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WHEEL OF TIME TV series officially in development It's happening! (probably)

#1 User is offline   Werthead 

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 10:27 PM

The previous legal difficulties have been resolved, and a major TV studio has optioned the WHEEL OF TIME rights. We should know who in the near future.

Prior to the legal kerfuffle between the Jordan Estate and Red Eagle, Sony TV was interested and based on the short period of time that's elapsed since the legal problem was resolved (last August), it seems unlikely someone else will have had time to have done anything. But never underestimate the ability of Netflix or Amazon to make things happen with mountains of cash. If it is Sony, I would be surprised if they didn't join forces with AMC again (like they did on BREAKING BAD), since their own epic fantasy show would augment AMC's enviable line-up of genre programming (alongside THE WALKING DEAD and PREACHER). But that's all speculation. We know it won't be HBO (they've never double-dipped in the same genre at the same time) but beyond that the field is wide open.

MODGOD NOTICE OF SPOILERS
SPOILERS
SPOILERS FOR THE ENTIRE WHEEL OF TIME SERIES
ARE UNBLOCKED AND WIDE OPEN FROM HERE ON
SPOILERS
SPOILERS
FUCKING SPOILERS
OK YOUVE BEEN WARNED.
ALSO, SPOILERS.

This post has been edited by Abyss: 30 April 2016 - 03:21 AM

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#2 User is offline   20 Days of Sheep 

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 10:38 PM

I'd like it on FX if no premium cable station gets it.
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#3 User is offline   Ribald 

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 11:22 PM

I hadn't realised it was in development.

I thought that the rights had just been sorted out.
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#4 User is offline   Terez 

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Posted 28 April 2016 - 11:25 PM

Well, rumor has it that it was an 8-figure rights deal so development is sure to begin shortly.

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#5 User is offline   Werthead 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 12:11 AM

Yeah, 8 figures for a TV show is serious money. I'm not 100% certain, but I think that is more than GRRM got for the initial GoT rights (although the producer credit payment, a cut of DVD/Blu-Ray sales and of course the massively increased book sales have carried his income way past that).

Looking back at how interested Sony were - flying Harriet and some of the Red Eagle people across the country - I'd be surprised if it wasn't them. And Sony mean business these days when it comes to getting projects on-air, they cut through 20+ years of development hell in five minutes to put DARK TOWER into production (that starts shooting in a couple of weeks, I believe).

If it isn't them, I think only really Amazon and Netflix could afford that kind of money and would also put it on the table for WoT, Amazon much moreso. They've made quite a lot of money from WoT book sales over the years.
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#6 User is offline   Terez 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 12:50 AM

View PostWerthead, on 29 April 2016 - 12:11 AM, said:

Yeah, 8 figures for a TV show is serious money. I'm not 100% certain, but I think that is more than GRRM got for the initial GoT rights (although the producer credit payment, a cut of DVD/Blu-Ray sales and of course the massively increased book sales have carried his income way past that).

hmm, I thought I remembered it being 10m + royalties for GRRM. But you would know.


Netflix has the biggest audience, don't they?

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#7 User is offline   Terez 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 03:16 AM

Various little tidbits make me think that Jason Denzel has his paws on this. Whether or not that's a good thing depends on several factors.

Edit: Things are already looking up. I'm cautiously optimistic.

This post has been edited by Terez: 29 April 2016 - 03:49 AM

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#8 User is offline   Maark Abbott 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 04:34 AM

I'll be interested to see if they can make it feel as sprawling as the books were.
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#9 User is offline   20 Days of Sheep 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 05:31 AM

I ll be happy aslong as Mat is as awesome as he was in bks. Everyone else can be horrible(not really) but they better get him 100%
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#10 User is offline   20 Days of Sheep 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 05:35 AM

Oh maybe they ll even make Perrin like able! Nah probably not.
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#11 User is offline   Terez 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 06:36 AM

