Years ago, I started reading a little series from an author that had previously written some of my favorite post-Robert E. Howard Conan novels. The premise was a simple one, but as I read further into the books, they became far more intricate and seemed to expand beyond my wildest dreams. I speak, of course, of Robert Jordan‘s The Wheel Of Time series.
Originally planned as a much shorter series, the novels seemed to take on a life of their own. Unfortunately, it was during the final books that the author, whose real name is James Oliver Rigney, Jr., was diagnosed with a terminal illness and though he tried valiantly to beat it, he sadly succumbed in 2007 while working on the final book. In preparation of this, Jordan was able to compile enough notes and rough draft outlines to allow another author to complete his legacy. Luckily for all, Brandon Sanderson was chosen for his wondrous skills and his love of Jordan’s work. Dividing the last novel into three volumes, Sanderson was able to bring this fantastic series to its inevitable conclusion.
Wait, did I say conclusion? Perhaps in its written form, but recent news from Jordan’s widow (and editor), Harriet McDougal, has lovers of high fantasy the world over excited. Apparently, after some legal issues based around the franchise, there is some small amount of information leaking out that we will be seeing the series adapted into a “cutting edge TV series.” She first mentioned the information on Google+ but chose not to elaborate further than this: “Look for the official announcement coming soon from a major studio.”
A pilot episode for a Wheel Of Time series called Winter Dragon, which starred Billy Zane, aired last February, reportedly without McDougal’s “knowledge or cooperation.”
Now, it appears as though the legal troubles are over and a major studio will be handling the TV series. Here’s the full announcement from McDougal that was posted to Google+:
The following is a press statement that has been approved by the studio involved in contract negotiations:
Update: Wanted to share with you exciting news about The Wheel of Time. Legal issues have been resolved. The Wheel of Time will become a cutting edge TV series! I couldn’t be more pleased. Look for the official announcement coming soon from a major studio —Harriet
The Wheel Of Time series is arguably the most popular contemporary fantasy book series of this century. As a former manager for Waldenbooks/Borders (RIP) I can tell you that there were few fantasy titles that could compete with the sales from this series.
This is the time to be alive if you are a fantasy or comic geek. For so long it seemed like it would never be completed, then with Jordan’s passing it seemed doomed, but eventually Sanderson was able to complete it and in a fashion I believe Jordan would have appreciated. If you haven’t had a chance to read The Wheel Of Time series, then do so. With more than ten thousand pages in total, it’s liable to take a few days (or rather weeks) to get through them all, so get cracking. The TV series will hopefully be out before we know it!
We will keep you updated as news is released because we are just as excited as you are to hear it!