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Elden Ring Mythos Created by GRRM

A spate of reports concerning the FromSoftware’s forthcoming RPG Elden Ring, as the developers have provided game journalists access to previews of the game and interviews with the developers. The game, from a developer already extremely famous for its Dark Souls series, added George R. R. Martin to its creative team when the game first entered development. Now, in an interview transcribed at The Verge, Yasuhiro Kitao from FromSoft reveals that GRRM’s participation was very early on and quite particular.

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A newly-released screenshot from Elden Ring.

GRRM and Redford Producing Dark Winds TV Series

Back in February, we connected some dots following our stumbling across Vince Gerardis’s Startling Inc. site listing a number of titles that he had in production and development. Among the items there was a note: “Dark Winds at AMC”. We speculated that this was based on Tony Hillerman’s crime novels and that GRRM was involved due to a post he made back in June 2018.

This is now all confirmed thanks to James Hibberd at The Hollywood Reporter:

“The network has ordered Dark Winds, which is based on author Tony Hillerman’s iconic Leaphorn & Chee books, which follow two Navajo police officers in the 1970s Southwest.

“The series is created and executive produced by Graham Roland (Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) and stars Zahn McClarnon (Fargo), who is also an executive producer, and Kiowa Gordon (The Red Road). Vince Calandra (Castle Rock) is the showrunner and also an executive producer. Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals) will direct the pilot and executive produce. Other executive producers include George R.R. Martin, Robert Redford, Tina Elmo and Vince Gerardis. In a rare move, the production has secured permission to film on tribal lands in New Mexico.”

There’s also a statement from GRRM that Hibberd reports, indicating that Chris Eyre (who directed the accoladed film Smoke Signals) and Robert Redford(!) reached out to ask him to become involved and help bring Hillerman’s Leaphorn & Chee series to television.

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Zach McClarnon as Hanzee Dent in the 2nd season of Fargo

Elden Ring Release Date and Trailer

Elden Ring, a game from Dark Souls-developer FromSoftware whose world and story was created in collaboration with George R. R. Martin, now has a release date: January 21st, 2022.  A trailer was also revealed showing some of the gameplay and the amazing environment and character design that FromSoftware is famous for:

The game was first announced this month two years ago, and Hidetaka Miyazaki sat for an interview that discussed just how and why GRRM got involved (TL;DR: he’s a fan of his work from well before A Song of Ice and Fire).

Game of Thrones Comes to Broadway

Well, more correctly, it sounds like something from A Song of Ice and Fire is coming to Broadway, as HBO is not formally involved in any way (but has the option to invest)...

You may remember this post from a month ago, where we stumbled across Vince Gerardis’s website for Startling Inc., which listed a project called “A Song of Ice and Fire with The Works” as being in development. Interestingly, we checked a couple of days ago, and that reference was gone. But the project was not, in fact, dead. It is, in fact, very much alive. Producers Simon Painter and Tim Lawson (of, ahem, The Works Entertainment; although, notably, The Works is not named in the piece, while Kilburn Live is… so perhaps this is a project they’re doing separately from their company?) are working from a story provided by George R.R. Martin to write a spectacular stage play—targetting, New York’s Broadway, London’s West End, and Australia—concerning the events at the Tourney at Harrenhal.

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Wild Cards RPG Stream and Live Auction

George R.R. Martin’s Stagecoach Foundation has teamed up with Legion M for a unique virtual event bringing together a number of Wild Cards authors (Melinda Snodgrass, Walter Jon Williams, Carolne Spector, Carrie Vaughn, and Max Gladsone) to livestream a Wild Cards gaming session which aired last night. On top of that, tonight will see a live auction stream for a number of donated items covering Wild Cards, A Song of Ice and Fire, comics, a one hour chat with noted game designer Warren Spector (Deus Ex) and even a private tour of Meow Wolf’s forthcoming Denver experience.

The streaming schedule and more information can be found at Legion M’s event page, while the full list of items for auction can be found at Bidpal.

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GRRM on Sandkings, Winds of Winter, and More

It’s one of those days again, it seems. Shortly after we shared news on the status of the Wild Cards TV adaptation, George R.R. Martin posted his own update. The first was an item we had forgotten to post an update about, namely that just after we revealed that Sandkings was in development at Netflix, by sheer coincidence Collider had learned in an interview that director Gore Verbinski (Rango, Pirates of the Caribbean) was set to direct it, with screenwriter Dennis Kelly (Utopia) writing the script for the high-budget film adaptation of the famous, award-winning science fiction horror story.

George goes on to fill in some details on some other projects, some of which touch on things we recently revealed.

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Screenshot from the 1995 Outer Limits adaptation of “Sandkings”. The “castle” features the face of Dr. Simon Kress, played by Beau Bridges in the episode.

Background for Wild Cards Move to Peacock

About two weeks ago, we were the first to report that the long-gestating Wild Cards TV adaptation, originally set for Hulu, had moved to NBCUniversal’s Peacock. Now The Hollywood Reporter has filled in the blanks, providing details of what Hulu did with the project, why it moved from Hulu to Peacock, and what its current status is since the lead writer has moved on, and a new writer is currently being searched for.

Some salient quotes below:

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Cover art by Brian Bolland for a re-release of the first edition.

Roadmarks, Lost Lands Developing

UPDATE on March 4, 2021: George R.R. Martin has posted about the development of In the Lost Lands.