Perrin was pretty universally popular before Faile got captured. He kind of got hate by association due to the fact that the Shaido plot stretched from her capture in TPOD through KOD. That's 4 books. And they set off on that Masema adventure in ACOS. Perrin's simple, deliberative thought processes became the scapegoat for RJ's relative lethargy; this got pretty severe in COT, even though it has some of the best Perrin chapters in the whole series, simply because they spent a whole chapter buying grain in a bubble-of-evil town which RJ didn't manage to make very interesting, and because Faile still wasn't free at the end. Now people skip Perrin chapters in their reread because they have Perrin trauma. (I will admit I did this at one point, before I joined Theoryland, and then I realized I was missing some good stuff.)

Anyway, the screen rendition won't have this problem because the main issue with books 6-11 is structure, and that structure was dictated by RJ's writing schedule along with fan and publisher impatience. He had to put out a book every 2-3 years, and he was never able to pull off his optimal, planned book structure, so you have 6 books that should have been 4-5. It requires juggling and in some cases off-canon chronology, but it could potentially be a much better story, and without any major changes, in a screen adaptation. Whatever plotlines RJ stretched out to make a book can be slimmed back down. RJ had a love for tight structure so I'm sure that's how he'd want it.

7-11 can easily be done in 3 seasons, with 3 climaxes: 1) the Bowl is used and the Seanchan attack Ebou Dar while Rand kills Sammael; 2) the Cleansing followed by the Egwene capture from the end of COT; 3) the climaxes of KOD, except that the rescue of Faile could happen relatively early in the season. I think (without having done the work of juggling the chronology exactly) that it would be best for Faile to be captured at the end of the first of those 3 seasons and that Perrin throwing away the axe should be at the end of the second, with his torture scene preceding the Cleansing and the axe following. Definitely off-canon chronology, but it could be made to work.

The third of those 3 seasons could potentially include Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount and Egwene's raising (from book 12), along with Mat's marriage (part of the climax of 11). Galad's revenge (11 prologue) could happen alongside the Faile rescue, setting up Perrin and Galad to meet at the end of the season, perhaps with the charges against Perrin as a cliffhanger.

I think there would only need to be one more season after that. Ghenjei would be early season material, along with Perrin's trial; Moiraine emerges early-to-mid-season and the Last Battle begins.

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#12 User is online   Tsundoku 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 10:24 AM

View PostTerez, on 29 April 2016 - 06:36 AM, said:

Perrin was pretty universally popular before Faile got captured. He kind of got hate by association due to the fact that the Shaido plot stretched from her capture in TPOD through KOD. That's 4 books. And they set off on that Masema adventure in ACOS. Perrin's simple, deliberative thought processes became the scapegoat for RJ's relative lethargy; this got pretty severe in COT, even though it has some of the best Perrin chapters in the whole series, simply because they spent a whole chapter buying grain in a bubble-of-evil town which RJ didn't manage to make very interesting, and because Faile still wasn't free at the end. Now people skip Perrin chapters in their reread because they have Perrin trauma. (I will admit I did this at one point, before I joined Theoryland, and then I realized I was missing some good stuff.)


Yup, agreed. Perrin was my favourite character in the early days - just over Mat by a hair. But after he met Fail (spelling deliberate) he went to shit until he got his balls back (hmmm ... sounds like a movie title).

Quote

Anyway, the screen rendition won't have this problem because the main issue with books 6-11 is structure, and that structure was dictated by RJ's writing schedule along with fan and publisher impatience. He had to put out a book every 2-3 years, and he was never able to pull off his optimal, planned book structure


It's OK, you can call it padding. If you're feeling kind. In my kinder moments I refer to those books as 'drivel'. :p

Quote

so you have 6 books that should have been 2.


FTFY.

Quote

It requires juggling and in some cases off-canon chronology, but it could potentially be a much better story, and without any major changes, in a screen adaptation.


Like the LOTR films compared with the books. We'll just avoid any mentions of the Hobbit movies, which achieved the complete opposite.

