Wednesday, 9 January 2013

What now for THE WHEEL OF TIME?

A Memory of Light is now out, but already the question has been asked if this is truly the end, or if there will be further instalments/expansions of the series. Brandon Sanderson has addressed this issue in both a blog entry and also an interview on Wired.com. Here's a brief summary of what the situation is:



The Outriggers
During the writing of Knife of Dreams (2002-05), Robert Jordan revealed that he had come up with an idea for what he called some 'outrigger' stories. These stories would not be direct sequels to or extension of The Wheel of Time but would expand on some characters and feature side-storylines that would not be addressed in the main series. The storylines for the outriggers were not revealed at the time, although there was some fan speculation that elements such as Talmanes and the Band of the Red Hand's adventures whilst employed by King Roedran of Murandy (in the several months between The Path of Daggers and Knife of Dreams) would be suitable for exploration.

Later on Jordan confirmed that one of the outriggers would focus on Mat Cauthon and Tuon returning to the Seanchan home continent to stabilise the Empire and assert Tuon's rule there. This story would take place about ten years after the main Wheel of Time series. Initially it appeared this would just be one book, but in recent years Team Jordan have indicated there was enough scope for a trilogy. However, it has also been revealed that Robert Jordan himself only wrote two sentences of notes for the books, clearly not enough to base anything solid on. As a result, despite some initial musings by Tor Books and by Team Jordan, the outriggers will now not be written for a dearth of Jordan-written material and a reluctance to turn the series into an open world franchise.

The Prequels
When Robert Jordan expanded New Spring into a novel, he also revealed plans for two other short prequel novels. One would focus on Tam al'Thor, and the other on Moiraine and Lan's continuing adventures, ending immediately where The Eye of the World begins. However, Jordan again apparently did not write much in the way of notes for these books and again, they will now not be written.

The Encyclopedia
Work on The Wheel of Time Encyclopedia is well underway. This book is being written by Harriet McDougal and other members of Team Jordan (Robert Jordan's assistants) and will feature extensive new information on the series. Early reports indicated that the book will feature a 10,000-word vocabulary for the Old Tongue and might feature new maps and tons of notes on characters, places and events. The book will be illustrated, but should not be expected before 2014 at the earliest.

Adaptations
The long-gestating and highly ill-advised Wheel of Time movie project is apparently still percolating at Universal Studios as it has done for the last few years, with no sign of any movement on it. The new Wheel of Time RPG appears to be effectively cancelled, with Red Eagle failing to raise any money for it from publishers and Obsidian Entertainment (the superb game development studio that had originally been hired to work on it if the money had been raised) moving onto other projects. It's possible that the completion of the series will spark renewed interest from those quarters, but at the moment there is no news on them.

44 comments:

Bob Milne said...

I'm quite content to have the series finished, and Jordan's legacy left intact. As curious as I may be about the various back-stories and side-stories, I'd rather not have see a series of hired guns churn out material that detracts from the WOT itself.

Having said that, if it were Sanderson to take a stab at one of those side projects, I'd definitely be interested.

Jim said...

Hey Adam, do you know anything about any special editions of the books? I know Orbit have said they're planning something, but they seem to have ruled out more hardback re-releases like they recently did for Eye of the World.

J. Thomas said...

I feel that the WoT world is perfect for expansion, as long as Team Jordan has final approval on all installments. Why not an ever expanding world with top notch contributors similar to Star Wars or Star Trek. I don't believe either of those franchise have been damaged by the diverse and creative updates over the years. (Nemesis not withstanding).

Anonymous said...

I was at the book signing for AMOL and they said that before Robert Jordan died he said do not let anyone expand the Wheel Of Time after AMOL.

John York said...

I for one would love to see the series continue as it has and I have no complaints about the new writer BRING ME MORE there is no reason for the story to end because of a tradgity. so keep o=up the great work, and the nay Sayers can GO HANG. why would you let a bunch of purest destroy the mans dream, I call Bull s$%#. CARRY ON

Michael Diehl said...

