The Wheel of Time debacle


Television

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The Exchange

So this happened.

To be honest, I'm not convinced making a good TV adaptation of The WoT is even possible - maybe if people were smart about it and concendced the series or something. Anyway, it will be years before we see an attempt now, unless someone finds a way to stop this shameful farce.


That was...horrible.


I think you could do a decent TV adaptation. You would have to condense the characters and get rid of a lot of filler. To be honest, The series is really really dragged out, and that would be a good thing.

Also yeah...that whole move from the production company is a pretty crappy move to retain rights.


I refuse to watch that video.

Silver Crusade

It was terrible, an abomination of a decent series. Yes it would have to be condensed. The series did get long winded at times. Some of the internal aspects might not be too easy to do either. And the special FX, there would have to be a decision probably on if they display weaves in the show or not. Some of the book scenes would probably be too expensive to do in a series. Going to animation would probably help a lot but animation doesn't always have a good reputation as being made for adults of course.

But this? This was just bad.


If they won't even bother to represent the prologue in the first book correctly...what hope do the rest of the books have?


Apparently weaves look like you become a plasma ball.


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Your responses are making me glad I didn't watch the video.

And I've always thought this series would be best served by being made into some kind of animation. There are just so many ways a live-action movie could and would go wrong. Then again, I'm a fan of animation in general.

The Exchange

Eben TheQuiet wrote:

Your responses are making me glad I didn't watch the video.

And I've always thought this series would be best served by being made into some kind of animation. There are just so many ways a live-action movie could and would go wrong. Then again, I'm a fan of animation in general.

I agree - animation would be able to do the most justice with the story. Not clear that it's the smartest financial choice though, as many might dismiss it preemptively if it would be animation.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

If Game of Thrones can be made into a TV show, anything can.

This is the result of shoddy production work from people who aren't fans. If the rights could be bought be a studio that actually cared, it could work.


Lord Snow wrote:
I agree - animation would be able to do the most justice with the story. Not clear that it's the smartest financial choice though, as many might dismiss it preemptively if it would be animation.

Possibly very true, and I know that weighs heavily into what stories are made into what kinds of movies/series. But if it were my responsibility to turn WoT into something for the big or small screen ... animation all the way.

Doomed Hero wrote:

If Game of Thrones can be made into a TV show, anything can.

This is the result of shoddy production work from people who aren't fans. If the rights could be bought be a studio that actually cared, it could work.

I’ve only read through part of book 4 (I think) of Game of Thrones, and I have seen nothing of the show (while i’ve heard mostly great things about it’s production, I’m a bit overly sensitive to the misuse of sex in the show, so haven’t taken the dive). All that said, I’m still dubious if it’s as simple of a correlation between Game of Throne’s success and what would be possible ith WoT.

WoT is just so much more … fantastical. But I could very well be wrong … it’d be far from the first time.


Doomed Hero wrote:

If Game of Thrones can be made into a TV show, anything can.

This is the result of shoddy production work from people who aren't fans. If the rights could be bought be a studio that actually cared, it could work.

They do care. I'm sure they'd love to have a Game of Thrones level hit. However, according to a statement by Jordan's widow, Universal's rights to the property were set to expire on Feb 11th unless they produced something. This was that something. It's nothing more than a desperate attempt to hold onto it. So what we ended up with was a piece of crap slated for a 1:30 am EST slot normally reserved for ShamWow commercials.


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And ShamWow commercials are better produced...


A Japanese company offered Robert Jordan a reasonable sum of money in the early 2000s to make an anime based on the books. However, they only wanted the rights to the first 3 and to turn the battle at the Stone of Tear into the Last Battle and end the story there. Jordan said no. Interest in an animated series ended at that point.

Later on, the money floating around the Universal deal got into seven figures. At that level, the chances of animation being the way forward go out the window. It simply won't make the return necessary.

My take on the sorry mess here. I've been following this story for a long, long time and there's a lot of different players involved. The major legal sticking point is that Red Eagle sold the film rights, with Harriet McDougal's approval, to Universal in 2008. The current project was not made under Universal's auspices and officially they couldn't re-sell the rights again without some sort of involvement from the Jordan Estate. That's likely going to be the sticking point that any possible legal action will hinge on.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Weird things like this happen all the time.

A more classic example would be Apple's classic Macintosh commercial which aired in the 1984 Superbowl which features a woman throwing a hammer at Big Brother.

The only nationwide broadcast was during the Superbowl, but Apple had actually had the commercial broadcast at the last possible commercial segment on December 31, 1983 at a few MidWest stations so that it could qualify for the upcoming Clio awards.


Wait, there was a WoT TV show pilot and I missed it!

Is there any chance to catch it anywhere?


I'm sure it can be found online. From what I've heard, it was a terrible steaming turd.

Sovereign Court

You don't want to see it. Trust me. Trust me. Trust me.

