DMG Nabs Rights to Brandon Sanderson’s ‘Cosmere’ Book Universe in Massive Deal (EXCLUSIVE)

Brandon Sanderson
Will Ireland/Future Publishing/REX/Shutterstock

Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan to write script for first film.

DMG Entertainment has nabbed film and licensing rights to “Cosmere,” Brandon Sanderson’s acclaimed series of interconnected fantasy novels. The entertainment and media company has committed to spending $270 million, which will cover half of the money needed to back the first three movies made from Sanderson’s canon. That makes it one of the largest literary deals of the year. DMG beat out several interested parties for rights to the series. As part of the pact, insiders say Sanderson will receive a minimum guarantee on each film that is produced, as well as a rich backend, allowing the author to make millions.

The “Cosmere” comprises the bulk of Sanderson’s writings, with DMG likening it to acquiring a comic book universe rather than a single book franchise. The books are a mixture of sci-fi and fantasy, and they unfold in a number of different worlds and time periods, but are unified by an intricate system of magic that drives the plots.

DMG is fast-tracking an adaptation of Sanderson’s “The Way of Kings,” the first in the author’s series, “The Stormlight Archive,” and has hired screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the writing team behind several “Saw” films, to adapt the book. DMG founder Dan Mintz will produce the film, with Sanderson and Joshua Bilmes serving as executive producers. DMG also intends on simultaneously adapting the first book in Sanderson’s “Mistborn” series. It has yet to decide on a screenwriter for the project.

Sanderson’s books’ global sales top 10 million copies, making him one of the few top-selling authors without a produced movie of his work.

“DMG is all about global entertainment brands built cinematically for the worldwide audience, and Sanderson’s library of present and future material provides one of the greatest story and character universes ever created,” said Mintz in a statement.

“The people at DMG aren’t just producers or financiers. They’re fans,” Sanderson said in a statement. “From the first moment we met, I knew they understood my vision and goals for the Cosmere, and I’ve been excited to work with them in bringing their vision for the universe to the screen.”

DMG has a publicly-listed Chinese arm, DMG Yinji, that gives it access to the world’s second-largest film market. It has been very active acquiring literary properties, recently nabbing Ken Liu’s “Grace of Kings” trilogy. The studio’s upcoming projects include John Curran’s political drama “Chappaquiddick,” the Felicity Jones and Nicholas Hoult thriller “Collide,” and the Ed Helms and Owen Wilson comedy “Bastards.”

Melton and Dunstan’s upcoming projects include “Scary Stories” at CBS, as well as “The Reckoning,” a pitch the pair sold recently  Paramount with Platinum Dunes producing and Michael Chaves directing.

Tor Books is Sanderson’s publisher. He is represented by Debbie Deuble-Hill and Steve Fisher at APA, Joshua Bilmes at JABberwocky, and attorney Matt Sugarman at Weintraub Tobin. Paradigm’s David Boxerbaum, Underground’s Trevor Engelson, and attorney Dave Feldman represent Melton and Dunstan.

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  3. Vicky Hopper says:

    So excited! I’m glad they are fans of the series, too. Hopefully that means they will follow the book and get it right!

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  5. R Givens says:

    “screenwriters Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan, the writing team behind several “Saw” films”

    Why would you pick the guys who wrote the Saw movies for this?

  6. Drew N says:

    Only the first 2 Stormlight books have been released since 2010, out of a planned 10. I hope they plan on cancelling it after the 3rd season because I sure as hell don’t want the story to be ruined on TV 15 years before the books finish. Literally impossible to avoid spoilers if they cover his whole plan.

  7. mulrich says:

    I love Sanderson’s books but I’m not sure how easily most of them will convert to movies. His Legion books on the other hand would make a great TV series.

  8. Why start with Sanderson’s most massive books, ones that will need to be chopped down the most, and a series that will span 10 plus volumes? Mistborn would be an easier undertaking, would fit the young-adult movie trend, and could survive with just one movie if needed.

    • William says:

      Well, if the movie is produced with an ounce of intelligence they would create each movie using a three-part mini series similar to the 2000 remake of Dune thus persevering the level of detail that makes it such a wonderful novel.

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  10. producer says:

    Sanderson rocks! Love his stuff. Great fodder for films. Super exciting. Finally Hollywood has the right idea to get peeps excited about going to the movies again.

  11. Kaladin says:

    SAY THE WORDSSSSSSS “This will bomb!!!” I SUMMON MY SHARD BLADE AND WANT SHEER THE LIFE OUT OF THIS DECISION. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD this is a terrible choice. Saw directors? Do not disgrace these epic stories with those bums. Whoever made this choice needs to reconsider ever one of their life decisions that led them to think this was acceptable. Oh yes remade horror garbage = epic fantasy come to life! Yes Yes… I can see the success and money piling up now! Oh wait NO. Please. Please hire another writing team that has the chops to do this right. Hell hire me and I could do a better job and I’d be cheaper. I’m not joking.

  12. Noah says:

    This is going to be awful. You couldn’t find better writers than the guys who wrote Saw 4 5 and 6??

  13. I was really hoping most of Sanderson’s works would be produced as TV shows. A movie is an awfully short medium for properly telling these stories. And just imagine what will happen with the Stormlight Archive. We only have two books so far and if the movies start soon, the actors may age a lot by the end.

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