Quote

Whatever plotlines RJ stretched out to make a book can be slimmed back down. RJ had a love for tight structure so I'm sure that's how he'd want it.


Sure had a funny way of showing it. :p

Quote

7-11 can easily be done in 3 seasons, with 3 climaxes: 1) the Bowl is used and the Seanchan attack Ebou Dar while Rand kills Sammael; 2) the Cleansing followed by the Egwene capture from the end of COT; 3) the climaxes of KOD, except that the rescue of Faile could happen relatively early in the season. I think (without having done the work of juggling the chronology exactly) that it would be best for Faile to be captured at the end of the first of those 3 seasons and that Perrin throwing away the axe should be at the end of the second, with his torture scene preceding the Cleansing and the axe following. Definitely off-canon chronology, but it could be made to work.

The third of those 3 seasons could potentially include Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount and Egwene's raising (from book 12), along with Mat's marriage (part of the climax of 11). Galad's revenge (11 prologue) could happen alongside the Faile rescue, setting up Perrin and Galad to meet at the end of the season, perhaps with the charges against Perrin as a cliffhanger.

I think there would only need to be one more season after that. Ghenjei would be early season material, along with Perrin's trial; Moiraine emerges early-to-mid-season and the Last Battle begins.


I would prefer that Fail's part in the TV show could be severely cut. Also, lose 90% of the generic magic-chick (Aes Sedai/Windfarters/"Wise" Ones/Sewing Circle etc etc etc ad nauseam ad infinitum) shit otherwise we'll have more sniffing and hair-pulling than a Colombian buck's night.

Also, I think a decent screen adaption writer would do it on their own, but I want it clear that the Mat/Perrin/Rand "Oh, the other 2 dudes are so much better with chicks than me" blah blah shit needs to go.

References to the Age of Legends and Artur Hawkwing etc could be done as narrated flashback sequences or montages. Because montages are cool. And being a visual medium, that translates better than some dude rambling on about the old days.



Now is also a good time for someone to resurrect/start a "who should play ...?" thread. Because the inevitable arguments are quite entertaining. :)

This post has been edited by Tsundoku: 29 April 2016 - 10:34 AM

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#13 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 12:09 PM

If they cut out all the extraneous bullshit (and there is a LOT) then they could have a tidy little 4-5 season TV series here. My only foible would be that I didn't care much for the ending, but there is LOTS of good stuff to enjoy within, some of it very much made for Soapy TV.

But yeah, as long as they WAY tightened the story up it could be made for compelling TV.

Everyone wants the next GoT long arcing book series to adapt. AMC and Sony especially are always on the hunt.
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#14 User is offline   Werthead 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 12:44 PM

7 season option: 2 books per season. Great idea at the start, might get a little dodgy with Seasons 4 and 5 (Books 7-10) and it also drops some major series finale events.

I've always preferred the 6-season option:

Season 1: Eye of the World & Great Hunt, ending with the Battle of Falme.
Season 2: Dragon Reborn & Shadow Rising, ending with Alcair Dal and the uniting of the Aiel clans.
Season 3: Fires of Heaven & Lord of Chaos, ending with Dumai's Wells.
Season 4: Crown of Swords, Path of Daggers & Winter's Heart, ending with the Cleansing. Remove Far Madding and slim down Aes Sedai politicking. Like, loads.
Season 5: Crosswords of Twilight, Knife of Dreams & Gatherin Storm, ending with Rand's epiphany on Dragonmount. Slot in some Towers material to correct chronological place, slim down CoT and opening of KoD. A lot.
Season 6: Towers of Midnight & Memory of Light.

