Sam Raimi is in talks with Lionsgate to direct the upcoming adaptation of Pat Rothfuss’ New York Times bestseller The Kingkiller Chronicle. Based on the popular fantasy series about a wandering adventurer named Kvothe whose tragic upbringing leads him to notoriety, Raimi will helm the first film in the planned trilogy, titled The Name of the Wind. However, it’s unclear whether or not Raimi will maintain involvement throughout all three films in the trilogy.
Lionsgate is taking a bold and innovative direction with this adaptation, releasing the films concurrently with a Kingkiller Chronicles television series on Showtime, as well as an interactive game. Since Rothfuss’ series is written in both novel and novella formats, this unconventional structure will tie into the novel’s equally unconventional narrative structure, conveying the plot through multiple mediums. Raimi will be pairing up with Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has been attached to this project since 2016 and will serve as executive producer on both the film and the series.
According to Variety, the announcement of Raimi’s involvement comes courtesy of his reps at CAA, though Lionsgate has not commented on the news. Also, considering the vastness of the overarching project, it is unclear whether or not Raimi will direct any episodes of the series, nor if he is expected to be involved with the series in any capacity at all. The screenplay is being penned by one of Transformers: The Last Knight’s screenwriters Lindsey Beer.
While Raimi’s involvement has been all but confirmed, Miranda’s creative role is especially significant, considering the important role that music plays in the novel (the main character, Kvothe, is a skilled lute player). In fact, while writing the songs for his Tony award-winning musical Hamilton, Miranda cited Rothfuss’ novel as inspiration, tweeting, “The Story Of Tonight is me trying to capture the feel of Kvothe & his friends leaving the Eaolian.”
This will mark Raimi and Miranda’s first working relationship together, but not Raimi’s first foray into the fantasy genre. He currently serves as producer and creator on the Starz series Ash vs. the Evil Dead, based on his Evil Dead film series starring Bruce Campbell; in 2013, he directed Oz the Great and Powerful starring James Franco; and between 2002 and 2007, he directed the Spider-Man trilogy starring Tobey Maguire. Considering his experience in the genre, as well as the cult status of his earlier work, Raimi could potentially help draw in a more creatively diverse crowd to this ambitious collaboration outside of the series’ loyal fanbase.
The Name of the Wind has no official release date.
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