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Sanderson's Recent Interview


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Skip the marketing material  - what they have provided thus far has been extremely under-whelming.  Just provide a release date already, then I can sit patiently and wait - while not worrying about what changes I may or may not like.  I'm perfectly happy to be surprised by whatever Rafe and his team have put together.

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The marketing strategy (or lack of) has been baffling to me. They could, with very little effort, do more interviews, more social media engagement, book readings, concept art sharing, etc. Anything. Instead we've gotten a handful of extremely generic 3-second teasers spaced months apart. Marketing seems asleep at the wheel right now. Whatever their usual timeline, this is a big pre-existing IP and a show that has been in development for ages, they have very little to lose and a lot to gain by engaging more with fans.

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on the other hand, maybe they worry about creating hype too early, and it backfiring.

No idea. I know little of marketing strategies. But if, as we assume, we'll get the final product before the end of the year, then it would make sense to start marketing more or less now.

perhaps they wait until the end of the european football (soccer) championship, that would take the attention away from the news?

 

It's quite hard to make comparison, especially with lotr. When lotr came out, it was the only big fantasy project around, probably the only big one made in years. fans - not just fans of tolkien, but of the fantasy genre in general - wanted their chance at coming out of the ghetto. lotr launched fantasy as a mainstream genre.

on the other hand, nowadays there are a lot of competing streaming services, always releasing something big in the hope of driving away customers from their competitors. in this loud cacophony of movies, it is perhaps best to wait the last moment, to avoid your marketing campaign losing its momentum; just like in the silence that reigned 20 years ago, it was better to start marketing early.

Maybe. Just throwing random hypothesis.

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Do we even have an official release date as to when the show can be seen on Amazon Prime?

 

Also, I wholeheartedly concur that I really do want to see more trailers that go beyond the little 3 second teasers which have been provided. 

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1 hour ago, DojoToad said:

But you said we would get a date during Prime Days...

That's called a prediction/speculation. Not something confirmed.

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45 minutes ago, SinisterDeath said:

That's called a prediction/speculation. Not something confirmed.

Correct.  Just giving Elder Haman a hard time because once again he misread the tea leaves.

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Personally, I've been swayed by people who seem more informed than I am that the show will come out this year - but based on what they've done marketing wise -- if I was reading the "tea leaves" so to speak -- I'm not convinced we're gonna see it this year or the beginning of next. I think that this year they'll tell us that the release date is the Fall of next year -- maybe they want to release the new LoTR show first?? -- if that's the case -- it might still be awhile.

 

On the other hand, if it really is coming out this year -- I think the marketing team has failed big time. (unless @king of nowhere's theory is right). We have basically seen nothing -- and the stuff we have seen (just read the discussion boards) has been underwhelming/makes a lot of people more concerned than exited. 

 

On the other hand, if we get a release date and see a sweet trailer by the end of August ... I will happily eat my words! And the discussion boards will blow up with chatter. So if any Tv show people ever peruse DM -- GIVE US THE TRAILER and RELEASE DATE! Pretty please 🙂

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3 hours ago, DojoToad said:

But you said we would get a date during Prime Days...

I did predict that. I was wrong. Go figure.

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18 minutes ago, Wolfbrother31 said:

Personally, I've been swayed by people who seem more informed than I am that the show will come out this year - but based on what they've done marketing wise -- if I was reading the "tea leaves" so to speak -- I'm not convinced we're gonna see it this year or the beginning of next.

This prediction is on far more solid ground than any other. There have been multiple publications that list 2021 for WoT's release. Madeleine Madden recently did a promo video for Prime in Australia which touted their 2021 content and included WoT.

 

I really see no reason at this point to doubt a 2021 release.

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35 minutes ago, Elder_Haman said:

This prediction is on far more solid ground than any other. There have been multiple publications that list 2021 for WoT's release. Madeleine Madden recently did a promo video for Prime in Australia which touted their 2021 content and included WoT.

 

I really see no reason at this point to doubt a 2021 release.

TV shows often don't put out much publicity until around 2-3 months before release.
Most of the set photos we see are leaks. It's actually a good thing if they can keep a tight wrap on leaks. (COVID might also have made it easier to keep some of this stuff under wraps). Sometimes they putout graphics sometimes they don't.