The problem is you'll need 16 episodes per season. 14 would be tight, 12 you'd have to butcher the story and 10 you'd have to cut out massive chunks of the story, like the Shaido or the Seanchan in their totality. And the budget is going to be heinous. The biggest problem isn't CG or the Power or Loial or the Trollocs, all of which are doable, but the fact there are no constant, revisited locations in the first four books. It's not until Rand basically makes his bases in Caemlyn and Cairhien and moves between them that you can start reusing sets on a regular basis. That's an absolutely monumental budget-killer right there. GoT ranges far, but always comes back to Winterfell, Castle Black and the Red Keep which helped keep costs down in the first couple of seasons until it became a major hit.
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#15 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 02:04 PM

View PostWerthead, on 29 April 2016 - 12:44 PM, said:

The biggest problem isn't CG or the Power or Loial or the Trollocs, all of which are doable, but the fact there are no constant, revisited locations in the first four books. It's not until Rand basically makes his bases in Caemlyn and Cairhien and moves between them that you can start reusing sets on a regular basis. That's an absolutely monumental budget-killer right there. GoT ranges far, but always comes back to Winterfell, Castle Black and the Red Keep which helped keep costs down in the first couple of seasons until it became a major hit.


The simple answer is that the narrative will change a bit here and there to fit a TV budget. This is why Dubrovnik stands in for King's Landing, Quarth, AND Slaver's Bay in GoT, and why all the interiors for nearly everywhere else in Westeros (barring North of the Wall) are Ireland.

But yeah, I don't see this as big of a stumbling block to the budget as you imply. CGI does a lot for exteriors, and moving things indoors (wherever that indoors may be) is a staple of the film/tv adaptation industry, (See: SHANNARA). It will be fine.
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#16 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 04:23 PM

View PostQuickTidal, on 29 April 2016 - 02:04 PM, said:

View PostWerthead, on 29 April 2016 - 12:44 PM, said:

The biggest problem isn't CG or the Power or Loial or the Trollocs, all of which are doable, but the fact there are no constant, revisited locations in the first four books. It's not until Rand basically makes his bases in Caemlyn and Cairhien and moves between them that you can start reusing sets on a regular basis. That's an absolutely monumental budget-killer right there. GoT ranges far, but always comes back to Winterfell, Castle Black and the Red Keep which helped keep costs down in the first couple of seasons until it became a major hit.


The simple answer is that the narrative will change a bit here and there to fit a TV budget. This is why Dubrovnik stands in for King's Landing, Quarth, AND Slaver's Bay in GoT, and why all the interiors for nearly everywhere else in Westeros (barring North of the Wall) are Ireland.

But yeah, I don't see this as big of a stumbling block to the budget as you imply. CGI does a lot for exteriors, and moving things indoors (wherever that indoors may be) is a staple of the film/tv adaptation industry, (See: SHANNARA). It will be fine.


Agreed on all points.

Turning WoT into a tv series is going to take some major scriptwriting/planning, hopefully by talented people who read and loved the series.

It's entirely do-able tho'.
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#17 User is offline   Esa1996 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 05:23 PM

Awesome news. I really hope they won't screw it up, WOT is one of my all time favorite book series, possibly the favorite.
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Posted 29 April 2016 - 05:51 PM

Despite its flaws and the criticism it has received, The Wheel of Time remains one of my favorite series. I agree there is much that can be cut, but how much will they CHANGE would be my question.
[color="rgb(0,128,0)"]
[/color]
[color="rgb(0,128,0)"]Reason for Optimism: Game of Thrones. Have not caught up to currently running episodes but I liked it as far as I got.[/color]
[color="rgb(0,128,0)"]
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[color="rgb(0,128,0)"]Reason to be Terrified: SHANNARA!! I've done all my bitching about that "adaptation" on that thread. Enough already.[/color]

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#19 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 29 April 2016 - 06:42 PM

All I want is that one scene where Nynaeve strangles a Fade to death with her braid.
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Posted 29 April 2016 - 06:52 PM

View PostAbyss, on 29 April 2016 - 06:42 PM, said:

All I want is that one scene where Nynaeve strangles a Fade to death with her braid.


I need a braid joke of some kind in there. Something off the wall. Tongue-placed-firmly-in-cheek type joke.
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