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Wheel of Time TV show pilot?


Jason

Various fans have alerted us to the fact that FX is airing a TV show tomorrow (Monday, Feb 9) called The Wheel of Time: Winter Dragon.

 

Lewis Therin returns home to his family after a 10-year war against an army of darkness; he is greeted by an unexpected guest.

 

Here's what we know: 

 

It is our understanding that The Wheel of Time movie and TV rights are currently owned by Red Eagle Entertainment. REE has had these rights for many years. During that time, they've been involved in several significant efforts to produce a feature film or TV show. We've reported on these efforts in the past, and have supported them at various times. (Full disclosure: I was a consultant for them on some of these efforts.)

 

We know that Red Eagle's rights expire after 7 years, beginning about a year after RJ died in 2007. Harriet has been very clear about that length of time in the past. (She's called it an "biblical" number of years.) Based on our math, it's our suspicion that the rights are about to expire. Possibly any day. Typically in contracts of this kind, the producers who own the rights need to produce a TV show or movie before the deadline, at which time they receive an extension.  So in order for Red Eagle to keep those rights, and extend the time period they have them, they would have to successfully produce a pilot before that deadline occurs. All they need to do is put out an episode with the name Wheel of Time on it, and use some familiar characters.

 

We don't know what this episode will look like. There has been no trailer, no advertising, and not even an IMDB entry that we can find. 

Other possibilities include that Red Eagle transferred the rights to somebody else, and this new group is producing the show.  We don't know how many episodes have been created. Our guess is that there's just one so far.

 

Harriet and Team Jordan are currently unable to speak about anything related to the TV or movie rights. 

 

So check your local listings to see when it will be on. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get more information on whether this becomes viewable elsewhere.

 

If we get more info about what's happening, we'll let you know.

 

Update: Harriet McDougal has issued the following statement regarding this TV show.

 

This morning brought startling news. A “pilot” for a Wheel of Time series, the "pilot" being called Winter Dragon, had appeared at 1:30 in the morning, East Coast time, on Fxx TV, a channel somewhere in the 700s (founded to concentrate on comedy, according to the Washington Post).
 
It was made without my knowledge or cooperation. I never saw the script. No one associated with Bandersnatch Group, the successor-in-interest to James O. Rigney, was aware of this.
 
Bandersnatch has an existing contract with Universal Pictures that grants television rights to them until this Wednesday, February 11 – at which point these rights revert to Bandersnatch.
 
I see no mention of Universal in the “pilot”. Nor, I repeat, was Bandersnatch, or Robert Jordan’s estate, informed of this in any way.
 
I am dumbfounded by this occurrence, and am taking steps to prevent its reoccurrence. 
 
Harriet P McDougal
President and CEO
Bandersnatch Group, Inc.
February 9, 2015

 

 
 

Enjoy the show!

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A friend and I were discussing this and I stated, as I watched the pilot, that by the end I would be dissapointed as there probably isn't anything else currently in the works. He made a a statement that I hope rings true. He said to me that if the Shannara television series does well that FX/FXX might actually order a real pilot.  Here's to hoping ill will 'n such over this can be put aside and a full on  well adapted and produced television series can be made. Not just for us current fans but the new ones it would undoubtedly bring along with it.

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Glad to see Harriet is taking action. I stopped after a couple minutes in due to the poor quality, and I know it will forever jinx me now when I read the prologue. Not at all how I imagined characters when I read the books. As cool as it may be to have it adapted to the television screen, unless you get it just right, at least for me, this is a series I'd probably never want ruined in my mind for how I imagine things as I read them. Please no big screen adaptation, it just can't be good as compared to reading! It is probably a useless effort though since the common trend is to adapt popular books to television, so I will have to have my own self control cause I really can't see a TV series being as good as the books, prove me wrong but history shows otherwise.

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I'm actually pretty sure any attempt at real-people material (tv show or movie) will be disastrous.

 

I'd rather have it animated so that everything can be made perfectly, not to mention the Power, the gigantic battles and the gigantic battles with the Power meddling.

 

Game of Thrones works because the "supernatural" is very subtle. I'd like to see how they manage to compose a One Power fight with special effects and how much it would cost.

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WoT has so much inner dialog that is important to the characters and intrigue it would be extremely painful to try and make as live action or even as western animation. This series would be wonderful in the style of anime where drawn out inner reflection is common, over the top supernatural powers are expected and people are accustomed to a series story arc being 250 episodes long.

