Q&A with the Wheel of Time TV Showrunner

Werthead

Lemming of Discord
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Jun 4, 2006
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2,057
Huge Q&A with the showrunner today.

Main take-aways:

The books will not be mapped 1:1 to the TV show seasons. This sounds like the approach taken by The Expanse (which took all of Season 1 and then 4 episodes from Season 2 to adapt Book 1, then 8 episodes of Season 2 and 5 from Season 3 to adapt Book 2 etc) and the new His Dark Materials show (which will adapt 3 books across 5 seasons).

Episodes will be 1 hour long each.

There'll be more than 5, but definitely less than 14, seasons in total.

Amazon hasn't greenlit the project yet but there's been positive sounds in the last few months (which is why he's been allowed to do the Q&A).
New Spring may be adapted as well, possibly as a special of some kind once the series is fully underway (could be a good way of keeping Moiraine and Lan's actors interested when they're not doing much in the main series).

The TV show will be a faithful adaptation of the books, but will of course have to condense some characters, storylines. Apparently the "latter middle" section of the series may be compressed a bit more (i.e. PoD through CoT, surprising nobody). Judkins notes himself as a Lady Stoneheart fan (from Game of Thrones) and was sorry to see her cut from the TV show, but these things are sometimes necessary.

He wants to cast Rand and the Aiel as "tall gingers" if possible.

On LGTBQ+ representation, there'll be "pillow friends out of the wazoo."

How channelling will be handled is still being discussed, but Judkins liked how the magic was done in Doctor Strange and Avengers: Infinity War, which may serve as a template.

Trollocs and other Shadowspawn may be a combination of CGI and prosthetics, but he feels that prosthetics is better for both actor and viewer immersion.

Billy Zane will not be reprising his role of Ishamael from the Red Eagle informercial.

Judkins is aiming for the quality level of the LotR movies or GoT, definitely not Shannara.

Brandon Sanderson, Harriet and the rest of Team Jordan will advise on the show's development, some more than others (I suspect Brandon will be busy with his own books to do a huge amount, though).

Confirmed characters: Rand, Egwene, Cenn Buie (if less than in the book), Logain (in an expanded role), Tam, Bela, Padan Fain (who'll be less obviously a villain), Faile, Mat. His favourite Forsaken are Graendal and Moghedien, so it sounds like they'll be in as well.

Unconfirmed characters: Aviendha, Min, Elayne. Judkins notes that the four-way relationship from the books isn't really viable for the show and will be changed. He refused to confirm if this means that some of these characters will be merged or cut. I suspect this is the most controversial take-away from the Q&A. My guess is that the characters will still be in the show and Rand may be sequential relationships with them, but won't be in a polygamous relationship with all of them at once.

His favourite character is Egwene and his favourite scene is Dumai's Wells. His least favourite character is Faile, but promises she'll be awesome on the show. In terms of tough scenes to write, Tel'aran'rhiod is proving problematic (mainly as they won't know how it's going to be depicted until the vfx department comes on board).

There'll be less braid-tugging and dress-smoothing than in the books. There will be one braid-tug in the first episode though.

No decision yet on filming locations. He hopes the budget will be large enough so they can visit the most appropriate locations around the world.
 

BAYLOR

There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Joined
Jun 29, 2014
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15,187
It should make a pretty good tv series.
 

Judderman

The Iceman cometh
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Apr 20, 2010
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1,113
Could be great! Could be awful. Certainly a series where culling a lot of the input novels would make sense. If better than Shannara is that due to massive budget??
 
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