Amazon Prime Video’s highly anticipated fantasy series The Wheel of Time doesn’t premiere until November, however fans of the critically acclaimed bestselling book series were provided hints at what’s in store during Amazon’s 2021 [email protected] panel. During the panel, executive producer/showrunner Rafe Judkins confirmed he’s a longtime fan of the 14 book series and has already plotted out eight seasons.
“I feel like my danger will never be running out of books,” explained Judkins. “I think it’s more the challenge that we face is how do you tell this story the most cohesively and the most coherently in what is a reasonable number of seasons of television. So it’s something I really set out to, right from the beginning, I think you really need to know the end of your story when you start telling it. I think that’s true for television even though it’s serialized and goes many years. Like, I sat down and broke out what I thought eight seasons of the show might look like before I started writing the pilot because I felt like you have to build in this knowledge of where you’re going and how you’re getting there from the very beginning in order to tell the stories the best you can.”
Rafe Judkins read the books when he was younger and always felt they would make great television. His dream of being involved in a The Wheel of Time television series moved closer to reality when he came onto the project with Sony in 2017. Filming actually began on the series in the fall of 2019.
Judkins was asked during the panel how closely the series will stick to the books. “Obviously I want to stay as close to the books as we possibly can. You know these are really beloved books but they also…I love them, there’s a great story there, we want to tell it and we want to tell it in the way that’s best for television,” replied Judkins. “Like, this really is a true adaptation of the series so there will be a lot of things that are different from the books, certainly. But I think it always stays true to the heart of the books and the spine of the storytelling.”
Judkins believes The Wheel of Time to be the most diverse fantasy book of its time. He took that into consideration during the casting process.
“I think when you’re adapting it to be on television today, we also need to do that in order to honor the books that are there and make this the most diverse fantasy TV show that’s been on television before,” explained Judkins. “I think that that’s something that’s been really important to me the whole way through the process. And bringing in all these people from these different parts of our world is letting us build the worlds within the show, too. It’s just exciting when you sit down to dinner with Alvaro Morte from Spain and Priyanka Bose from India and Rosamund (Pike). Everyone just comes together in Prague and makes this thing more than it would be without them.”
Watch the full video embedded above for more on The Wheel of Time cast and bringing the book series to life.
The Plot, Courtesy of Amazon Prime Video:
The Wheel of Time is one of the most popular and enduring fantasy series of all-time, with over 90 million books sold. Set in a sprawling, epic world where magic exists and only certain women are allowed to access it, the story follows Moiraine, a member of the incredibly powerful all-female organization called the Aes Sedai, as she arrives in the small town of Two Rivers. There, she embarks on a dangerous, world-spanning journey with five young men and women, one of whom is prophesied to be the Dragon Reborn, who will either save or destroy humanity.