Kingkiller Chronicle TV show

The Kingkiller Chronicle TV show is dead at Showtime, but it’s hoping to live long enough to sing another day elsewhere.

The fantasy TV series, set a generation before the events of the first book in Patrick Rothfuss’s acclaimed novels, has been in development for years with the multi-talented Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, Mary Poppins Returns) on board as both a creative producer and musical mastermind. (Music plays a large part in the books.) But now Showtime has let the project revert back to rights holder Lionsgate TV, and the company is on the hunt for a new home for The Kingkiller Chronicle.

In a special edition of his Hollywood newsletter The Ankler, writer Richard Rushfield broke the news that The Kingkiller Chronicle TV series is parting ways with Showtime. Rushfield points out that Showtime was caught in a parent company merger between CBS and Viacom, Kingkiller has potential production costs of at least one million dollars per season, and the live-action Halo TV show’s budget continues to rise, all resulting in the decision to let this show get away. Deadline says Lionsgate TV has produced multiple scripts for the show and is shopping it around to other potential outlets, including the upcoming AppleTV+ service.

As far as we know, John Rogers (Leverage, The Player) is still on board as the showrunner for the potential series, which is being referred to as “a subversive origin story of legendary proportions set a generation before the events of the trilogy’s first novel, The Name of the Wind.” Here’s the description from a press release:

Set in the world of the wildly popular fantasy series by Rothfuss, THE KINGKILLER CHRONICLE will follow a pair of wandering performers on their adventures through the unique and startling world of Temerant, immersing audiences in a universe of unexpected heroes, mystical places, and terrifying dark forces. It is a world that has delighted readers and critics alike, selling more than 10 million copies in 35 languages across the globe.

The book series tells the story of Kvothe, a musician and adventurer who is orphaned at a young age and learns the arts of magic, survival, acting, swordsmanship, and more. I’ve read the first book in the series and while it follows a familiar “hero’s journey” template, it’s a fun read, set in a world that would be fascinating to see translated into a visual medium. Lionsgate TV also thinks there’s lots of potential there, because they’re currently developing not only the prequel show, but at least one live-action film (set to be directed by Sam Raimi) and video games as well, all of which Miranda will oversee and create music for.

As for the book series, it’s currently comprised of two novels, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear, with a third book, The Doors of Stone, still to be released.

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