No series has so enraptured me. There are so many ties, loops, twists and such delicious rhythms to the series as a whole, I lament that the series has come to a close.

However, I can't imagine that the series can be written in such a taste as I have seen from Robert Jordan, in the broken final I can feel where Sanderson had more from Jordan versus where he had to walk the waters on his intuition. There is just an inflection/tone that is not there any longer. Sanderson is certainly a talented and courageous writer for taking on such a legacy in the wake of tragedy, but the comparison is felt in chapter after chapter.

What I am getting at is that the Legacy of the WoT is at a close and that the world should not be disturbed further. I can imagine there are many that would like to have other characters-stories expanded upon, but I just can't agree that there would be the same feel from it as if Jordan had written/lead the development of the stories. Let it lie.

Anonymous said...

I feel that If you have read "A Memory of light" you know that the rest should be imagined. the same for any series that ends this way Brandon sanderson has done a great job but it will always be Jordan's story. its similar to that one painter who could not stop working on his painting and ruined it the end of AMOL lose's its impact if the story continues the rest, as I said should be imagined

Anonymous said...

A movie series would not work as no one would want to sit through 14 movies, possibly more, but a tv series could work if they followed the books.

Anonymous said...

I really want a movie series to be there, it's all I wanted since I started reading it. I really don't know why everyone says that it can't be done, that it won't work as a movie but only as a show and maybe not even that way. Of course it is possible, the only thing needed is some really big lover of WOT and someone who is ready to be devoted to it entirely or good enough who believes he can do it. Everything is possible if there's someone courageous to jump for it. And I think that doing a TV show from it is what would destroy it cause turning an epic fantasy like that into show is a really bad idea. It'd ruin the magic and all the effect needed for it. A TV show can't pull that off, it's be obvious that it's fake. A Song OF Ice and Fire is not bad, but it's effect and other stuff that would be amazing on the big screen are still poor. And Lord Of The Rings was a big bite too, but it ended up as the best movie ever made, so there's no problem. Maybe someone like Peter Jackson would be the best for TWOT movie.

Andrew Burgess said...

I think there is enormous scope for more books set in the WOT universe. One idea I had is what if there was a forsaken, perhaps with a foretelling talent, that disappears about a year before the breaking. The idea being that he/she locked themselves in a stasis box with a trigger to open at a set time. I'll leave the rest to your imagination but there are endless possibilities.

Aaron Mccourt said...

The comment on 14 movies wouldn't work I think is wrong afted all look at the harry potter movies if it worked for them it would definitely work for WOT long as the right director and team jordan are there to supervise tim burton would be the ultimate director for it from a fantasy view his live non animated are just as good as his animated movies so I say go for it make all 14 books jst dnt cut the books up like they did with harry potter I would glad sit thru a 3+ hour movies I have been a fan scince the beginning the books were all I had growing up and looking back they r some of my fondest memories I cried the day he died Nd sanders did an awsome job finishing

Anonymous said...

A tv series would work way better than movies....it would get more in depth and if a season covers 2 books you got 7 seasons. Perfect!

Anonymous said...

Aaron Mccourt is right. I'd give anything to see the movie and it'd make me even happier if there's around 10 or even 14 movies. And this book really deserves an epic movie not just a stupid show that wouldn't be worth of the books. Cause epic movies last lot longer than shows, they have bigger potential in lasting for a long, long time. And just like I said in my comment above, the only thing needed is the right person who can make an epic movie and not a disaster.

Adam Whitehead said...

Once again, the HARRY POTTER movies were based on the biggest-selling series of books in history, books which were a household name even before the films started coming out. Three of the seven books were extremely short and easy to fit into a single movie each, which they could use to gauge interest in how they handled the later books. Just one of the HARRY POTTER books by itself has sold more copies than THE WHEEL OF TIME has sold in its entirety.

