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  • Exalted TV series in development

    Per this tweet from Jenkins & Tate Entertainment, who're co-developing with Paradox, and also developing the Scion TV series.

    This doesn't necessarily mean it'll see the light of day, but still...


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  • #2
    I guess I could imagine an animated Exalted series, but I doubt that the audience exists for this.


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    • #3
      I'm curious what the plan is. I choose to be optimistic.

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      • #4
        I think the biggest red flag here is how little we've seen on the Scion TV show front. All we know about Scion right now is that it'll be set in the UK, and they made a prop signature weapon that looks pretty good. I can respect not getting ahead of themselves. A TV show even from an established IP can take a lot of time before its ready for any real meaningful previews. But J&T is (kinda like Onyx Path) a pretty small company even if started by experienced folks. It's strange to think they're going to have the resources to work on both shows at the same time.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Heavy Arms View Post
          It's strange to think they're going to have the resources to work on both shows at the same time.
          In this context, "development" has a specific, technical meaning. It's pre-pre-production, and involves things like initial story ideation, first draft of a script, market research, and roughing out a budget. It takes months or even years and there is often a *lot* of waiting.

          https://www.masterclass.com/articles...ilm-production

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          • #6
            I do get that. But J&T only has one writer on staff, and only one market researcher on staff (they're pretty much only have one of any specific job on staff, and it looks like a few people are wearing more than one hat). Like I said, it's a small company even if they're largely experienced people.

            Even if there's generally room to having multiple projects in the pipe-line, there's also a lot of potential overlap with two properties as related as Scion and Exalted are that limits how much they can use wait time on one for the other.

            There's also some differences between film and TV here where linking to a single film resource isn't entirely on point.

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            • #7
              I honestly can't imagine exalted as anything other than an animated series, and I sincerely hope that they do it. The world of exalted, if done right, can be an amazing cartoon.

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              • #8
                I'm not letting myself get too hyped about it, but I do hope it works out. I would prefer animation over live action though.


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                • #9
                  I think live-action is a lot more viable then is being given credit; esp. if you want to pay homage to the early wire work martial arts genres that helped define so much of Exalted's aesthetic (either directly or filtered through other media).

                  The Man with the Iron Fists is almost a decade old now, but it really showed off how modern CGI used judiciously (which has only gotten cheaper and better in the last decade) with a lot of traditional stunt work can sell some insanely over the top action. It was also made for a budge of ~15 million dollars, which is pretty low of a marital arts action movie with supernatural powers in it, and animation is not. I also think live action can get campy in a good way that can make some of the more ridiculous aspects of high fantasy fun instead. Even if you can't completely chalk it up to live-action vs. animation, there's a pretty direct comparison of the live-action Witcher series, and the animated movie that dropped recently.

                  I'd also argue that there's a lot more room in the live-action market. There isn't a big live-action fantasy series eating up space like GoT. The Witcher was popular. AMC's Into the Badlands had a rough start, but had two really strong seasons that showed an audience for a genre mashup action epic. Meanwhile there's a huge glut of fantasy animation out there, and even really good shows seemed to get canned fast (some of that is Netflix's business model making getting more than two seasons from them really hard).

                  Basically... I don't think we should sell live-action short here. A live action series that could deliver scenes like this is more than Exalted enough for me.

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                  • #10
                    Oh man... I remember that clip from the Bizarre and Improbable Weapons for Bizarre and Improbable Heroes thread, years ago. Of course Exalted would need CGI regardless, for the animas and magic and weird creatures. The good thing about live action is that Americans won't be inclined to write it off instantly as a "children's show", the way they do with animation*. Also, if you start with a newly Exalted Solar they'll begin with that sort of wuxia action, and only slowly build up into crazy bullshit glowing magic, so audiences will have some time for buy-in. Well, except with the Dragon-Blooded powers and animas.

                    The good news is that Babylon 5 started with an even tinier "company" and a miniscule budget, back in the days when CGI was new and kinda crappy, and that show still rocked my socks off for 5 years and 4 movies, even while competing against Star Trek. So it can be done even on a shoestring budget, providing they find a network (surely some cable or online channel would carry Exalted if J&T don't just put it on their own website).

