Werthead

WHEEL OF TIME officially optioned for television

265 posts in this topic

3 minutes ago, Fez said:

Even accounting for how slow the last Jordan-written books were, there's still A LOT of plot to get through. They could excise some plot threads entirely, but I'm not sure if that's an option for the showrunners. And if it's not, I have trouble seeing this be less than 10 seasons (assuming the cable standard these days of 10-13 episodes per season), without rushing things to the point that some plots lack all context.

And there are plenty of examples of shows going 10 seasons, albeit usually not on premium cable and usually not plot-heavy (its mostly procedurals). Although, Smallville went 10, Supernatural is on 12, Grey's Anatomy is on 13, etc.

Probably the best bet is cutting some plots entirely though, focusing on the core Two Rivers characters, and getting through their main plots in 7 tight seasons.

That would be valid argument, if WoT books, by themselves are action-packed. However, they are not. Not only that there ate entire tomes that are borderline meaningless like books 9 and 10, half of the books are plain fillers (books 4-8). Simply, one can go through WoT like a hot knife through butter and still keep the main story intact. There simply is too many storylines that are simply needless. 

As for comparison with other TV shows. Since I watch Grey's, I can comment on that one. Do you know when Grey's had bearable episode? A season ago, when Denzel Washington decided to direct it. Since Season 6, it simply lost all focus and it just every now and then reminds people of what it was. Plus, people are far more into medical procedurals than they are into high-end fantasies. Simply, GoT, HP, LOTR, all of them went through heavy plot changes and cuts, I see no reason to see why WoT would be exception. 

The focus of the show, IMO, should be on main 3 characters, plus the girls - Ninaeve, Egwene and Tar Valon's political plays, Elayne and her wars (without all those families and different so-called games of thrones). Some things really, really need to go. Just when I think about chasing Faila through 2,3? books makes me bored to death.

2 minutes ago, polishgenius said:

This may be the first time in history that a book/series is being adapted and long-time and hardcore fans are rubbing their hands all like 'I can't wait to see what they change!'.

LOL, yeah... But to be honest, rare are the books that need a proper editor and this might be a good chance to do so :D 

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1 hour ago, polishgenius said:

This may be the first time in history that a book/series is being adapted and long-time and hardcore fans are rubbing their hands all like 'I can't wait to see what they change!'.

I think the type of WoT hardcore fans that would go ballistic for any change don't hang around here. Plenty of WoT fans here, but the type who understand that this series is way too bloated to, realistically, have everything on screen.

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42 minutes ago, Corvinus said:

I think the type of WoT hardcore fans that would go ballistic for any change don't hang around here. Plenty of WoT fans here, but the type who understand that this series is way too bloated to, realistically, have everything on screen.

True. I think people around here have some fondness for it, but are aware of it's faults. WoT boards would definitely have a different opinion. Of course, I am one of those rubbing my hands together and hoping they cut it into a manageable story. And I'm also hoping they give the characters more dimension. It's a good story with interesting world building elements. I've often wished that the story were in the hands of a different writer to see what they could make of it.

Edited by Gertrude

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9 minutes ago, Gertrude said:

True. I think people around here have some fondness for it, but are aware of it's faults. WoT boards would definitely have a different opinion. Of course, I am one of those rubbing my hands together and hoping they cut it into a manageable story. And I'm also hoping they give the characters more dimension. It's a good story with interesting world building elements. I've often wished that the story were in the hands of a different writer to see what they could make of it.

Yeah, count me among that group for sure, I think that with an aggressive edit and some pretty minor rewrites, WOT could be a truly great 10 book series.  Instead it is just a series that has it's moments, but in the end fell apart. 

EDIT: But I'm interested to see what a TV series does.  Could be good, could be a mess, we'll see.

Edited by Maithanet

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Oh please, please, please Sam Elliott as Thom Merrilin *fingers crossed*

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This will get 6-8 seasons max, huge plots will be removed or drastically slimmed down out with many many characters cut. I'm not too excited about this considering to how big a left turn GOT took away from the source material and how badly adapted some characters and plots were. The cuts for TV could be a blessing for WOT though.

