Amazon’s Wheel of Time takes to SDCC 2021 for new look at fantasy show

With The second season has been announced, Amazon is leaning heavily on Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time Universe as the answer to the great success of HBO Game of Thrones. Transparent San Diego Comic-Con on Friday, show producer and executive Rafe Judkins kicked off the Amazon Prime Video panel by talking about what viewers can expect from the first season.

The Wheel of Time is a much-loved American fantasy series released in 1990, consisting of 14 books (and a prequel!). According to panelists, 90 million copies of the book have been sold. Judkins begins by talking about his own history with the project, noting that he read the series as a child and that he connects with the material on a profound level.

“It was this series of books that connected us to others – especially after I stepped out of my closet – that showed us what it was like to be a different person in the world. “. This can be comforting for longtime fans of the book, who want to see a creator who truly understands the source material they put on screen.

While the first book in the series, The eye of the world, which is largely told from the perspective of Rand al’Thor (Josha Stradowski), Judkins refers to Rosamund Pike’s character as Moiraine – a powerful magic user and what the text refers to as Aes Sedai – the narrator. lead the story. In the book, Moiraine hopes to be able to avoid the apocalypse by finding the prophesied Dragon Reincarnation among a group of small-town youths. What she gets is more than what she expected with many evils and many heroes fighting in layered battles between men and monsters.

Only one a lot of that happens with Jordan’s books and it will be interesting to see how the series will continue the story without losing sight of what makes it so beloved to the diehard fan base. mine. Judkins said as much on the board.

“My danger is that I will never run out of books – the challenge we face is how to tell this story as coherently and coherently as possible in a reasonable number of volumes.”

When asked how closely the show would follow the series, he recognized the importance of books as well as the limitations of television as a medium. “Obviously, I want to be as close to the books as I can – these are really popular books, I love them, there’s a great story there, we want to tell it and we want to tell it. in the best way for radio. Like, this is actually a real adaptation of the series, so there’s definitely going to be a lot of difference from the books, but I think it stays true to the focus of the book and the backbone of the series. storytelling. ”

Ghost of HBO Game of Thrones TV series (and its malice finale), however, has not been removed. Judkins made it clear that he was thinking about the ending and how the 14 books could work as a TV series, noting that he had already made eight worthwhile story installments before he finished writing the pilot.

Because the Wheel of Time has such a long-standing fanbase, fan questions and harsh criticism have surfaced, but Judkins isn’t worried. He said that the Wheel of Time team worked to provide a lot of behind-the-scenes insight. “I think it’s really important to always find balance around you, I always want to hire people around me who challenge me.”

Wrap cover for The Eye of the World, the first book in the Wheel of Time series.

Darrell K. Sweet / Tor

The writing team is a mix of people who know and love the series and writers who have never bought the book, which allows them to pull out the story that matters most to an adaptation. Judkins certainly also mentioned the importance of casting comprehensively for what’s in front of the camera. “The Wheel of Time has always been considered the most varied fantasy book to come out of its day, and I think that as we adapt it to today’s television, we need to do that as well to honor those the book is there. and making it the most diverse fantasy show ever broadcast on television. ”

There’s a clear understanding of how important Jordan’s character and world are to Rafe Judkins’ understanding of what makes the Wheel of Time unique in space fantasy. He called it “the connective tissue between The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones” in recognition of Jordan’s contribution to the multi-perspective storytelling of the fantasy genre. But there is one thing that he considers one of the most important parts of the Wheel of Time and is very much looking forward to bringing to the screen.

“Thematically, right now a real story of balance is what makes sense in the world.” He said, before going on to add, “it’s refreshing to see a fantasy series that doesn’t have so much good and evil as balance and unbalance. It’s a message worth writing at the moment.”

The panel ended with the reveal of the first promotional poster for Wheel of time (see below). Judkins sets up posters for viewers, who he considers to be fans of the book and who have never read a word. “Aficionados of the book will recognize this as a very iconic moment in The eye of the world And what I like about it for people who don’t know anything about books, this is the moment when you see our lead, Rosamund Pike, Moiraine, look back over her shoulder and say we don’t know what’s up. happens here, but Come along for the ride.”

Wheel of timeThe first part of the series is coming to Amazon in November 2021.

Rosamunde Pike as Moiraine steps over two stone pillars in a poster for Amazon's original series The Wheel of Time.

Image: Amazon Studios | Amazon’s Wheel of Time takes to SDCC 2021 for new look at fantasy show


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