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[OB] DMG should do The Girl Who Looked Up


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I was gushing to a friend about how incredible the two Girl Who Looked Up sequences are. Great writing, beautiful story, powerful tie-ins to the main plot and characters. Truly one of the standout pieces of Oathbringer. And I realized that it is the perfect self-contained bit of visual storytelling to adapt for the screen.

We've talked before about how DMG owns film rights to the cosmere, and how despite the size of the story and world they appear to be trying for a Stormlight movie first. I wish them luck. But it occurred to me that to promote the project (either to filmmakers or to the general public) and/or to gauge interest, they could produce an animated short of The Girl Who Looked Up. It is a great way to showcase their artistic vision and their ability to adapt the material, and they could add all sorts of teases at the end about illusion magic or the Voidbringers or highstorms to serve as a hook. I know I would watch it over and over and over.

In fact, they could do a series of shorts around Wit's stories (Wandersail, Fleet, and Mishim), and possibly other in-worlds myths. 

The nice thing is that this gives them complete freedom of medium. It's a story being told in world, so the visual stole doesn't have to match their eventual film. CG, stop motion, illustration, live action, etc are all free game.

(It also gives us the possibility of getting something sooner, but that's just my excitement talking.)

Edited by ccstat
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A project like that would have tremendous appeal to existing Stormlight fans, but it would be hard to make the business case when trying to attract a broader audience.  Remember that, popular though Brandon's work is among fantasy readers, this is a TINY market compared to what a successful movie or TV series can reach.  So the goal of any film adaptation must be to reach people who have not previously heard of Brandon's work (and in doing so, give him a nice boost in book sales).

Thinking about it from that perspective, I'm not sure these stories are the place you'd want to start.  Much of their depth comes from the situation in which they are told and the many layers of worldbuilding ties and hints, but that would all be lost on a newcomer.  I suspect you'd want to start somewhere simple, easy to grasp, but also in some way intriguing enough to get the viewer hooked.

Not sure what that would be though, as the way WoK opens probably isn't it.  Brandon has talked about how that was an intentionally challenging start to the novel, trusting his audience to follow him through a lot of complexity before they found their feet and figured out what was going on.  A newbie film audience is very different from an experienced epic fantasy reader, so would need a different introduction to this world.

Maybe start with something like Dalinar and Elhokar on the Chasmfiend hunt?


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I think that DMG, if they have the rights to it, should do the Emperor's Soul. It's a totally self contained story that has an incredible amount of tension, the pacing is brilliant and could translate to a movie adaptation incredibly well, and the magic system also has a progressive build that would reel in people that aren't self-described fantasy fans.

For all of you talented aspiring writers out there, this is a challenge: Come up with an under 2 hr screen play for Emperor's soul. After your 7th draft, and possible 17th shard peer review, send it to team sanderson and see if they can sell it.

Brandon just needs one story to break through the gauzy barrier between written fiction and film before  every talent agent in LA and the world will be clamoring for more original stories.

I think that this is his most approachable, self-contained work that hints at a greater story. If this was directed by Terry Gilliam (specifically in the same style as the Fischer King) or Ridley Scott (blade runner, gritty, alien world, but well lit and well paced), this might be one of the greatest movies ever made. The story is there. All the conflict, mystery, growth, redemption, etc. that you could ever want from a single story is there and I think that if this were properly done, it would convert a legion of new fans to the Brandonverse.

Another pick for directors would be Christopher Nolan, because the breaking up the narrative into discrete days with a given timeline would be handled very well by him.

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