Its a daunting task for the team they have, Rafe Judkins has only a handful of episodes on his resume and Red Eagle have a lot to make up for after the Pilot. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Astromech said:

Oh please, please, please Sam Elliott as Thom Merrilin *fingers crossed*

Oh my god, that's fucking perfect. I'd have never thought of it, but now I can't unthink it. He's now Thom in my head.

I'm not sure I see it being a real big budget thing, though. I'd be happy if this got made so we can at least visualize this world and maybe get an interesting story from it, but I'm not going to be upset if it never gets off the ground. I'm actually not sure how it would be received by the world at large.

Edited by Gertrude

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50 minutes ago, aFeastForDragons said:

This will get 6-8 seasons max, huge plots will be removed or drastically slimmed down out with many many characters cut. I'm not too excited about this considering to how big a left turn GOT took away from the source material and how badly adapted some characters and plots were. The cuts for TV could be a blessing for WOT though.

Its a daunting task for the team they have, Rafe Judkins has only a handful of episodes on his resume and Red Eagle have a lot to make up for after the Pilot. 

 

 

This is how I feel.... I am perfectly OK with them cutting back on what i considered "page-filler" from the books... I hated it --but understood cutting out sub-plots from ASoIaF.... but here I think it would improve the television  product

.... BTW... does anyone know what network this is supposed to air on?

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No network has been announced which means they are in the very early stages, they have to get the groundwork together before pitching it to one. 

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Sony are apparently saying "fuck it" and are just making it and will get a network on board at some point in development. They're doing the same thing with the Dark Tower TV series. It's actually a system that's worked in Europe (it's how the Pillars of the Earth TV series got made) but it's new in American television. Apparently Sony favour it to less their reliance on the network if the network suddenly decide to start acting like arseholes for no reason (as AMC did on Breaking Bad, almost cancelling the show just before it blew up into the biggest thing on TV, and Sony haven't forgotten that even though that have worked with AMC again since).

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1 season per book? I just hope they put up more episodes than ASOIAF got, not a lot more, maybe 12 or 13 episode seasons. But then, some of the later books are so full of filler and fluff that they could possibly do 3 books over 2 seasons.

I've always favoured the following structure, with each season being 16 episodes long, potentially divided into two "books" apiece (so roughly 8 hours per book, but with some adjustments possible, like 6 hours for the short The Dragon Reborn and 10 hours for the long The Shadow Rising):

Season 1: Books 1 and 2

Season 2: Books 3 and 4

Season 3: Books 5 and 6

Season 4: Books 7, 8 and 9

Season 5: Books 10, 11 and 12

Season 6: Books 13 and 14.

Or just do two books per season over seven seasons.

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3 hours ago, Werthead said:

I've always favoured the following structure, with each season being 16 episodes long, potentially divided into two "books" apiece (so roughly 8 hours per book, but with some adjustments possible, like 6 hours for the short The Dragon Reborn and 10 hours for the long The Shadow Rising):

Season 1: Books 1 and 2

Season 2: Books 3 and 4

Season 3: Books 5 and 6

Season 4: Books 7, 8 and 9

Season 5: Books 10, 11 and 12

Season 6: Books 13 and 14.

Or just do two books per season over seven seasons.

I think something in the middle is more appropriate. Ie, some seasons have more than 2 books, others less, and then get to a total of 7, at worse 8, seasons. For instance, I'd say 1 and part of 2 make for a good Season 1. End on Egwene captured, Nynaeve and Elayne hiding from the Seanchan, and Rand and co. stuck in the Portal worlds. 

Then wrap the Seanchan story, and jump to Dragon Reborn and finish with that. I feel Shadow Rising is too different in tone to Dragon Reborn for them to fit into one season. The "Dark One" dead and Rand acknowledging he's the DR makes for too good a season finale, and too poor a mid-season stop, too.

