‘The Wheel of Time’, an adaptation “without red lines”: “Everything has been done in the service of the most exciting series possible”

We interviewed the producers and main cast members of the Amazon Prime Video series. The ambitious fiction debuts this Friday, November 19, with the premiere of three episodes.

The Wheel of Time turns and ages come and go and leave behind memories that become legend. […] The wind was not the beginning, for there are no beginnings or endings in the eternal turning of the Wheel of Time. But that was a beginning

Thus began Robert Jordan each of the books that make up the literary saga whose adaptation to series, The Wheel of Time, is about to see the light in Amazon Prime Video. Will do it with debut of the first three episodes of a first season that is only the beginning of a long history on the streaming platform. At least of the three deliveries that have already been officially commissioned, but which, if they meet the high expectations around the project, promise to be many more.

“Our goal is to adapt all the books and how many seasons that ends up being anyone’s guess yet”noted one of the series’ producers, Rafe Judkins, in a recent interview with SensaCine and other means that you can see on these lines. The person in charge of carrying out the ambitious Amazon Studios project, Rafe Judkins, for his part, even talked about a specific number at some point before. However, if there are eight seasons, as he calculated in a quick approximation, or if there are more, history will dictate as the adaptation process of the 14 novels -20 volumes in Spain- that make up the already complete literary saga progresses.

Returning to the matter of beginnings, it will be precisely the beginning of The Wheel of Time, the first episodes that will see the light on Amazon this expected Friday, November 19, which determines whether the adaptation of the famous fantasy story is destined to repeat the success of the original material. Its predecessor in genre and magnitude, Game of ThronesHe did it, but the competition has multiplied by the hundreds and the way we consume fiction has changed a lot since 2010.

“The world of The Wheel of Time is set in a world where magic exists, but only women are allowed to use it “, he begins almost by paraphrasing the official synopsis of the series Josha Stradowski, the person in charge of playing Rand, when asked what he would say about The Wheel of Time to someone who knew nothing about The Wheel of Time. “One of those women is Moiraine [Rosamund Pike], and she and her guardian go to a small town called Dos Ríos, where our characters are from, and this is how these five young people begin a dangerous journey. Because one of them is the Dragon Reborn, the only person in the world who can save or destroy him. “

I couldn’t have summed it up better.

Amazon Prime Video
Rand and Egwene, two of the protagonists of ‘The Wheel of Time’.

Rand (Josha Stradowski), Perrin (Marcus Rutherford), Mat Cauthon (Barney Harris), Egwene (Madeleine Madden) and Nynaeve (Zoë Robins) are, along with the aforementioned Moiraine and her guardian al’Lan Mandragoran, the names that will be echoing in your head for the next few weeks. The protagonists of an exciting adventure, yes, but also those responsible for making it so. “I hope our characters are key to reaching the audience”, confesses Zoë Robins in the same interview. “That everyone who sees it can identify with someone or something that is being said on the screen.”

What’s beautiful about these characters is that they are all very real. They are going through extraordinary circumstances for some of them, but at first they are normal people who are happy in their little lives and who do not think too much about the outside world. [Zoë Robins]

What’s more, “viewers will discover what the powers of the characters are at the same time as our heroes“notes Madeleine Madden.” This is something we are all going to discover together. As we have said, they have something unique and special in them, they all have their own power within, which is something that adds to the mystery of who will be the Reborn Dragon. “Meanwhile, Moiraine will try to lead them to the White Tower through a packed path. of dangers.

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MILLIONS OF COPIES SOLD AND GREAT LIABILITY

“When I learned that I was going to play Rand and that I had gotten the part, I definitely felt pressure because, you know, some of the books have sold as many as 90 million copies from what I’ve heard,” Stradowski acknowledges. “But later I tried to stay away from that pressure and to run away from the image that Rand has out there. Explore the character with the scripts, books and other materials that are available. “

For her part, her partner Zoë Robins, admits that she was not aware of the saga before she was presented with the opportunity to take the test, but that she began to read it as soon as she got the role: “What I discovered helped me personally as an actress it was to put it aside in some moments. So I stopped and focused on the scripts we were working with at the time, “she explains.

Nor had I heard of The Wheel of Time Marcus Rutherford, the person in charge of interpreting Perrin, something that even he was surprised to learn that so many millions of copies had been sold around the world. But now he enjoys them very much and they have been of great help to him.

There is a lot of material [en los libros] And they are an extra resource for your character because Robert Jordan loved descriptions and it can take years. You can talk about your character in that internal dialogue during chapters and chapters [Marcus Rutherford]

Also, to carry out their work in the best possible way, the cast could count on the best expert, Rafe Judkins, ‘showrunner’ responsible for the difficult task of adapting the series. “We have the incredible resource that Rafe Judkins is. He’s the perfect person to turn to, because you know he’s an expert on the books. You feel like you’re in good hands,” Madden says.

Amazon Prime Video
Rosamund Pike plays a powerful Aes Sedai on the Amazon series.

AN ADAPTATION WITHOUT RED LINES AT THE SERVICE OF THE BEST POSSIBLE SERIES

And it is that Judkins, lover of Jordan’s work and the man capable of carrying out the complex and ambitious adaptation, already said it in his day: His only goal was to do justice to the story that gave him the best literary experience of his life.

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To do this, he has had an incredible team of screenwriters and advisers who are impossible to overshadow: Brandon Sanderson, the author who completed Robert Jordan’s work after his death, and his widow, Harriett McDougal.

I know rafe [Judkins] He talks to them and our researchers and others talk to them a lot while they are writing, getting advice and making sure all the key points are being touched. They have been very valuable [Marigo Kehoe, productora]

This was stated in the interview by the producer Marigo Kehoe, who also had no problem in admitting that the ‘showrunner’ and his crew had made the producers’ jobs exceptionally easy: “He had all eight episodes before we started work, which is a wonderful situation. He and his writers basically gave us the show, so we could plan it as such. […] We might have to change some locations or decide to shoot it slightly differently, but the story was there. The blueprint was there. “

Likewise, producer Mike Weber assures that there were no red lines:

The group of scriptwriters shared their ideas and decided how best to adapt the material. They made their decisions in the service of doing the most exciting work possible without having any red lines. [Mike Weber, productor]

REMEMBER: Prime Video premieres this November 19 the first three episodes of The Wheel of Time to later premiere a new chapter every Friday, which will culminate with the final episode on December 24.