truly evolved in the past decade and I agree it would probably be cheaper to film it as such, but I am sorry I just cannot feel as strongly for an animated character as I would be a real-life one. Besides, real-life special effect and scenery reconstruction is much, much more impressive. In animated art, you get the feel "oh this looks real enough, could have fooled me", but it is still not real.

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Just my tidbit to add to this discussion.

-

Anyone here watch the show Sanctuary on Syfy a while back? A lot of their sets were almost entirely CG filmed on green screen. 

They produced over 400 virtual effects per episode because of the virtual sets they used. This, times 13 episodes in season one and a season budget of around 21 million dollars.

Game of Thrones has a budget of around 5 million dollars per episode.

Given how technology has gotten a bit cheaper since Sanctuary, a budget of 4-5 million per episode filmed on green screen sets would probably work for Stormlight Archive.

-

There are other issues, but this (kinda) solves the issue with sets. Green screen sets have been done before, and worked well. Sanctuary ran for four years and had the record for most views on the first episode on Syfy channel.

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Shiv, I'm curious as to how long you spent on that. :P

-

Well, now I have a mental image of Kaladin singing "I'll make a man out of you" to the members of Bridge Four as he trains them.

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And don't forget about Disney on Ice. We can have Shallan and Jasnah skate around as the two newest princesses.

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...

 

OK, you've got me. Disney musical is the way to go :ph34r: but not the Saturday Morning Cartoon, I would see it more as the Saturday Morning Disney's how ala Hannah Montana and the other one I can't remember her name :ph34r: .

 

It could be called Shattered Plain's Academy.

 

You would have your lot of wanna be kids trying to get into the selective academy, but since they are not lighteyes they can only attempt to it providing they earn their places through a series of trials. The darkeyes go to a lower classed Academy such as the Bridge Academy (big rival to the Shattered Plain's Academy) who makes their students run bridge to keep in shape in order to try to win themselves a place into one of the high end Academy.

 

Of course, most of the said trial take place, outside, on the Shattered Plains themselves. There, Bridge Academy's superstar Kaladin Stormblessed constantly try to win himself a place but is always bested by Adolin Kohlin, the Scattered Plain's all star athlete. Popular, rich, handsome, son of a powerful senator, Adolin strikes envy and jealousy in poor frustrated Kaladin. They clash a lot, especially when it comes to love interest Shallan Davar, the one girl Adolin cannot get to date him and whom he is crazy about.

 

Shallan Davar is a straight A student, being tutored by professor Jasnah Kohlin herself, and an accomplish artist who snugs on the trials. She thinks the darkeyes are a scruffy lot until she meets Kaladin....  One day, she gets ask to tutor Adolin who is having trouble with his grade. She is annoyed as she thinks he will be nothing more than an idiot brute, but it turns out he is charming, sweet and not as dumb as she expected. He was just raised in a family that never valued academic accomplishments much to the dismay of younger brother Renarin, head of the school's chest club.

 

Of course, at some point, Adolin will get into some big trouble as he is betrayed by all his friends and abandoned to a sure death only ot be rescued in-extremist by Kaladin. Kal comes to his aid not because he likes him (he hates him), but because he tough it was unfair and unhonorable to leave a comrade in distress. They will bond and become best friends as they discover they have more in common, especially a deep hate for the school's principal, Torol Sadeas and the school vice-principal Amaram. From now then, Adolin will work very hard to get Kal into the Shattered Plain's Academy.

 

Torol Sadeas is very jealous of Dalinar Kohlin, senator. He wishes to take his place and get elected in his steed so he does everything he can to undermine the whole Kohlin family starting by making trouble with his sons who both attend his school.

 

This is fun, I could ramble like this for hours... I agree, this is money :ph34r:

 

Edit: Changed Scattered for Shattered, dumb me :ph34r:

Edited by maxal
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It could be called Scattered Plain's Academy.

 

And their biggest rival will be the Shattered Plains Academy  :P

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And their biggest rival will be the Shattered Plains Academy  :P

 

Oh LOL. Typo :ph34r:

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After much consideration, I have a counter-offer for a Stormlight adaptation.

 

Disney musical.

 

No, wait. Hear me out.

 

First of all, you say it takes a big budget to make something good? I know a thousand independent films that would disagree with you, but Disney (or Dreamworks, or Pixar, etc) can put insane amounts of money into things. And the merchandising would be so simple - spren plushies with big happy eyes, action figures you can dress in Shardplate, Bridge 4 shirts, the list is endless! Sure, HBO could get that kind of marketing going, but Disney would have it all on the shelves on the first DAY.

 

And sure, HBO might add sex scenes, which would be completely against the tone of the series and problematic with the author himself, but Disney can one-up that. Disney can offer something even better.

 

Musical numbers.

 

Just imagine:

 

Bridge Four breaking out in a powerful dirge as they rush onto the Shattered Plains.

 

Sadeas singing his plans to three bumbling henchmen while guitars wail in the background.

 

Syl singing as she flitters about Kaladin, convincing him of his worth and importance through the power of music and catchy rhymes.

 

You want a broad audience for the series? Disney movies are almost always hits in theatres, and when they stop being so, they can always just do the rest as straight to dvd.

 

And if it's super-successful? I have four words for you.

 

Saturday. Morning. Cartoon. Show.

 

The adventures of Bridge Four as teenagers, dealing with all the trials and tribulations of youth by day at Torol Sadeas Public High School, and the dangers of being beaten to death for insolence by any number of ranking officers by night, and on the weekends, competing in the Shattered Plains Bridge-Running League against hated rival, Dalinar Kholin Private Preparatory Academy.

 

Popular and arrogant rich boy Adolin Kholin butting heads with misunderstood loner yet Bridge Crew all-star Kaladin 'Stormblessed' Jones as they both try to be the first to ask witty and popular Shallan Davar to the Enchantment Under the Storm Dance.

 

Shallan desperately trying to keep both her grades up, her social life, functioning, and her much-needed part-time job as assistant to Principal Jasnah Kholin.

 

And by night, Kaladin dons his mask and spear as the enigmatic teen suprerhero, Windrunner!

 

I'm telling you, it's a veritable license to print money.

SO MUCH YES. Shivertongue you just literally made me cry from laughter. Now I want a bridge four song! And beautifully animated highstorms and chasms and Kharbranth, glowing lashings, spren and..........(I don't really watch anime so I don't know how that compares to gorgeous Frozen-like graphics. But I can totally see this)

 

On a serious note, I just want to chime in and point out, James Cameron waited 20 years to have the right technology to make Avatar. I really don't know much about TV budgets etc., but if a TV show/anime etc. isn't feasible right now, maybe by the time we get to book 5 or even 8 or so, it'll be far more possible.

(And seeing what happened with Harry Potter and consistency, I'd rather the people making the adaptation know enough of the plot to properly decide when to remain faithful to the books, and when and how to deviate.)

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If Buffy the Vampire Slayer can do a 'Kick butt' musical, then so can SA IMHO.

 

I think that in 10 years the effects budget will reachable to do this series justice, which is about how long it would take for it to be available I'm assuming.  Heck in 20 years from now science may be able to just originate and breed chulls and the various other critters...then all you would need is a handy trainer, a trailer full of whatever they eat and an industrial strength  pooper scooper...no fuss, no CGI, no muss...

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