Then Shadow Rising can make a great Season 3. You end with the Two Rivers saved, Rand gaining leadership of the Aiel, Nynaeve battling Moghedien, and Elaida taking over the Tower. I'd say something like Rand learning the history of the Aiel in Rhuidean can be an episode in itself. I might make sense for Rand to reach the outskirts of Cairhein by the end of the season, though, or maybe skip that part entirely.

Season 4, I think, would make sense as book 5 and the starting third of book 6, which is pretty slow and can be dispensed with in an episode or so as a kind of slower finale coming from the high of the battle at the docks, and Caemlyn taken by Rand.

This is where I would start switching things up a bit. In the grand scheme of things, I think things like the takeover of Illian make more sense if they come before Rand is kidnapped, as that marks a very dramatic turning point in the series, and shouldn't be buried mid-season. 

Post taking Caemlyn, I'd have Rand start the push for Sammael and Illian right away, while also dealing with the two embassies, in Season 5. This spices up the slower lead up to his kidnapping, and gives Egwene more to do than twiddle her thumbs till she's asked to be Amyrlin. I'd fold in Mat and have Perrin come from the Two Rivers too, and basically have the focus of this season be Sammael, which works since even the Aes Sedai in Salidar were aware of him and worried about him. And rather than have Elayne and Nynaeve find Moghedien right away, have them take time to track her in Salidar, which gives them something to do this season. You have a mid-season big blowup with Sammael being killed in Shadar Logoth, and Egwene taking her penance with the Aiel and going to Salidar to be raised Amyrlin.

 At this point, Rand feels stretched thin and wants Elayne in Caemlyn, so he sends Mat and the Band after Egwene to get Elayne. We're kind of where book 6 was at with Rand and Perrin in Cairhein. At this point, I'd have Rand kidnapped, and I'd accelerate Egwene's season 7 storyline of taking control of the Aes Sedai, so Season 5 ends with Dumai's Wells and the first Aes Sedai swearing to Rand, matched with the Aes Sedai who swear to Egwene, and Nynaeve and Elayne using the Bowl of the Winds.

Season 6 then covers most of books 8, 9, 10 and most of 11. I'd have Perrin with Rand as he attacks the Seanchan, and quickly get to the point where Rand's insanity has him nearly destroy his own army along with the Seanchan. This precipitates Rand running away to try cleanse Saidin, leaving Perrin with most of his army which Perrin has to slowly march northward to Andor, neatly excising the Shaido, and giving Perrin good reason to be where he's supposed to be for book 13's events.

Egwene meanwhile dupes the Aes Sedai into declaring war on Elaida and Travels her entire army to Tar Valon, while Elayne's Andor storyline gets a radical acceleration, sans any bathing.

Mat kidnaps Tuon, and most of their adventuring till the end of book 11 can be covered here.

I'd end Season 6 on Rand's encounter with Semirhage, Egwene captured, Mat parting from Tuon, and Elayne winning the throne of Andor.

Season 7 can be Books 12-13. None of the added silliness of Rand meeting Egwene and giving her a one month ultimatum would be needed. Just have Rand and Egwene be the focus of the story, with Perrin, Elayne and Mat getting their more important events added to make this a pretty great season leading up to...

A shorter Season 8 which is just the Last Battle.

 

 

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@fionwe1987

Great suggestions! If I worked for Sony I'd hire you to manage the pacing of this show

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7 hours ago, Darzin said:

@fionwe1987

Great suggestions! If I worked for Sony I'd hire you to manage the pacing of this show

Haha thanks, but trust me, there are WoT fans way more qualified than me to do this, and they'd do well to hire some of them for help.

Over at Theoryland, someone suggested combining Falme and Tear, so the threads of Books 2 and 3 are woven into one. The Seanchan attack Tear, Egwene is captured and kept as a damane there, Rand goes to rescue her, in the process breaks into the Stone of Tear (which manages to hold against the Seanchan invasion), the Horn is blown, Rand fights Ishamael in the skies with Callandor, Egwene is rescued, and Tear comes under Rand's control. 