Example: Take a look at Loki, we got a trailer back in April, and it released almost 2 months later.
Here's an article from 2019 on what we knew about Loki.
https://web.archive.org/web/20190914002126/https://www.looper.com/164358/loki-tv-series-release-date-cast-and-plot/
And one from 2020.

https://web.archive.org/web/20200514000653/https://www.looper.com/164358/loki-tv-series-release-date-cast-and-plot/


February 2020 we got this, (About the same quality of what we've got so far, minus the WoT Logo which we're still waiting on)


November 2020 this article - which doesn't really tell us much of anything we didn't already know, and no real new footage except the above teaser.
https://web.archive.org/web/20201127091636/https://screenrant.com/loki-tv-show-release-date-story-cast-disney-plus/

For perspective, if we get a trailer before September, that solidifies a November/December release date.
If we get at Trailer in the next couple of weeks, that moves up a release date closer to September/October.

If we only get longer teaser in the next couple of weeks, similar to the one that was briefly up on the German Prime account, It's still possible for a late November/December release.

Marketing wise, there's a reason we don't see too much info released years before, like they did decades ago. With streaming, attentions spans and memories are shorter. Narrowing it down to a 2-3 months Trailer to Release window is better for their numbers, then a trailer 1 year prior to release when people have forgot about it.
 

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People are people, and streaming didn't spontaneously cause people to mutate to have goldfish memories.  The biggest reason you see marketing moved up to closer to release dates is because it's easier for the data analysts to measure the effectiveness of that marketing.  When you drop a trailer 11 months ahead of release the way Amazon did with the Tick, it's hard to tell how much good that trailer did for driving views.  There's too many confounding factors that happen between then and the show's release.  There is of course the need to hit the sweet spot for marketing, not so far out that the show becomes old news before it even airs, and not so close that it catches people by surprise, but where that sweet spot is depends entirely on the audience to which you're marketing. 

 

For die-hard fans of an IP like us, who've been waiting 20 years for some kind of mainstream media adaptation, there's no such thing as "too far out." They could have been dropping weekly, 15 minute long behind-the-scenes interviews for the last two years, showing off the actors in costume and the sets and props and talking about the script and shooting for the week, or special effects and sound when they get into post, even going so far as to drop heavy spoilery hints, and we'd all still be here for it.  That they're not really coming even close to that, indeed that most of what they have already teased or shown has been to show off what they had to know would be controversial differences, is a big red flag that this show, whether it ends up being good or bad, is not intended to be a show for the pre-existing fans of the series.  

 

And no, Brandon's newest take on it is not a reassurance.  For one thing, he's a terrible judge of the core of the characters, or even the core of the story.  You all saw how he butchered Mat in his first book, and it took a pretty big outcry to get him to see it too, back then.  And he still thinks he nailed Perrin, when what he did was a repeat of Perrin's prior character development, all to throw it away at the Last Battle where Perrin doesn't even lead the people who he had to struggle so hard to accept the leadership of, and spends half the time asleep.  And he doesn't just break main characters, he broke the world-building too, making Travelling into something that RJ clearly never even considered, and likely would have balked at.  And that's all fine, because none of those transgressions really ruin the story that had already been set up by RJ.  But if you want to impress me with an endorsement, show me Harriet's endorsement, or Maria's.  

 

At the end of the day, I don't know whether this show will be any good or not.  It could be good.  What I do know is that this show will not be the Wheel of Time as I understand that story or as the expansive fandom of the last 20+ years has understood and discussed it.  Thus far, I recognize nothing of the Wheel of Time in what we've been shown, except in the names and faces of the characters.  In spite of all the marketing purportedly being aimed at fans, there has been no clear instance of fan-service yet.  At this point, I'm half-expecting that Nynaeve will never even tug her braid in the whole of the first season.

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34 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

People are people, and streaming didn't spontaneously cause people to mutate to have goldfish memories.

Have you not seen what Social Media in the last decade has done to people's brains? We may as well have a gold-fish memory with the type of market saturation we have going on.