“Some recent piece of development news regarding George R.R. Martin has slipped out the last couple of days. First, GRRM and Kalinda Vazquez are set to develop Roger Zelazny’s novel Roadmark for HBO. A science fiction/fantasy blend, the basic concept is of a mysterious, endless road that travereses time, space, and alternate realities that travelers can use to explore and even try to change the past, present, and future.

Martin has posted about it at his “Not a Blog”, noting that it was one of five pitches he made to HBO as part of his overall development deal with them, all of them based on notable works of science fiction and fantasy that he believed could work well adapted. Vince Gerardis, who helped package Game of Thrones, will also have a co-executive credit.

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George R.R. Martin Sues for Rights to The Skin Trade

Last week, it was reported that George R.R. Martin has filed suit in the Los Angeles Superior Court against Blackstone Manor, LLC, the company that holds the rights to producing “The Skin Trade”, his award-winning 1988 horror novella. According to reports of the suit, it’s alleged that on the day before its option lapsed, Blackstone Manor threw together a skeleton crew and filmed “a few scenes” to try and claim rights to “The Skin Trade” in perpetuity, an act which Martin’s lawyers suggest is tantamount to an “artifice”, a “token production” insufficient to retain the rights.

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A Guide to King’s Landing

The second in the series of travelogue videos we’ve made in collaboration with Random House—you can see the first here if you missed it—is now out! Leaving the far North, Linda and I now discuss the royal city of King’s Landing, with some notes on notable architecture and cuisine!

Three more to come in the coming weeks!

GRRM on Mice, TV, and Writing The Winds of Winter

In a new Not a Blog post titled “Writing, Reading, Writing”, GRRM has written from his cabin hideaway about his isolation during the global pandemic. In the course of being up there, his assistant captured two mice that they’ve now made into pets named Timmy and TomTom, and George notes they have not been too helpful in advising him on The Winds of Winter...

... but he actually has a deal to say about the progress he has made, even if he thinks he won’t be able to recapture the blazing rate of speed in which he wrote A Storm of Swords (which peaked at about 150 manuscript pages a month).

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Here’s what he has to say:

“If nothing else, the enforced isolation has helped me write.  I am spending long hours every day on THE WINDS OF WINTER, and making steady progress.  I finished a new chapter yesterday, another one three days ago, another one the previous week.  But no, this does not mean that the book will be finished tomorrow or published next week.  It’s going to be a huge book, and I still have a long way to go.  Please do not give any credence to any of the click-bait websites that like to parse every word of my posts as if they were papal encyclicals to divine hidden meanings.”

And below the fold, here’s some additional details that are slightly spoilerish in nature:

Elden Ring Game Announced

At the XBox E3 briefing, where Microsoft highlights many games coming to their console as well as to PC, the rumored announcement of Elden Ring—a brand new fantasy game from From Software (Dark Souls, Sekiro)—came to pass. The company’s famed president, Hidetaka Miyazaki, is cited as creator of the world ... as is none other than George R.R. Martin, who recently revealed that he was consulting on a game out of Japan.

We haven’t seen an official press release as of yet (other than a vague, leaked one), but THR reports that “the new action role-playing game centers on Viking warriors in a fantastical reimagining of Norse mythology.”

No release date exists for the game, but it will reportedly release on PS4 as well as XBox and Windows PCs.

GRRM on the Show and the Books

Over at Not a Blog, George R.R. Martin has shared thoughts on the close of Game of Thrones, how it might be compared to his plans for the final two novels in A Song of Ice and Fire, and more. Well worth a read as a reminiscence and commentary for those who wonder about these things. It’s been a long road for George, for everyone who worked on or covered the show, and for the tens (hundreds?) of millions around the world who’ve watched it.

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I had the great privilege to accompany George and Parris to a visit to the set as the first season filmed (the image above comes from that visit, George and I moving down a dark hallway in the Paint Hall studio, led by Bryan Cogman to one of the several sets in that colossal space).

Starport Review
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(Disclosure: Linda and I have known Raya Golden since she she gave us a ride to and from the Chateau Marmont for a party during the 2006 Worldcon in Anaheim. Surviving the inevitable L.A. traffic jam and wondering who that starlet who passed us at the entrance was was a bonding experience never to be forgotten.)

Starport, a massive 272 page graphic novel, is Raya Golden‘s adaptation of George R.R. Martin‘s unproduced pilot script of the same name. Featuring the travails of Chicago’s police force and the many different alien species who come to visit its starport (one of three built on Earth by the league known as the Harmony of Worlds). Martin himself pitched it to studios as “Hill Street Blues meets aliens”, while Golden has suggested more contemporary pairings—“Brooklyn 99 meets Babylon 5... the cast of NYPD Blue on acid, playing laser tag with Alf,” and those are all pretty apt comparisons for the tone of this adaptation. Humor comes first, but as with all of Martin’s work there’s other elements—drama, romance, and even a wee bit of horror.

Discussing Manuscript Culture in Fire and Blood

Yes, finally, a video about Fire and Blood ... and it’s about a topic that, I suspect, was not an obvious one to talk about for most. But for me, this particular detail is potentially the single biggest piece of world-building in the entirety of the text. And it’s all because of A Caution for Young Girls.

If you already know the gist of what the Caution is, and what manuscript culture is, jump to the 14 minute mark where I attempt to pull all the pieces together to explain why I think this is such a noteworthy expansion of our understanding of the setting. Also, as noted, the second segment had a recording issue and so I had to use a secondary audio source which doesn’t sound as nice as the rest; apologies about that!