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‘The Kingkiller Chronicle’ Will Mark Sam Raimi’s Return To Filmmaking

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It’s been quite some time since Sam Raimi helmed a feature film, but the man behind Evil Dead (and Evil Dead 2, and Army of Darkness) and Spider-Man (and Spider-Man 2, and Spider-Man 3) could return to the director’s chair sooner than we expected.

According to Variety, Raimi is in talks to direct a feature film based on Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle, a popular series of fantasy novels about an orphan who grows up to become a famous musician. Lionsgate, who holds the rights to Rothfuss’ series, has been developing multiple Kingkiller Chronicle projects for several years—the company secured the rights to the series in 2015 and immediately announced its intention to pursue feature film, television, and video game Kingkiller adaptations.

In 2016, Lionsgate also announced that Hamilton mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda will serve as creative producer for the entire Kingkiller franchise, a role that involves writing original music for Kingkiller’s instrument-playing protagonist, Kvothe. But the Raimi news, as well as news that writer Lindsey Beer will helm the script, is a promising indication that the ambitious Kingkiller project series is finally starting to come together.

And Lionsgate should probably get the ball rolling sooner rather than later. Although the planned film will only cover the first novel in the Kingkiller series, The Name of the Wind, and the events of the television series will take place before the first novel, Rothfuss has been teasing a third addition to his two-part series for a while. Hopefully Raimi and Miranda’s grand ideas won’t get completely discredited if and when Rothfuss decides to drop a new book.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Lin-Manuel Miranda is currently one of the busiest men in Hollywood—in addition to the Kingkiller projects, Miranda’s been popping up on Curb Your Enthusiasm, starring alongside Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins returns, and casually dropping remixed Hamilton hits like it’s no tomorrow.

On the other hand, Raimi has been relatively quiet as of late, apart from his ongoing involvement with the Ash vs Evil Dead television show. We have no doubt that Raimi has the chops to direct a film with a budget and scope as large as Kingkiller’s will inevitably be—he did direct what many still agree is the best Spider-Man movie franchise to date, after all.  But the last film Raimi directed was Oz the Great and Powerful, which was shot in 2011 and came out two years later, in 2013. With that in mind, we’re curious to see if and how Raimi’s directing sensibilities have changed after taking nearly seven years off when the Kingkiller Chronicle movie gets underway.