The idea is rather neat. In both Great Hunt and Dragon Reborn, you have Rand running away from his identity (as a channeler, then as the Dragon Reborn, but both can be combined). You have the girls leaving the Tower to help Rand, and the same Black Ajah crowd manipulating events to draw Rand into a trap. Combining the storming of the Stone of Tear and the Seanchan being pushed back would make for a really explosive climax, while preserving a lot of the story, and removing many repetitive elements in books 2 and 3.

This also means Season 1 can develop book 1 more. Maybe involved Tar Valon earlier, and the Forsaken, maybe flash back to Moiraine's hunt for the Dragon Reborn too to set the stage, and help tamp down the overly-LotR feel of Eye of the World.

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I could do without the Bowl of Winds thread... There's got to be a better way to keep the non-Rand characters busy while he's learning to lead.

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On 4/23/2017 at 0:01 PM, fionwe1987 said:

Haha thanks, but trust me, there are WoT fans way more qualified than me to do this, and they'd do well to hire some of them for help.

Over at Theoryland, someone suggested combining Falme and Tear, so the threads of Books 2 and 3 are woven into one. The Seanchan attack Tear, Egwene is captured and kept as a damane there, Rand goes to rescue her, in the process breaks into the Stone of Tear (which manages to hold against the Seanchan invasion), the Horn is blown, Rand fights Ishamael in the skies with Callandor, Egwene is rescued, and Tear comes under Rand's control. 

The idea is rather neat. In both Great Hunt and Dragon Reborn, you have Rand running away from his identity (as a channeler, then as the Dragon Reborn, but both can be combined). You have the girls leaving the Tower to help Rand, and the same Black Ajah crowd manipulating events to draw Rand into a trap. Combining the storming of the Stone of Tear and the Seanchan being pushed back would make for a really explosive climax, while preserving a lot of the story, and removing many repetitive elements in books 2 and 3.

This also means Season 1 can develop book 1 more. Maybe involved Tar Valon earlier, and the Forsaken, maybe flash back to Moiraine's hunt for the Dragon Reborn too to set the stage, and help tamp down the overly-LotR feel of Eye of the World.

That could work, and I think the Aiel showing up only afterwards, as some sort of pilgrims could work in that scenario. Though I would still want Gaul to be introduced at the appropriate time, not just because it would give Perrin something to do, but it would alert the audience to the Aiel before Rand meets them.

But another option I was thinking is combining books 1 and 2. I think it would not be bad if Egwene and Nynaeve don't go to the Eye, but straight to Tar Valon. I don't recall them adding anything to the last part of the Eye anyway. Maybe have them go from Caemlyn to Tar Valon directly. Say Moiraine learns that Elayne is about to leave for the Tower and convinces the queen to allow Egwene and Nynaeve to go. Or maybe just Egwene can go, then Nynaeve joins later. And while Rand and co. get a moment of reprieve after the events at the Eye, Egwene gets taken by the Seanchen.

Another thing I was thinking about is making some characters more important than they were in the books. For example, Suroth. Because there won't be enough time to really develop the Seanchen, so maybe if they continue to show the Seanchen post defeat at Falme, like how they conquer Tarabon, the audience won't lose connection to them, and they would be more worthwile adversaries. And if Suroth keeps getting exposition, then her fall would be that much better so see.

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6 hours ago, Corvinus said:

That could work, and I think the Aiel showing up only afterwards, as some sort of pilgrims could work in that scenario. Though I would still want Gaul to be introduced at the appropriate time, not just because it would give Perrin something to do, but it would alert the audience to the Aiel before Rand meets them.