The movie studios are not going to be making 14 or even 7 movies based on THE WHEEL OF TIME. The most realistic film option I can see happening is a single movie based on THE EYE OF THE WORLD and maybe a couple of sequels amalgamating - badly - the other books.

HARRY POTTER as a book series was a worldwide phenomenon, a household name even before the films started coming out. THE WHEEL OF TIME is - though successful by most book standards - obscure and unknown amongst the general public in comparison. They are not going to get the same kind of treatment.

Anonymous said...

I see people asking why a movie series won't work.. Here is a VERY simple reason, it's this thing called TIME, from the first book to the last was TWO years, that's it two years. Now let us look at the Lord of the Rings movies, it took them THREE years to THREE books, how long do you think it will take to do 14 books? even if they managed two books per year, we are STILL talking 7 years, there is a major physical difference in a person's appearance from the age of 16-20(the approximate age of our heroes) and the age of 23-27, much less 30-34 if they only managed 1 book/movie per year. MY belief is the series would be best served if they chose to bring it to life, is the first book as a movie and the last book as a movie (since those battle scenes just couldn't be done otherwise) and the REST of the books as a split season t.v. series, with each half season being a book. Since there are some books where we see very little of one character that gives them time for shooting scenes for the final movie involving that character. and now you are talking 12 books done over the course of 6 years at max, a little better number in the aging factor of our illustrious heroes.

Michael said...

For a movie to work it needs a LOT of funding... A serie is better but I dont thinkit would work.. Just look on one serie that screw totaly with the books was: "Legend of the Seeker" The books was nice but the Series did not follow the books at all.. sucked. Makeing WOT would be extremely difficult and expenive..
Why difficult?= Becouce that Jordan is dead... A good serie that works now is "Game of Thrones" why does that one work? becouce the writer is with HBO makeing it work.. :)
SO this is an end/beggining :P for the Wheel of Time ^^ (but there are neither..) ^_^

Damian Young said...

Why not do it as an animated series ala the clone wars. That way all the epic scenes from the books and the characters would be intact. Plus you don't have to worry about actors ageing.

Adam Whitehead said...

Universal have already spent a lot of money (probably a significant seven figure sum) on buying the rights. The only way they are going to make a good-enough return on the project is a live-action series or film. Animation simply doesn't have a big enough audience to return the investment.

Anonymous said...

14 seasons of a tv series is kind of long. but i would definitely rather that than a movie. cramming these books into 2 hours is like cramming a whole season of Last Airbender into a movie, and we all know what a train wreck that was. cable series are getting much better, but i would hope/vote for a premium channel series like Game of Thrones

Anonymous said...

are there any chances for a movie on the wheel of time . if so when?

Anonymous said...

I would be quite interested to read the Tuon/Mat trilogy. And I will DEFINATELY get the encyclopedia! As much as it sounds good, I think that a movie or TV series, it may cheapen the series. And as corny as it may sound, WoT really excites my imagination, and a movie may just limit that... That is my opinion...

samuel kamau said...

I am dreading a TV series not after the disappointment that was legend of the seeker this is a series that deserves better than that it will demand a huge production cost i.e heavy use of cgi,battles,magic use etc a lot of the epic stuff will be cut in the transition to TV we will all end up with a poor representation of GOT either make a movie,animation or don't film this at all.

Anonymous said...

The movie should be a cartoon and everyone should be an animal. I just can't decide if Perrin should be a wolf or a young bull. Either way, my idea is awesome and you all know it's awesome.

Anonymous said...

I would love to see anything done with this series,but sadly it won't happen.the truth to the matter is hollywood see's dollar signs and quick turnover's of it only.the art craft of making anything like hamlot is dead,we are a fast food mentallity not 16th chapell.I enjoyed reading wot and will pass it to my kids,to teach them how any idea can become something special.

Larz said...

