The long-gestating TV show based on Robert Jordan’s epic The Wheel of Time novels is officially a go at Amazon.
The streamer confirmed on Tuesday that it had ordered the one-hour action fantasy to series, with Sony Pictures TV co-producing and Rafe Judkins (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), who adapted the books for TV, serving as showrunner.
Spanning 14 volumes, The Wheel of Time has sold more than 90 million copies internationally, making it the biggest-selling fantasy series since The Lord of the Rings (which, coincidentally, Amazon is also adapting for TV).
Set in a sprawling world where magic exists but can only be used by women, the story follows Moiraine, a member of the shadowy and influential all-female organization the Aes Sedai, as she embarks on a dangerous journey with five young men and women. Moiraine’s interest in these five lies in the fact that she believes one of them might be the reincarnation of an incredibly powerful individual who prophecies say will either save humanity or destroy it. The series draws on numerous elements of European and Asian culture and philosophy, most notably the cyclical nature of time found in Buddhism and Hinduism.
“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 Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, speaking in London at the Amazon Prime Video Presents showcase. “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.”
Added Sharon Tal Yguado, head of event series for Amazon Originals: “Developing and producing Robert Jordan’s beloved 14-book series for TV is a big undertaking, and we don’t take it lightly. We believe that Rafe’s personal connection to the material and soulful writing will resonate with the book’s passionate fans.”
Said co-president of SPT Chris Parnell: “In Rafe Judkins, we’ve found a brilliant visionary who is a true fan of the books and ready to bring Robert Jordan’s world to life.”
Judkins commented: “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. And I couldn’t be more honored to be the one finally bringing that world to life on screen, for old fans to lose themselves in all over again and new fans to discover for the very first time.”
Judkins will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Rick Selvage and Larry Mondragon of Red Eagle Entertainment, Ted Field and Mike Weber of Radar Pictures (Beirut, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) and Darren Lemke (Shrek Forever After) executive produce. Harriet McDougal is a consulting producer.