szilard

The Wheel of Time Will Be Adapted as a TV Series

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On 11/8/2017 at 9:29 AM, mdnyttokr said:

I have a VERY tenuous and indirect connection to... someone at Sony Pictures Television Studios (more of a "I know someone who knows someone"), and that person is bringing this monster of a show to television.  Acknowledging that, you can choose to believe me or not.  This probably isn't even really news.

 

 

I knew someone who worked at Newline when they were doing the Lord of the Rings movies -- a lot of what he told me was covered up by PR but came out later in on the DVD's, making of books etc. about various setbacks and problems. I knew the cast before it was announced and that Stuart Townsend had left and a lot of details, he saw the "sizzle reel" before it played at Cannes and described it to me etc. At the time I thought, "Well, he's kind of a peripheral acquaintance, I don't know if any of this is accurate." Turns out it was all factual! So, keep that connection :) You never know! 

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That information seems in line with what we know. Sony are taking the project seriously - far more seriously than Dark Tower, thankfully - but they have not joined forces with a studio/network production partner yet, so that is the biggest problem to be overcome.

 

My understanding is that, frustratingly, Sony were very close to signing a deal with Amazon but Amazon then asked for a delay. During that time the Lord of the Rings prequel project came up and Amazon went with that instead. Them making Wheel of Time as well as LotR is unlikely, as I understand it, so the WoT project went back out to the networks. This has caused problems because a lot of the other studios have signed up other fantasy projects in the meantime.

 

So to recap, HBO are out because of GoT and the spin-off project; Showtime are out because of the Kingkiller Chronicle prequel project; Netflix are probably out because of The Witcher; AMC likely won't provide a big enough budget; Starz are less likely to commit because of their immense expenditure on American Gods and Outlander; Paramount/Spike already have Shannara; Amazon have the Lord of the Rings series; SyFy don't have enough money (they had to cancel Dark Matter to afford Nightflyers) and so forth.

 

There are some interesting options on the table. Apple TV really need a big flagship project to spearhead their invasion of the TV space and don't have one yet. Netflix may feel that the relative small scale of The Witcher means they have scope and time for a bigger project as well. FX are a pretty good possibility, especially now they've been bought by Disney. Disney could also decide that WoT is a good match for Hulu or their new adult streaming service launching in 2019 (with a new Marvel show and the first-ever Star Wars live action TV series). Starz may decide to plump for a third big series, especially with American Gods' future in doubt. We may also see CBS All Access getting in on the act. They have deep pockets but they also need more content for the streaming service: Star Trek Discovery is popular but one show isn't going to keep interest going.

 

Another interesting piece of information: Sony have been quietly developing a TV series based on Joe Abercrombie's First Law fantasy seriesFirst Law is much darker and grimmer than WoT, so this may be a sign that Sony are interested in developing multiple fantasy projects with different focuses. But there must be a concern that if First Law moves forward, their focus may shift to that. I don't believe that's likely, as WoT was far more expensive (eight figures for the rights) and has a far higher global profile, but it may be something worth bearing in mind.

 

On the plus side, WoT showrunner Rafe Judkins has tweeted that he is working on the books for the adaptation, which may be a sign that something is going on behind the scenes.

 

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One more thing. I was sent a few pictures of GOT this afternoon, and I had to ask the sender that who are these people, because I had no idea that 30+ years old actors are playing the teens.

 

There were no 30+ actors playing the teens. The oldest age difference I believe were Kit Harington and Richard Madden, who were both 23, playing 14-year-olds who'd been canonically aged up to around 18 in the show. Of course, the show has been on the air for 7 years so Harington is 30 now, but they explain that in the show by having the series cover a lot longer period of time than the books.

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who were both 23, playing 14-year-olds who'd been canonically aged up to around 18 in the show. Of course, the show has been on the air for 7 years so Harington is 30 now, but they explain that in the show by having the series cover a lot longer period of time than the books.

 

In other words: it's a joke-adaptation.

 

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On the plus side, WoT showrunner Rafe Judkins has tweeted that he is working on the books for the adaptation, which may be a sign that something is going on behind the scenes.

 

I hope that he will not pull a Carmen http://news.trust.org/item/20180103181731-3nm1m/

 

But I really don't understand this new 'development'. Without a studio/network, how can he do anything? He cannot plan anything without knowing the finacial backgrounds etc. And why now? What's he done so far? Is he working totally alone? Or there's a team? Judging by the condition of the books he went to a bookstore and bought a stripped book a few days ago and that's it...

 

Sony truly does take things seriously... 

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In other words: it's a joke-adaptation.

 

 

Because they can't stop the actors ageing? That's going to be a problem for WoT. In fact, even moreso. It's possible to very likely that the show will have 18 month gaps between seasons assuming a high production quality. Assuming 7 seasons, it'll possibly take 10-11 years to get the show done. So any actors they start with in their late teens or early twenties will be in the late twenties or early thirties by the time it's done. There's no realistic way around that.

 

 

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But I really don't understand this new 'development'. Without a studio/network, how can he do anything? He cannot plan anything without knowing the finacial backgrounds etc. And why now? What's he done so far? Is he working totally alone? Or there's a team? Judging by the condition of the books he went to a bookstore and bought a stripped book a few days ago and that's it...

 

 

Sony have been talking about making their shows themselves and then selling the finished product to networks, rather than teaming with a network in the first place. That would make sense as they nearly did that for the Dark Tower TV series, so WoT would be a logical way of handling the situation. I know Sony felt burned on their experiences working alongside AMC on Breaking Bad which led them to that idea, but then again their experience on Better Call Saul has been a lot better so they might have retreated from the idea. But certainly as part of the process of selling the show to a network, they'll need completed scripts, a series bible, an outline for the series overall, notes on the characters etc.

 

The books I believe are his original paperbacks from the early 1990s. I think it's his way of showing he's been a WoT fan for twenty plus years and is old-skool (i.e. he didn't hear about the books five minutes before he was asked to helm he project).

 

His experience so far has been in network TV: My Own Worst EnemyChuckHemlock Grove and, most recently, Agents of SHIELD (fortunately since it stopped being unwatchable). Not an outstanding CV but not an embarrassing one either.

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