                    I hope this happens, but I won't get my hopes up after so many previous disappointments.


                    * With horrible results for little kids when they watch something like Watership Down...
                    Last edited by Erinys; 09-01-2021, 08:46 PM.


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                    My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
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                    • #11
                      I think there's absolutely Exalted stories you can tell in live action but as much as it's the default plot of the game, focusing on the return of the Solar Exalted seems potentially a bit ambitious.

                      My hope is that it can be fun in its own right (even if the adaptation needs to be a little pragmatic in places) and people who enjoy it will be allowed to do so by the game's fanbase.


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                      • #12
                        I’m going to go even further and actually say that exalted would be much better as a live action show.

                        Outside of a very few cool cosplayers I’ve never seen live action exalted characters, but I’ve seen a bunch of anime style exalted art before. Just for the novelty of a professionally done full costume and effects production would be so novel. It might also serve to make things feel weightier and more epic. Like in Avatar the Last Airbender a lot of non-benders can just backflip over a house with no explanation because it’s just animated and seeing that doesn’t really look weird, to see it in live action though give an immediate trigger of “this is superhuman”.

                        I feel like being live action will help guard exalted against being kind of too trope-y? If that makes any sense? Like you’re less likely to have a set of main characters that consists of a Mary Sue main character, a tsundere young love interest, and a big gruff guy voiced by Chris Sabat* that only ever says “humph, let’s get on with it then” before stalking out of frame. I don’t think live action automatically has better writing and characters or anything, just that the type of bad writing that you see in bad anime has a lot of hooks to grab onto with Exalted’s setting.

                        Then again if it’s animated there’s a better chance of getting more epic spectacle


                        *who I think is great just to be clear

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                        • #13
                          That's what I was trying to get across with comparing the live-action Witcher series and the recent animated Witcher movie.

                          Because the big CGI fights in the live-action series are too expense to do all the time, they get used sparingly and the shows have more time making the characters interesting. It's not like the Witcher's main cast are terribly deep or innovative characters, but even within one or two episodes you get way more breathing room to show their individual quirks and personalities. The animated movie's fight scenes might be awesome and flashy, but they end up eating into the time needed to get you invested in the characters.

                          Sure the animated movie is a prequel and you know certain things have to happen in the plot, but (and I'm trying to be careful about spoilers) that doesn't mean you can't make the characters nuanced and add some creative twists along the way. As one of my friends put it: the most surprising thing about [Nightmare of the Wolf] is how unsurprising it is (even if we get Graham McTavish instead of Chris Sabat for the obvious role for the gruff man of few words).

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                          • #14
                            I could see Vampire the Masquerade as a TV show. The thing practically writes itself. Ventrue neonate protagonist. Eight hour long episodes. Every other episode introduces a new neonate, seasons 1 ends with them forming a coterie. A story of horror. Sexy vampires. Conspiracy. Bloodlust. Murder.

                            I would love to see Werewolf the Apocalypse as a TV show. It's the show that 21st century audiences don't know they need. Ecoterrorism. Anti-corporatism. Werewolves.

                            Pugmire sells itself.

                            Scion... would work really well. Onyx Path is an indie company (in the sense that Jack Black is an indie actor). The Scion team has a clear vision, and that vision is fit for TV. It's riding high on the back of American Gods and the MCU. You don't have to compromise the setting to have a show that American and Chinese audiences will lap up (providing the superhero censorship thing doesn't get any worse). Definitely will watch, but not expecting anything groundbreaking.

                            Exalted... Exalted... has Raksi serving up human babies at meal times. It has dinosaurs peeing heroin. Exalted has Manacle and Coin. Are you gonna put the game that published Houses of the Bull God on Netflix? The protagonists rip out human hearts and drink the blood before summoning demons. You're going to get the Exalted mythology past the CCP censorship board? You're going to get American, mainstream audiences, to watch a show that put a transman on its lead 3E book (and a black woman front and center before that)? Or you're going to pander with the gameline that pushed out Scroll of Swallowed Darkness? The right and the left will tear this show apart with manufactured outrage.

