Amazon is undertaking an adaptation of an epic fantasy series — or rather, another one.
The tech and retail giant’s Amazon Studios is adapting Robert Jordan’s 14-volume epic The Wheel of Time as a series for its Prime Video streaming service. Jordan’s books have sold more than 90 million copies, making it the best-selling series of fantasy novels since The Lord of the Rings (which Amazon is also tackling).
“The Wheel of Time is endlessly fascinating and resonates hugely with fans as one of the best-selling global book franchises, and we were drawn to its timely narrative featuring powerful women at the core,” said Amazon Studios head Jennifer Salke in announcing the series pickup in October 2018. “We’re thrilled to extend our relationship with devotees who’ve found the book series transformative and welcome new ones by bringing it to life on Prime Video for viewers worldwide.”
The Hollywood Reporter is tracking developments on the project and will update this post as news warrants.
Rafe Judkins (Agents of SHIELD, Hemlock Grove) is adapting the novels and will serve as showrunner. “For so many people, including me, this book series has served as a world to escape to, to lose yourself in, to devour and inhabit completely,” he said when the show was picked up. “And I couldn’t be more honored to be the one finally bringing that world to life onscreen, for old fans to lose themselves in all over again and new fans to discover for the very first time.”
Also executive producing are Larry Mondragon and Rick Selvage of Red Eagle Entertainment, Ted Field and Mike Weber of Radar Pictures, Darren Lemke, Marigo Kehoe and Uta Briesewitz (Orange Is the New Black, Westworld), who is also directing the first two episodes. Star Rosamund Pike is a producer, and Jordan’s widow, Harriet McDougal, and Brandon Sanderson — who finished the book series after Jordan’s death in 2007 — are consulting producers. The series comes from Amazon Studios and Sony Pictures Television.
The Wheel of Time is set in a sprawling world where magic is real and can only be used by certain women. The show centers on Moiraine (Pike), a member of a powerful all-female organization known as the Aes Sedai, as she arrives in a place called Two Rivers. From there, she begins a dangerous, world-spanning journey with five young men and women, one of whom is prophesied to either save or destroy humanity.
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) plays Moiraine, who arrives in Two Rivers with the knowledge that a young person living there is prophesied as the Dragon Reborn, with the capacity to either be the savior or the destroyer of humanity.
Josha Stradowski will make his U.S. series debut as Rand Al’Thor, the Dragon Reborn of the prophecy.
Madeleine Madden (Dora and the Lost City of Gold) plays Egwene Al’Vere, another member of the group that embarks on the journey with Moiraine.
Marcus Rutherford plays Perrin Aybara, who joins the quest with the others.
Barney Harris (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk) plays Mat Cauthon, a friend of Rand and Perrin who joins them in following Moiraine.
Zoë Robins (The Shannara Chronicles, Power Rangers Ninja Steel) plays Nynaeve, the fifth member of the group setting out with Moiraine.
Daniel Henney (Criminal Minds) is playing a character named al’Lan Mandragoran.
Álvaro Morte (Money Heist) will play Logain, an ally of Rand Al’Thor in the books.
Hammed Animashaun (Black Mirror: USS Callister) is playing Loial, a friend to Perrin and Rand Al’Thor.
Alexandre Willaume (Deep State) plays Thom Merrilin, a “gleeman” — a traveling performer in the show’s parlance and a key character in the books.
Johann Myers (The Lost City of Z) will play the villainous Padan Fain.
Priyanka Bose (Lion) will recur as Alanna Mosvani, a member of the Aes Sedai, the same organization of powerful women as Moiraine.
Taylor Napier will recur as Maksim, one of Alanna’s warders.
Emmanuel Imani (Black Earth Rising) will also recur as Ihvon, Alanna’s other warder.