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7 Books From Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere That Deserve Movies After Mistborn


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Summary

  • Mistborn film adaptation progress delayed by strikes but still underway, according to Brandon Sanderson’s Reddit post.
  • Brandon Sanderson released four novels in 2024, including The Sunlit Man set in the space age of the Cosmere.
  • The Stormlight Archive, a sprawling epic set on the planet Roshar, may benefit from a TV adaptation due to its long-term character development and detailed worldbuilding.

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Mistborn is a beloved fantasy novel with a film currently in development, and there are several other connected fantasy stories in the Cosmere for Hollywood to adapt. The Cosmere is a fantasy universe spread out through two main book series and a handful of standalone novels, expanding year by year through the growing popularity of record-breaking author Brandon Sanderson. Given the expanding market of the fantasy genre in Hollywood following Game of Thrones, Sanderson has constantly received questions regarding the state of his books being adapted into films and has been open about discussing them when he can.

In an August 2022 livestream, Sanderson announced progress toward a film adaptation of Mistborn, saying, “I would be surprised if we are not on set doing things this time next year.” Unfortunately, like many other projects, progress was affected by the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, as in August 2023, nothing was being shot. Sanderson has since taken to Reddit to assure fans that the project is still underway, though there’s no definitive timetable. He’s since been busy working on completing book five of The Stormlight Archive and hosting the Dragonsteel Convention, so there’s plenty for Cosmere lovers to look forward to.

7 The Sunlit Man

The Sunlit Man could explore the sci-fi future of the Cosmere.

The Sunlit Man Brandon Sanderson Cover

Brandon Sanderson released four novels in 2024, three of which told original, one-off stories from different corners of the Cosmere. Referred to as the “Secret Projects,” the novels were released throughout the year, with The Sunlit Man as the final installment in October. Set on the planet Canticle, the latest book is set in the space age of the Cosmere. The Sunlit Man contains story elements established in The Stormlight Archive, and if Brandon Sanderson’s novels were expanded into a larger multimedia universe, the story could be an exciting film later on in the franchise.

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6 Yumi And The Nightmare Painter

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter could be a visually stunning Cosmere anime.

Brandon Sanderson Yumi and the Nightmare Painter Cover

Yumi and the Nightmare Painter was the third of Brandon Sanderson’s secret projects, though it differs from The Sunlit Man as it’s considered fiction within the Cosmere. Yumi and the Nightmare Painter is an in-world story told by Hoid, a recurring character in Sanderson’s universe. The story takes place on the planet Komashi, following two characters who become spiritually bound to one another in different locations. The novel is perfect for an anime adaptation, which could denote it as a story-within-a-story in the Cosmere.

5 Elantris

Brandon Sanderson’s first novel could be a fantastic movie or miniseries.

Elantris Brandon Sanderson Cover Art

Brandon Sanderson’s first novel was Elantris, and while it doesn’t hold up as his best writing style-wise, it’s still a riveting story. The novel takes place on the planet Sel and features the author’s signature worldbuilding, character development, and intriguing magic system. He explored the planet further in the novella The Emperor’s Soul, and Sanderson plans to continue the story of Elantris years later with an upcoming sequel. One of the biggest challenges the Mistborn movie faces is having to condense material due to time constraints, meaning both might be better suited for a TV series.

4 Warbreaker

Warbreaker could be pulled off with a lower budget than other Sanderson projects.

Warbreaker Brandon Sanderson Cover Art

Another standalone novel, Warbreaker, takes place on the planet Nalthis. The novel follows two sister princesses, Vivenna and Siri, where the latter is sent off in a political marriage in the former’s place, switched unexpectedly after years of planning. Warbreaker has one of Sanderson’s most subtle magic systems, which wouldn’t require as much CGI as Mistborn or The Stormlight Archive. The standalone could make for an excellent film with a lower budget than his more significant titles.

3 Tress Of The Emerald Sea

Sanderson’s Tress of the Emerald Sea is perfect for animation.

Brandon Sanderson Tress of the Emerald Sea Cover Art

The first of Brandon Sanderson’s secret projects was Tress of the Emerald Sea, one of 2023’s most popular new fantasy books. Like Yumi and the Nightmare Painter, Tress of the Emerald Sea is considered fiction within the Cosmere, as it’s an in-world story told by Hoid. It’s one of the author’s most vibrant and colorfully imaginative novels, filled with world-building for the larger universe. Tress could work perfectly as a one-off animation film, embellishing the hypothetical movie universe with some stylistic and artistically inventive.

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Vin and Elend’s romance will be a compelling subplot of a Mistborn movie, but there’s one change that needs to happen for their relationship to work.

2 Mistborn: Era 2

Mistborn’s Wax and Wayne sequels could make for riveting buddy-cop Western movies.

The scope of the Cosmere goes beyond the scale of just the planets and universe. Brandon Sanderson is setting up a story that will progress through time. Mistborn is the first to enter its second era, with a third on the way. Over three hundred years after the first trilogy, the events on the planet Scadrial pick up in The Alloy of Law. In the book’s acknowledgments, Sanderson explains, “I wanted to move away from the idea of fantasy worlds as static places, where millennia would pass and technology would never change.”

In the second Mistborn era, also referred to as the Wax and Wayne series, named after its central buddy cop duo, technology has evolved. Allomancers wield 19th century-era weapons and technology meant to resemble the Western genre. Wax and Wayne are perfect for the big screen as two fast-talking heroes who aren’t used to playing by the book. Unlike the original trilogy, the books in Mistborn: Era 2 are quick reads, perfect for short, action-packed, movie adaptations with engaging overarching narrative.

Related

Mistborn’s Ending Presents 1 Major Obstacle For A Movie Adaptation

Though excitement is high for the Mistborn book series to be adapted to film, the first book’s ending could be a big problem for the movie adaptation.

1 The Stormlight Archive

Brandon Sanderson’s epic, The Stormlight Archive, could be the next big fantasy movie or show.

Brandon Sanderson’s most expansive and celebrated book series is The Stormlight Archive, a sprawling epic set on the planet Roshar. Currently consisting of four hefty novels, this series may actually benefit from a television adaptation rather than a film, as much of its value comes from long-term character development and detailed worldbuilding. Each book in the series is over 1,000 pages, and the time is well spent exploring various perspectives as the conflict ensues.

The Stormlight Archive is based in a world of mystical properties where a king has been assassinated, igniting a war. High Prince Dalinar Kholin, the late king’s younger brother, is tasked by an unknown higher power to unite his nephew’s kingdom and the greater world of Roshar in preparation for an existential threat. Shallan Davar, a young woman from a minor noble house, is on a mission to steal a magical device to restore her family’s wealth and position. Kaladin, a young military man, is forced into slavery and must fight to survive with cunning and leadership as his greatest weapons.

It becomes apparent quickly that all three characters have a part to play in the conflict to come. Sanderson weaves an enormous narrative where characters, beloved and hated, intertwine throughout Roshar, building toward larger mysteries and exploring his mythology on a planetary and universal scale. Mistborn may have come first, but The Stormlight Archive is Brandon Sanderson’s masterpiece, and it will soon make for a great film or TV series.

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