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Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere universe could be the next big fantasy film series

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Hot on the heels of buying the movie rights of Ken Liu’s The Grace of KingsVariety reports that China-based DMG Entertainment is back with a potentially bigger purchase: the movie rights to Brandon Sanderson’s massive interconnected epic fantasy Cosmere universe.

Sanderson is one of fantasy’s biggest and most prolific authors

Sanderson is one of fantasy’s biggest and most prolific authors, and most of his separate book series actually take place in a larger setting, known as the Cosmere, with individual works taking place on separate planets with unique magic systems in different parts of the universe.

The overall Cosmere universe includes Sanderson’s popular Stormlight Archive and Mistborn series, the standalone Warbreaker and Elantris novels, the White Sands graphic novels, and a variety of novellas. And while the earlier books in the series have tended to be more independent of one another, with only the occasional character crossing over from one book or series to the next, as Sanderson has progressed the links between the books have gotten more connected with storylines beginning to intermix.

As opposed to series like The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, which feature what Sanderson refers to as "soft magic" systems that tend to shift to suit the needs of a given story, Sanderson’s hallmark in his books are to write highly developed "hard" magic systems that have explicitly defined rules and logic to follow. So while the The Way of Kings' Knights Radiant wield different storm-based magics and Mistborn’s Allomancers receive power by ingesting different metals, each system has defined parameters and limitations. What’s more, since the universe is interconnected, all of these different intricate magic systems all are based on a common origin, allowing them to interact with each other in interesting permutations.

It’s easy to see why the Cosmere universe would be a sought after property

In today’s entertainment industry, where the success of Marvel’s overarching cinematic universe is the gold standard to emulate, it’s easy to see why the Cosmere universe would be a sought after property. Like the different lines of Marvel comics the movies are based on, each Cosmere series and story is meant to stand on its own. But the overall story is enhanced for fans who follow all the parts of the saga, who get to see their favorite characters cross paths and, of course, have the all important Avengers-esque team-up.

For now, DMG is focused on adapting the first Stormlight Archive novel, The Way of Kings; Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan are set as screenwriters, while Brandon Sanderson and Joshua Bilmes will serve as executive producers. The company is also planning to adapt the first Mistborn book, Mistborn: The Final Empire, but has yet to announce any members of the production team.