Sanderson has proven he has what it takes to take the reins. His own series, Mistborn, was epic and in my opinion right up there with Mr. Jordan's. It was no Wheel of Time, but Megadeth is no Metallica ;)

Russell Reeves said...

If we're making music comparisons... Led Zeppelin's drummer died, so the band stopped releasing albums.

You still hear them on the radio today, 30 some years later.

Death is final, let it lie.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Netflix could take on the project as a series? Perhaps an animated series will solve the problem of aging actors and the special effects required for the magic?

Anonymous said...

I would have to whole heartedly agree with Michael Diehl. Brandon Sanderson receives my praise for finishing such an epic installment of the best science fiction series I have read. Yet, i do not feel the same lust for knowledge and hunger for chapters the same way I did while reading Jordan's books. I completely understand wanting more, and if Jordan were alive to do so, I would expect him of all people to WANT to expand his world. I will always reread his work and will enjoy this series until I awaken from my dream :) Robert Jordan has changed my life forever

dtoohey76 said...

I gave read the wheel of time many many times and every time I find something new that I have missed before. I am a big mmo fan I play wow a few hours a week and wold be first in line to buy a wheel of time mmo in a heartbeat :-) and will be there in line with the rest of the wot fans for the movie if it ever made lol I may even dress up in costume for it. :-)

Anonymous said...

Actually, you could make a convergence of movie and television.

Do 2 movies for the first book.

Do a 3-5 season television series for books 2 - 12 like they are doing with Game of Thrones.

Then do 2 movies for AMOL.

Its a unique concept, not unlike Firefly/Serenity, and the buildup each year would be tremendous.

AND... TV would be the key to getting through the dry parts of books 6-10.

Anonymous said...

I think the series should continue. It ended with so many possibilities, Not to mention all the spin offs they could write about individual characters throughout the series. I would hate to see it end with so many questions unanswered. even though there could be No substitute for Robert Jordan there are still plenty of quality writers out there.

Anonymous said...

That's a great idea. As long as it's a quality network doing the shows like HBO

Anonymous said...

If done like game if thrones I would be ok. If done like legend if the seeker I will be dissapointed

Anonymous said...

Anyone saying the series should be expanded is foolish, as Robert Jordans express wish was that the series be finished and left alone should he not survive to finish it himself. Why would his wife and family go against his wishes? That would be horrible. It was bad enough that he could not finish it himself.

Anonymous said...

I would love any continuation of the series whether it be books,a tv series,or movies as long as they don't screw it up like game of thrones did in season 2 by not going by the book. I respect that people want it to die but I want more for example star wars/trek got added on to and it didn't ruin them. Also Sanderson is better than i expected he's not Robert Jordan but in my opinion no one could have done better Under the circumstances.

Anonymous said...

I have often wanted to try my hand at writing one or more of the stories mentioned within wot. Especially the sword, the rose, and the flame. Possibly the travels of Jaim.
If some one wanted to try to compose this epic in a way that adapted it for the big screen I think 3 movies might be able to cover it. The Dragon Reborn The White Tower, and then The Final Battle.

Anonymous said...

An animated series is possibly the worst idea i've read esp. if it's anime. Live action or nothing at all. A 7 season tv series is the only way it could be done as they can be filmed in 3-6 months so it will only age the actor 3-5 years (depending on if you want to give the actors some time off), post production would obviously slow down the release and it would have to be done by a premium cable channel in order to get the quality needed.

finkle dorf said...

Like everyone here I have read the books. This series is so full of twists and intrigue that it would be great as movies or a HBO type series. But they would have to follow the books. Look at the difference between the game of thrones and sword of truth series. I see some of yall say it won't work it would and could. If the movie world would stop trying to make cookie cuter movies. No one wants to see a 2nd 300 movie or another sin city bomb. If you can make 7 Fast and Furious and the Riddick series then you can do this too.

Don said...

