Spanning 14 novels written by Robert Jordan and completed by Brandon Sanderson The Wheel of Time is a popular fantasy series, selling 80 million copies worldwide and has a devoted fanbase. Sony Pictures Television has been developing a TV series and Variety has now exclusively reported they are moving forward with the show.
Sony is set to produce the show with Red Eagle Entertainment and Radar Pictures and Rafe Judkins is set to write and executive produce. Judkins has worked a writer and producer on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Netflix‘s Hemlock Grove and wrote for Chuck and My Own Worst Enemy.
The Wheel of Time is a set in a Tolkienesque fantasy world where the good and evil are locked in an eternal battle and the reincarnation of a figure known as the Dragon is prophesized to defeat the Dark One. Three young men from the village of Two Rivers end up targeted by the Dark One’s forces, fearing that one of them will be The Dragon.
The novels were renounced for their complex world building and vivid descriptions; there are numerous factions ranging an order of magical women, the Aes Sedai, the anti-magic militants The Children of the Light, False Dragons and many people followers of the Dark Lord plague the world. It is so detailed that a TV series would be the only way to do the novels justice.
A Wheel of Time series would fill a large Lord of the Rings shaped hole in the fantasy genre as well joining the bandwagon that Game of Thrones started. Due to the scale of the novels which has big fights and battle scenes and magical elements that require a lot of special effects The Wheel of Time series would have to be a big budget show. Game of Thrones, Vikings and The Walking Dead would serve as examples of the type of production values The Wheel of Time would need.
In February 2015, FXX broadcasted a pilot for their own adaptation of The Wheel of Time. It was broadcast at 1:30 am, hated by fans and even led to Jordan’s widow, Harriet McDougal, being sued by Red Eagle for slander. The lawsuit was later dismissed.