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I saw it on You Tube. I actually enjoyed it considering it was an attempt. It was not at the level of other shows because it was not. As a first real look outside fan fiction it was for me interesting. But I too would prefer Anime. I think Laurent Pictures behind the Berserks would be a good start

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Agreed!  (stated without emotion or feeling) "Forgive me.  Forgive me.  Forgive me."  I've seen better quality from fans.  Low budget?  No budget.  Anyone watching it would have no idea what is going on, maybe thinking it a period piece or something from a Jane Austin novel and confusing as all get-out.  Even as a WOT fan, the lines delivered vaguely clued me in to what it was supposed to be.  How unfortunate that this was a last minute rush job with no fan or team consultation.  I mean...my God...take a cue from the audiobooks!  Maybe they can re-release it with voice over from the audiobooks?  A simple dialogue well delivered could have done much more than angel-wing lightning and half the show with LTT chasing imaginary children.  I mean...you just found out you killed your entire family.  Deliver the "forgive me" line with passion and anguish and tremble as if calling a powerful force, make his eyes blaze white, and insert a cheap lava eruption stock footage shot from Hawaii and it would have been better.

 

Why hold onto rights when you aren't doing anything with them?  Is Game of Thrones or another show paying to withhold this series?  Seems like someone paid REE to produce a crappy pilot to sandbag the entire project.

 

And last but not least, the next step has been taken, and aside from trying way too hard for the "high fantasy" approach and obvious issues, it's finally out.  Here's to hoping for the next step and some funds and consultation to do it justice!

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The Wheel of Time is potentially worth a lot of money and REE knows it, which is why they want to retain the rights. Unfortunately, they don't know what to do with it. Which is pretty obvious considering how long they have had the rights and that this last second production on no budget is their first and only attempt at adaption.

 

Hopefully, something worthwhile comes from this though. I truly hope that whatever REE did wasn't enough to retain the rights, and that another company has the opportunity to adapt this franchise.

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This 'pilot' is an absolute travesty.

 

It doesn't surprise me that REE would do something like this. So long ago, I paid them in full for the New Spring comics, but even to this day, I still have not gotten the final copy or been given a refund. They are despicable crooks...

 

I don't care how long it takes; I hope Harriet gets these bastards in court some day.

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Hi all... long time lurker, but since I am reading the series again I thought I would finally register :)  Hope I do not make any faux pas!

 

My hope is that REE spent their money on this throw away pilot so that they could get something for their asset instead of nothing... that is, they want to sell their rights, but needed the renewal for it to be worth anything. This could be good news in a round about way - if they sell to someone with brains and means.  WIth GOT such a success, there must be someone out there who sees the huge potential of TWOT.

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I didn't think it was THAT bad.  The actors did a fine job.  I liked how Lews Therin's madness was portrayed, with him seeing everything as he wanted it to be while showing us the destroyed and empty palace.  It was obviously done on very little budget, but if the pilot gets picked up then hopefully things would get better.  Such as showing us the weaves that Ishamael used in "healing" Lews Therin.  And showing the creation of Dragonmount would have been some spendy CGI to put in a pilot, but wow did I want to see it!  Some blond hair for Ilyena Sunhair would be nice too...  But having people angry about something that was really more fan-art than anything else is kind of silly.

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Be careful what you ask for. I liked the "sword of Truth" series, the books, and was glad to see a tv series made from them. Unfortunately they butchered the story so badly that I only watched a couple of episodes. Would really hate to see that happen to this epic.

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But having people angry about something that was really more fan-art than anything else is kind of silly.

Ilyena Sunhair's blond hair isn't a fan-art thing. 

 

 

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I just gotta say....

 

I know its all wrong and illegal and not up-to-expectations... but

 

I still get giddy and grin like a fool just thinking about a video release of this great series - if you're here, reading this - I think you do too.

 

I just had'ta say....

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That was the funniest thing I've seen in a long time.  Seems appropriate that they'd air it on FXX, a channel intended mostly for comedy.  I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my chair.

Assuming that it WASN'T supposed to be hilarious, then they've done a truly appalling job with a wonderful series.  I mean, a remarkably terrible job... and managing to offend all WoT fans by insulting Jordan's memory in the process!
I especially liked the way they flashed up completely random chapter icons when they were listing the names of all the lunatics producers and such.  Judging by those icons, one of the producers was Lanfear, which explains a lot about that pilot.  Guess she's still mad about that rejection...

 

In general, while I'd love a TV or movie version of the series that would do it justice, I can't really imagine one that could do it justice.  But, then, I said the same thing about the Lord of the Rings series, and I was proven wrong on that.

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Watching the Lord of the Rings, and am upset, disappointed, and resigned at why nothing has happened with this franchise. 

 

I just know that with all the big budget productions with fantasy, science fiction, and comics, that when these genres and all the big budgets run dry that is when someone will try and adapt this series, and it won't be any good. 

 

I hope that Bandersnatch counter-sues Red Eagle Entertainment to get their rights back.

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Hello all.

Im big fan of WoT from Russia.

Today I accidentally found this "pilot".

So...it was awfull.

Cheap, boring and not a bit like how I imagined this scene.

 

Any body have information about this?

May be REE already lost they rights to WoT? (I hope)

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