But another option I was thinking is combining books 1 and 2. I think it would not be bad if Egwene and Nynaeve don't go to the Eye, but straight to Tar Valon. I don't recall them adding anything to the last part of the Eye anyway. Maybe have them go from Caemlyn to Tar Valon directly. Say Moiraine learns that Elayne is about to leave for the Tower and convinces the queen to allow Egwene and Nynaeve to go. Or maybe just Egwene can go, then Nynaeve joins later. And while Rand and co. get a moment of reprieve after the events at the Eye, Egwene gets taken by the Seanchen.

Another thing I was thinking about is making some characters more important than they were in the books. For example, Suroth. Because there won't be enough time to really develop the Seanchen, so maybe if they continue to show the Seanchen post defeat at Falme, like how they conquer Tarabon, the audience won't lose connection to them, and they would be more worthwile adversaries. And if Suroth keeps getting exposition, then her fall would be that much better so see.

1. The Aiel: I'd still rather have them introduced early as they are in the books. There's no reason they can't infiltrate the Stone the same time the Seanchan are besieging it. Only makes them more badass.

2. Hmm... I'm not sure not having the girls is a good idea. They may not contribute all that much at the Eye, but their absence later in Falme would be very weird. Egwene not rejecting Rand and helping him hide from the Amyrlin Seat and the Aes Sedai is pretty crucial to their relationship, I think. And the girls' knowledge that Rand can channel is a pretty important motivator for their leaving the Tower, and also for their immediate antagonism with Elaida. Nynaeve also needs time around Lan, and time to learn about his past, for their romance to make any sense. On the way to the Eye and Fal Dara are their longest stretches together before they get married.

Also, what would they do in Tar Valon? Sidelining them so quickly in the first season would be counterproductive I think.

3. Keeping the Seanchan relevant is certainly a good idea, but I wonder if the better idea is to have Tuon introduced much earlier. Will also make it easier to increase the cast diversity early on, unless they sensibly cast blind to race and make this a moot issue.

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7 hours ago, Myrddin said:

I could do without the Bowl of Winds thread... There's got to be a better way to keep the non-Rand characters busy while he's learning to lead.

A better thing to do would be to try and blend it with the quest for the Lion Throne. Maybe have the Bowl be located somewhere in Andor. This does complicate things with the Seanchan and Mat meeting Tuon, though.

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Am I the only one that believes this would have to have a massive budget to be done well?  The CGI budget alone would skyrocket after the first season or two.  I don't have a lot of optimism for the project to turn out well, but as WoT was my first fanboy series (way back when I was 13, and only 3 books were out), I hope they find a way to pull it off.

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Even with 60-80 million a season Game of Thrones has struggled massively with budget limitations. Hence why a lot of huge or magic scene had to be cut. WOT would need something similar which could only be funded by a big network. 

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I imagine the magic and creatures would be cut significantly and used for emphasis. I'm not imagining this on the level of GoT, but rather Magicians or the Expanse. I'm not sure I see any major issues. Granted, I don't know where the money goes on a production, but Trollocs seem to lend themselves to a practical effect solution rather than CGI. Darkness and glimpses would go a long way to sell them, Cut the draghar. The Seanchan get a few tor-raken. I don't see why they need to be shown close up, we just need to know that they exist and that's their advantage in battle.

Sure, go all out for Dumai Wells, etc. Otherwise, the magic is rather mundane and practical, no? We won't see Moiraine use her illusion in Baerlon, save it for more impactful moments. I don't need to see the weaves of magic to know that's how it works. Maybe I'm forgetting exactly how much magic is used and how often, but in general, the effects are rather mundane or lends itself to practical effects, no? Obviously some of those scenes are going to be budget busters, but I think those are limited. If it does get into it's last seasons where the magic and effects are more numerous, then it's justified that extra money, I'd say.

(and I'm sure I butchered some of those spellings and names and I don't care)

and btw - hell yes, I am a fan of doing something more interesting with the Bowl of Winds plot line. Honest question, do the Sea Folk really matter in the grand scheme of things? Could they be cut entirely? I get that they are good flavor, but do they actually DO anything?

Edited by Gertrude

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