 

34 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

For die-hard fans of an IP like us, who've been waiting 20 years for some kind of mainstream media adaptation, there's no such thing as "too far out." They could have been dropping weekly, 15 minute long behind-the-scenes interviews for the last two years, showing off the actors in costume and the sets and props and talking about the script and shooting for the week, or special effects and sound when they get into post, even going so far as to drop heavy spoilery hints, and we'd all still be here for it. 

Sure. But remember "Fans" are 1% of 1% of the market they're trying to tap.

 

34 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

That they're not really coming even close to that, indeed that most of what they have already teased or shown has been to show off what they had to know would be controversial differences, is a big red flag that this show, whether it ends up being good or bad, is not intended to be a show for the pre-existing fans of the series.  


Yay Pessimism! 

You do realize that Amazon literally has Zero incentive to make this series for the book fans, right? 
Why would they? "Super Fans" will trash anything for not being perfect enough.

Even if every WoT Book Fan that's active on the internet tried to review bomb a WoT TV show, it wouldn't even make a dent in the shows metascore.

We have been "assured' that Raf is a Fan of the book series, Sanderson says Raf is knowledgeable of the source material & respects it. That's pretty much all I can hope for when it comes to ANY adaptation. (Unlike say, the Resident Evil movies, where the director has clearly never played the games...)

 

34 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

And no, Brandon's newest take on it is not a reassurance.  For one thing, he's a terrible judge of the core of the characters, or even the core of the story.  You all saw how he butchered Mat in his first book, and it took a pretty big outcry to get him to see it too, back then.  And he still thinks he nailed Perrin, when what he did was a repeat of Perrin's prior character development, all to throw it away at the Last Battle where Perrin doesn't even lead the people who he had to struggle so hard to accept the leadership of, and spends half the time asleep.  And he doesn't just break main characters, he broke the world-building too, making Travelling into something that RJ clearly never even considered, and likely would have balked at.  And that's all fine, because none of those transgressions really ruin the story that had already been set up by RJ


Shocked! Shocked I say! 
Shocked that a "super Fan" wasn't happy with Sanderson finishing the series!

Shocked that a "Super fan" would never be happy with any adaptation! 😉 

 

34 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

But if you want to impress me with an endorsement, show me Harriet's endorsement, or Maria's.  

I'm sure we'd all love to see them endorse it to. They probably will in the future.

But hey, you know what they also endorsed? Sanderson finishing the series.
So Isn't their endorsement of the WoT TV show already tainted by supporting Sanderson?

 

34 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

At this point, I'm half-expecting that Nynaeve will never even tug her braid in the whole of the first season.

I bet if they were to release a character teaser of Nynaeve tugging her braid, all them super-fans will still be mad that she didn't tug her braid correctly.

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Sanderson did an acceptable job finishing the series.  Some stuff was great, other stuff, like what I mentioned, was terrible.  But he's not perfect, and I don't think he'd have been able to do that job at all without Maria and Harriet.  The point I was making is that Sanderson's judgement is not authoritative, and wouldn't be even if his "endorsement" of Rafe wasn't couched the way it was.

 

As for the rest, you miss the point.  Sanderson largely has the respect of the "superfans" as you put it, and he still has my respect, because he respected the fandom, he listened to their criticism, and he got better.  But there is zero evidence that Rafe respects the fans, or the story for that matter, considering the changes that we know of thus far.  Even Sanderson only goes so far as to say that Rafe understands the "core" of the characters, and considering how badly Sanderson himself did at that, that's not saying much.

 

I have no doubt that if Harriet had anything good to say about the show, she'd have said it, and everybody from here to the Dusty Wheel YouTube comments would be touting it.  I also have no doubt that following the Winter Dragon debacle, she's not allowed to say anything publicly about it without getting it approved first.  Which makes this a case where the absence of evidence is evidence of something, and that something doesn't smell good.

 

And of course they're not gonna make it just for the book fans.  But why go out of their way to alienate the book fans?  If I were running the show, I'd want to synergize with the existing fans.  Not divide and alienate as many of them as I could, which appears to be the direction they're going now.