I'm surprised some fans are against further stories with these characters being written by various authors. There seems to be some belief this detracts from Jordan's or Sanderson's work. Nothing could be further from the truth. Simply don't read them if you don't want the original series spoiled for you. It really is that simple. I, for one, would be quite interested in reading a george r.r. martin take on a Nicola/Areina adventure. Or a Stephen King take on a Logain adventure. Steve Perry could take on young Wil A'Seen from the Two Rivers and have a good time with it.

Anonymous said...

I want to see the continuing adventure of Tuon and Matt in the return to her homeland to stablize the Seachan......

Super said...

I've been reading much of the same comments on future WOT books for the last year now. Basically it boils down to..."Well, Sanderson/Harriet said that there won't be more books, so it must be so." Riiiiigghhhht....
It's possible of course, but far more likely that there will be more novels eventually. Sanderson has no control except to decline writing any more. There is $$$ to be made. It may take Harriet's passing, but once an estate has control or a crack in any rights they will cash in on this literary property. There will be more novels and other property exploration, it's just a matter of time.

konst said...

I see only one way to adapt WoT into a screen. To make animated series (european, american or anime style, whatever). Big screen movie is obviously an utopia. TV series is a good idea, but in this case adaptation will lose a lot of epic - even Game of Thrones with its outstanding budget had to miss battles which was a mess, ridiculous.
Animated series will cope great with all of the WoT aspects.

Anonymous said...

6-7 season Cable TV series would have to do... 8-16 episodes per Season covering 2 books per... This is my best case scenario for something that could honor Jordan's work... Even at this Scope they would have to edit the Fluff in the Series and be mindful of aging characters. Expanding the not so clear timeline in the Series would make sense and also casting Teens that are not Teens in reality would have to do...

Joe K-

Anonymous said...

"I see people asking why a movie series won't work.. Here is a VERY simple reason, it's this thing called TIME, from the first book to the last was TWO years, that's it two years. Now let us look at the Lord of the Rings movies, it took them THREE years to THREE books, how long do you think it will take to do 14 books? even if they managed two books per year, we are STILL talking 7 years, there is a major physical difference in a person's appearance from the age of 16-20(the approximate age of our heroes) and the age of 23-27, much less 30-34 if they only managed 1 book/movie per year. MY belief is the series would be best served if they chose to bring it to life, is the first book as a movie and the last book as a movie (since those battle scenes just couldn't be done otherwise) and the REST of the books as a split season t.v. series, with each half season being a book. Since there are some books where we see very little of one character that gives them time for shooting scenes for the final movie involving that character. and now you are talking 12 books done over the course of 6 years at max, a little better number in the aging factor of our illustrious heroes."

While I agree with much of what you have to say here, the Game of Thrones series producers don't seem to have much problem swapping characters out - re: Gregor Clegane X3, and Daario Naeharis X2. Both of those guys play fairly major roles in the series, and all of my fan-friends of the series were shocked and disappointed at the replacement, but it didn't detract enough from the (TV) series to prevent me from loving it.

It also stays very close to the books in both accuracy and pace, which is brilliant writing, if you ask me. And you can, as I write professionally, haha. I share your concern about accuracy and staying true to the original works. It would be difficult to pull off, but no moreso than GoT, I don't think. Universal could give Showtime a run at it, and I believe their excellent writers could make it work.

And actually, the series is 14 books, spanning three years. Maybe four. Meaning that if someone wanted to take on a project that huge, they would definitely have to have the financial backing and writing/acting talent to pull it off. I'll use the live-action version of Avater: The Last Airbender as a perfect example. M. Knight Shamylan - regardless of his success with "The Sixth Sense" - neither had the writing chops, the directing chops, nor the producing chops to pull off a project of that magnitude, even though he did all three, sadly. Had his ego not gotten in the way, and had he actually watched the series and/or read the manga, he might have pulled off a good enough job where we could at least see a sequel from a different egomaniac. But we won't...because M. Knight utterly ruined that movie, which, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful television shows ever aired.