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Universal Acquires Robert Jordan’s ‘Wheel of Time’
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WoTFor those of us who are, first and foremost, book lovers, this news is bittersweet. Universal Pictures has announced that they have just purchased the film rights to one of the biggest fantasy epics of all time, The Wheel of Time.

Written by the late Robert Jordan, the 13-book series is nothing short of epic. Having sold over 44 million copies worldwide, and spawned a mass of byproducts like role-playing games and trading cards, not to mention comic books and your run of the mill fan sites, WoT is definitely a beloved series.

According to Variety, the adaptations will begin with the first book, The Eye of the World, which introduces us to the central characters who will take us throughout the series. Rick Selvage and Larry Mondragon will produce for Red Eagle Entertainment, which published graphic novel adaptations of Jordan’s books.

The series will span twelve books when Brandon Sanderson, known for writing the book Elantris, completes the twelfth and final novel in Jordan’s series. Jordan, who knew his health was not good, made many notes and tapes of where the story would go and how it would finish. In addition, Jordan’s wife, Harriet McDougal, was always his editor, and will exercise a measure of control over Sanderson’s work to ensure her husband’s legacy is finished appropriately.

As for a movie series? My hopes are not good. While the first five books of the series were good, it all sort of started to fall a part after that. Books 6 and 7 were still measurably good, but books 8 and 9 all seem to halt. The story falls apart into a mass of minutia and irrelevance, and what is done in 3 and a bit books could have been done in one. Hence why I like book 7, it was a good book, but the following two were almost exactly the same. Even the back cover blurbs were similar.

Additionally, while the books make for great reading early on, I don’t know how well that could translate to film. I would be more than happy to see a series of mini-series, 6 or 12 episodes to each book, but that is unlikely. Of course, Empress Eve will tell you I am just a grumpy curmudgeon who doesn’t like any adaptation of a book into film, and she would be right.

3 Comments »

  1. I’ve always had difficulty with Jordan’s saga. Sadly, it began and ended with a small sampler of the first third of The Eye of the World. I just could not bring myself to care for his characters. He wrote every female character like the same meddlesome, unreasonable, intolerable pain in the ass, whose only real purpose in the story was to disagree in the most obnoxious way possible…

    Which meant that when any of the male characters started showing any kind of romantic interest in these women, I was more inclined to smack him than root for him.

    (half my D&D group thinks I’m insane for feeling this way)

    BUT… I think that if a talented creative team were to take hold of these books and really try to make them more widely accessible (like Peter Jackson’s team did for LOTR), that could have the result of not only fixing the problems in characterization, but honing the plot down to its essential elements!

    And, holy shit… I might actually get to find out what happens in the story! :D

    So, for the moment, I’m a bit more interested than discouraged.

    Comment by NeverWanderer — August 15, 2008 @ 4:46 am

  2. Movies will not work for this series. The books are just too dang long, and there’s no way they’re going to make 13 or 10 or even 6 movies to cover the whole story.

    My hope? I always thought any kind of film adaptation would work best on HBO as a series.

    Comment by PTD — September 26, 2008 @ 1:56 pm

  3. Everyone quick…tap that pedal to the left…yes the brakes. Everyone is going 0 to 90 on this with the negativity. First, yes the books are insanely long, but if you take out his description of the people or the places and actually put that to a visual…well youve just taken 400 pages and compressed it into 10 seconds of film. Second, raise your hand (notice that mine is up) if you feel the books and mr Jordans vision will be granted jusctice if you take out the side plots (i.e the seanchen plotting against each other, the seekers of truth) if you do that then youve just taken 12 books and put them into about 4 books. That I belive is reasonable to give the story justice, fullfill our expectations, maintain a decent budget and produce a kickass movie that would tower over LotR.

    Comment by Christopher — October 5, 2008 @ 5:48 pm

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