 

Edited by Thrasymachus
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9 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

Which makes this a case where the absence of evidence is evidence of something, and that something doesn't smell good.

It's closer to making a mountain out of a mole hill, based on speculation.

 

9 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

But why go out of their way to alienate the book fans?  If I were running the show, I'd want to synergize with the existing fans.  Not divide and alienate as many of them as I could, which appears to be the direction they're going now.

Anything they do will be seen as alienating the book fans.

The most controversial thing that was released was the casting, that many book fans still can't get over.
The Guitar, Dagger, and Sword are all minor teasers that it wouldn't matter if they were modeled after "fan art", people would still hate it because of some contrived reason like "the color of the gold was all wrong", or "The curve of the dagger wasn't curved enough".

Just wait till we get to wardrobe. We'll have people whining that the shirt wasn't that the blue they pictured in their heads. 😉 

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Good points from both of you (Sinister and Thras).  I don't know if I'm a superfan, but I understand things will change from book to visual media.  I'm willing to wait until I see the final product before judging if I like it.  Might love it or hate it but imagine I'll land somewhere in the middle - and either way, I'll still have the books.

 

Dune is next.  Hated the 80's movie.  Liked the Sci-Fi channel version until I realized how bad the special effects were.  Hoping the movie this year is better.

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It's real convenient to say that nothing would satisfy fans even if they did make an effort to make things remotely look like they're described, but it's also completely unprovable.  There are plenty of examples of pre-existing fans approving of design choices in TV and movie adaptations, at least as many examples as their disapproving, if you actually look for them and account for the fact of human psychology that nobody makes a lot of noise over something they find acceptable.  And the casting controversy was only the biggest controversy because the fandom had to deal with the racists and bigots among their ranks.  Snowflake bigots had to make it the biggest controversy, to make themselves victims, as their ideology dictates they must.

 

And we've already seen the complaints about Moiraine's business attire outfit.  But you're making my point, because any actual fan of the series would know beforehand that these kinds of style choices would be controversial among the fans.  So they are either consciously choosing to make the controversial and alienating choice at every opportunity, or they aren't fans enough of the books, or of the fandom itself, to recognize that they are making controversial and alienating choices.

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Well - I tend to agree with @Thrasymachus in the fact that --  I really don't think (in the couple months that I've really paid attention to DM) that fans of the books are hyper-critical about everything... a fair number (almost all -- including the most critical person - which is you @Thrasymachus ) of fans, I think, really really want the show to be good. So I started a thread out of curiosity on "What is the breaking-point/line of acceptability" to different super-fans? And that thread revealed that different people have vastly different criteria. 

 

But to me ... LoTR, made changes right?, but was well-done enough and "respected" the source material enough, that I loved it. GoT got it right -- until they didn't. Harry Potter killed it. In fact, I don't know a single fan of the HP books that didn't also like the movies. 

 

WoT, well -- we'll see...but the feeling in my gut is -- it might be well done (no cheesy special effects, a good story line, decent acting) but I don't think it is being done for people who are even "rookies" of DM. So I suspect that book fans will have a lot to say after the first episode. 

 

Which, hey, that in and of itself will be fun for us DM'ers right?! 

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30 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

It's real convenient to say that nothing would satisfy fans even if they did make an effort to make things remotely look like they're described, but it's also completely unprovable.

It's real convenient to say absence of evidence is evidence of something, and that something doesn't smell good, but it's also completely unprovable.
 

30 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

There are plenty of examples of pre-existing fans approving of design choices in TV and movie adaptations, at least as many examples as their disapproving, if you actually look for them and account for the fact of human psychology that nobody makes a lot of noise over something they find acceptable.

You used a lot of words to basically say nothing. 
10 negative comments aren't magically canceled out by 10 positive comments. Everyone knows, negative feedback is always louder and more vocal than positive feedback. It's often a vocal minority.

 

30 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

And the casting controversy was only the biggest controversy because the fandom had to deal with the racists and bigots among their ranks.  Snowflake bigots had to make it the biggest controversy, to make themselves victims, as their ideology dictates they must.