                            We might get a Man With The Iron Firsts generic kung fu series. Maybe. I'd rather watch an original kung fu show than a "pragmatic adaptation".

                            We're not going to get anything remotely resembling Exalted.

                            And if we did... the metaplot that the TV series will establish is going to be hundred times worse than the brainspiders RotSE induced. I love listening to The Fall of Jiara podcast, but the idea of taking an actual play and making it "canon" fills me with dread. And the idea of turning Exalted over to generic TV script-writers makes my blood run cold. This isn't about letting new fans enjoy a new thing (but, of course, I'm not going to give anyone a hard time for liking something that's not to my tastes), it's about the warping effect this is going to have on your games at your table.

                            Unless we get a show about where the best place to buy meat buns in Wain Jan is... which... I don't want to watch. (Yes, it will be nice to have Exalted associated with "slice of life" instead of "raptors in a F16", but we won't be playing -- we'll be spectating.)

                            I do not see how you can make Exalted work (as in be true to the source material, RY768, returning Solars), be interesting to watch on TV, and be a commercial success.

                            But, what do I know? I am not a TV executive. I am not an Exalted staffer. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. I don't want to be entirely negative about this, but I'm really struggling to see how this could possibly be a good thing.

                            I really, really, don't want this to happen. It fills me with anxiety. Please, can I not just enjoy an RPG without something like this or this sitting at two stars on Hulu? Do we really have to suffer watching Beloved Lotus Flower double Exalt from Dragon-Blooded to Solar on the small screen?

                            Paradox have literally decades of World of Darkness metaplot to adapt to TV. Make that.

                            [Edit]

                            Okay, that's come out really negative. I'm sorry. Let me try and close on something that isn't me dropping a douce on the franchise I profess to love.

                            Uh... Sell me, I guess?

                            What do y'all want to see from an Exalted TV show? What do you hope it's about? What are you looking forward to?
                            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 09-02-2021, 07:13 PM.


                            Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                            • #15
                              Actually depict the atrocities that inevitably follow imperialism, from the point of view of the colonized population, written by people from real world colonized cultures. Pull no punches. Don't try to justify "civilizing the savages" with BS about "the good they do despite all the genocide and rape camps." Don't apologize to Realm fans, let alone real-world white supremacists. Don't sugar coat a single thing. And show the Solars and/or Lunars kicking Dynast ass and even winning some of the time, without making them cardboard 100% Good by any modern or Christian definition. Made damn sure that white Exalted protagonists are NOT the saviors of brown NPCs. They should be the same "race" as the society they live in and defend.

                              Set the game in a satrapy or country-being-invaded-and-destroyed that doesn't exist in any canon book or on any map. Put it at least 500 miles from any canon location that people are using in their games, and never get specific about where it is besides the Direction and name-dropping distant neighbors. And keep the plot local in the 3E way, don't turn it into RotSE in the first place. The protagonists care about defending their homeland and the audience sees through their eyes what they are losing and what they are fighting for. They don't want to wander off to conquer Lookshy or Gethamane. They won't interfere with your game in [canon location].

                              It'll never happen, but I can dream. (Also, if the Dynasts all looked Chinese it would probably be misinterpreted as encouraging hate crimes against Asian Americans.) Hey, how do I pitch this idea for a book to the Dev team?


                              BTW, the Masquerade show was not canon and did change some things from the canon game. An Exalted show doesn't need to be canon, especially when 3E has entire Exalted Hosts who aren't canon.
                              Last edited by Erinys; 09-02-2021, 09:08 PM.


                              She/Her. I am literal-minded and write literally. If I don't say something explicitly, please never assume I implied it. The only exception is if I try to make a joke.
                              My point of view may be different from yours but is equally valid.
                              Exalted-cWoD-ArM url mega-library. Exalted name-generators, Exalted and WTA stuff from me and others.

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