"Snowflake Bigots" were the aforementioned racist bigots.
I've found that people that can't help but use the term "snowflake" to describe "the other side" (E.g. "Woke" Liberals) are often the biggest snowflake hypocritical Karen's of them all. 

 

30 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

And we've already seen the complaints about Moiraine's business attire outfit.  But you're making my point, because any actual fan of the series would know beforehand that these kinds of style choices would be controversial among the fans.  So they are either consciously choosing to make the controversial and alienating choice at every opportunity, or they aren't fans enough of the books, or of the fandom itself, to recognize that they are making controversial and alienating choices.

 

Or, they know what they've released was going to be seen as controversial to diehard over critical fans, and were easing the fanbase slowly into the water because they know no matter what they release fanatics are going to find anything and everything controversial. So they may as well get the "big" things out of the way first.

I'm seriously waiting for them to show Hopper and people be like "That's not wolf enough!", or "Wolves lose that thick coat in the summer, fools!".
 

10 minutes ago, Wolfbrother31 said:

But to me ... LoTR, made changes right?, but was well-done enough and "respected" the source material enough, that I loved it.

Loved it enough to butcher the ending. Right? Imagine if Raf had the balls to change the ending of WoT, or change Perrin arc of going back to the two rivers. There'd be hell to pay. Right?

 

 

10 minutes ago, Wolfbrother31 said:

GoT got it right -- until they didn't. Harry Potter killed it. In fact, I don't know a single fan of the HP books that didn't also like the movies.

They exist, But they're not as insufferable as Star Wars fans when you mention the new trilogy.

 

10 minutes ago, Wolfbrother31 said:

WoT, well -- we'll see...but the feeling in my gut is -- it might be well done (no cheesy special effects, a good story line, decent acting) but I don't think it is being done for people who are even "rookies" of DM. So I suspect that book fans will have a lot to say after the first episode. 

Duh? We'll have a lot to say regardless of how good or bad it is.
And... yea, Obviously their end goal is to target people who watch TV, not people who are dedicated to reading 14 giant books.

 

10 minutes ago, Wolfbrother31 said:

 

Which, hey, that in and of itself will be fun for us DM'ers right?! 

Definitely. 
That is until we get flooded with the inevitable "Star Wars" fanbase of purity gatekeeping.

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19 minutes ago, SinisterDeath said:

Loved it enough to butcher the ending. Right? Imagine if Raf had the balls to change the ending of WoT, or change Perrin arc of going back to the two rivers. There'd be hell to pay. Right?

 

Well, we don't know yet. I mean, if Raf has the balls to completely change the beginning why not the end? Which is why I think it'll only take 1 episode for a flood of judgment good or bad to pour in. But we don't know yet...cause we haven't really seen anything yet. So... it's ok. Whatever he does, it's simply "a new turning of the wheel" right? So be reassured? 

 

Also @SinisterDeath, I am a big fan of Star Wars (who also thinks that though the new trilogy was garbage Rogue One was the best Star Wars movie yet -- so figure that out) -- but again, my whole point is that fans want it to be good -- and not all fans are purity gatekeepers or as critical as @Thrasymachus; but even Thras wants it to be good right? My whole point in the above post is that -- what makes something good to different fans is completely different- even superfans. 

 

19 minutes ago, SinisterDeath said:

Obviously their end goal is to target people who watch TV, not people who are dedicated to reading 14 giant books.

 

Which I'm also saying is obvious ... but adding that, that makes me sad. Can't they try to do both? Again, though, we will see... we will see. My new take is that ... I just want it to be good enough to get to Season 4-6, cause that's the better "source material" anyway! Just imagine if we could get a Dumai's Wells battle scene. 

[Sighs]. Please just be good enough to get that far! 

Edited by Wolfbrother31
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Actually, considering the changes and division created within the Wheel of Time community that's already been created by this show, with the exception of running out the racists and bigots, I don't want this show to do well.  I want it to be a bigger dumpster fire than I already suspect it will be.  I want it to be so bad they don't even bother airing the episodes of the second season they're already filming, that they strongly consider not even finishing the airing of the first season.  I want this to be right up there with Shamalamadingdong's The Last Airbender, or the live action Dragonball Z movie; so bad that people pretend that they don't even exist.

 

I want that so that the next attempt, in five or ten years, the showrunners will know better, and come at this show demonstrating actual respect for the story and the fandom that had grown up around it already.  And it actually sucks to want that, because I think these actors they've picked for Rand and Mat and Perrin and Egwene and Nynaeve and even Moiraine and Lan, deserve better than that.  I think this cast could have been the faces of a really awesome retelling of a really awesome story on TV.  But I have no faith in anything I've seen from the marketing team or Rafe or Brandon that it will be anything close.  And if it won't be anything close to that, then better that it's a dumpster fire so we can rip that bandaid off and move on.

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3 minutes ago, Wolfbrother31 said:

Well, we don't know yet. I mean, if Raf has the balls to completely change the beginning why not the end?

We don't know if he "will" completely change the beginning, but according to some fans, if we see the wrong person on screen at the wrong time, that's completely changing the story. 😉 
 

4 minutes ago, Wolfbrother31 said:

So... it's ok. Whatever he does, it's simply "a new turning of the wheel" right? So be reassured? 

Imagine for a minute, if you gave the same outline to 16 writers & directors, and told them to make the same story from that outline? A "New Turning", as RJ described allows for the same "tapestry", but sometimes they used fuzzy yarn instead of the shiny stuff. You can tell the same story, using different words, yet the story remains the same.

I wish to see people temper their hype (Positive or negative), because as we all know, nothing ever lives up to the hype. It's one of the reasons I'm not a huge fan of speculation over the tiny bits of information we've gotten.

 

8 minutes ago, Wolfbrother31 said:

Also @SinisterDeath, I am a big fan of Star Wars (who also thinks that though the new trilogy was garbage, but Rogue One was the best Star Wars movie yet -- so figure that out)

Then you're astutely aware that there were those who are critical over the movies inability to have a coherent plot; And then there were the purity gatekeepers that were mad over stupid things like the casting of John Boyega, and Laura Dern with her pink hair.

 

14 minutes ago, Wolfbrother31 said:

Which I'm also saying is obvious ... but adding that, that makes me sad. Can't they try to do both? Again, though, we will see... we will see.

It all boils down to money right? What percentage of Prime Subscribers have read WoT? Are a Fan? Watch new shows? I'm guessing that number is less than 0.1%. 
If the seasons that represent books 6-10 aren't a "slog", wouldn't that be a criticism for not being faithful to the series? 

 



 

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4 minutes ago, Thrasymachus said:

Actually, considering the changes and division created within the Wheel of Time community that's already been created by this show, with the exception of running out the racists and bigots, I don't want this show to do well.  I want it to be a bigger dumpster fire than I already suspect it will be.  I want it to be so bad they don't even bother airing the episodes of the second season they're already filming, that they strongly consider not even finishing the airing of the first season.  I want this to be right up there with Shamalamadingdong's The Last Airbender, or the live action Dragonball Z movie; so bad that people pretend that they don't even exist.

Uhuh.

 

So, you're pretty much here to evangelize your hate for the show runners for not being faithful to your head cannon? 

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No, I'm making the case for why nobody should be expecting any kind of greatness out of this, and explaining exactly why a great many of the die-hard fans like myself are being turned off of this whole process.  They could have made a show that respects the story and the fans, and there wouldn't be this level of division.  It's not just me.  And it's not just racists being upset about biracial people being cast in main roles.  So far, I haven't seen a fan who's excited for this show who hasn't had to couch their expectations, to pre-forgive transgressions against the story and the characters, or ignore the disrespect inherent in making "creative" choices that can serve no plot or adaptive function, but merely elevate the taste of the showrunners over Jordan's own.  In nearly every discussion about what's been changed or what's being speculated, even the most forgiving of Rafe's cheerleaders end up saying, "yeah, that sucks if they're doing that, but...." I'm just over here pointing out that there is no "but," this just sucks.

 

And I'm also laying the groundwork for when this turd finally drops on the ground and starts stinking up the place, you don't get to blindly scapegoat the "purists" for badmouthing the show and making it unpopular.  After all, there's not enough of us to make a difference, right?

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