But here it is


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Relax people. It was made for the same reasons (and apparently on the same budget) as the gleefully bad fantastic four movie: to keep the rights and nothing more.


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I'm not getting the shock and outrage of people at the fact that a company with the rights to something like The Wheel of Time making a shoddy pilot just to keep those rights.

I mean am I happy about it? No. Not that I'm a big fan of The Wheel of Time, but I'd like fans of it to be able to get a quality TV series (and who knows, I could enjoy the series more than the books). But it's not shocking that this company wants to hold onto it. It's a valuable asset. They'd be bloody insane to just let it go.

Sovereign Court

Yeah, sorry for having scrupules and a sense of right and wrong.


I'm not sure what scruples or a sense of right and wrong have to do with it, but there really does need to be a better way of writing these contracts. "You can hold on to the rights forever without actually doing anything with them as long as you slap together a cheap pilot and pay someone to put it on the air" may be industry standard, but it's still a stupid deal.


Hama wrote:
Yeah, sorry for having scrupules and a sense of right and wrong.

First up, there's no need for the snark. I didn't say that I liked it or thought it was a good thing. In fact I said the exact opposite.

What I am saying is that it doesn't make sense to me that people seem shocked about it. This is what any company in their situation would do. If the contract allows it, and it clearly does, then why would a company give up what is possibly the most valuable asset they have. They exist to make profit. I wish it were otherwise and that some other company that would make a pepper go of it could get the rights, but it is what it is.

As thejeff said, that has nothing to do with morality and a sense of right and wrong. It's business, and while it is a stupid situation, that's what happens when contacts are signed that have clauses that allow for this.

The Exchange

Quote:

What I am saying is that it doesn't make sense to me that people seem shocked about it. This is what any company in their situation would do. If the contract allows it, and it clearly does, then why would a company give up what is possibly the most valuable asset they have. They exist to make profit. I wish it were otherwise and that some other company that would make a pepper go of it could get the rights, but it is what it is.

As thejeff said, that has nothing to do with morality and a sense of right and wrong. It's business, and while it is a stupid situation, that's what happens when contacts are signed that have clauses that allow for this.

I think the shock is because nobody heard of this before, and everyone was under the impression that around this time, the rights on the WoT would free up. Then, literally days before that happens, a shamelessly s&+&ty pilot comes out. The timing is a major factor in what got people so annoyed - makes the move seem even more greedy and pathetic than it had to be.

Plus, people who are fans of the series want to see it turned into a TV series (or at least, many of them do), and this hack job of a TV pilot could stop that from happening for how know how many years. If you are actually involved with some non negligible emotional stake in this story, the way things played out is just well and truly upsetting.


It sounded like this whole move might not actually fulfill the original contract. I see a legal battle starting over the Wheel of Time rights.


Hama wrote:

You don't want to see it. Trust me. Trust me. Trust me.

But here it is

I actually didn't find it that bad, it was pretty good overall in regards to what it covered. It was pretty accurate to the very first few pages of the Eye of the World, which is pretty rare for adaptations to film of any sort. The dialogue wasn't too bad, if there were any faults it was that it was overly long for what it covered.


I have only read the first half of Eye of the World, but whooboy, that was a debacle in its own right.

Sovereign Court

You read the first 50 pages of Lord of the Rings and the book sucks?


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Hama wrote:
You read the first 50 pages of Lord of the Rings and the book sucks?

How many volumes into The Wheel of Time are you required to get before you can decide you don't like it?

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Hama wrote:
You read the first 50 pages of Lord of the Rings and the book sucks?

I did. I dragged myself through the rest of Fellowship before giving up on the rest of the series, but it was pretty obvious from even the earliest parts of the book that Tolkien's writing was not for me. Love the world, love the history summaries on Wiki, love the movies... just can't stand the way Tolkien himself wrote.

At least Jordan made it to book 4 or 5, I forget which, before I got sick of his writing.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
thejeff wrote:
Hama wrote:
You read the first 50 pages of Lord of the Rings and the book sucks?
How many volumes into The Wheel of Time are you required to get before you can decide you don't like it?

I gave up about book 9 when I concluded there was more padding and filler than actual plot, and decided to give up until Jordan actually brought it to a conclusion. Now that the series is complete, I still haven't gotten around to seeing how it finished.


thejeff wrote:
Hama wrote:
You read the first 50 pages of Lord of the Rings and the book sucks?
How many volumes into The Wheel of Time are you required to get before you can decide you don't like it?

Spoiler:

14

Spoiler:

Just kidding.


this did a pretty good job of explaining what is going on


Paul Ryan wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Hama wrote:
You read the first 50 pages of Lord of the Rings and the book sucks?
How many volumes into The Wheel of Time are you required to get before you can decide you don't like it?
I gave up about book 9 when I concluded there was more padding and filler than actual plot, and decided to give up until Jordan actually brought it to a conclusion. Now that the series is complete, I still haven't gotten around to seeing how it finished.

Now that's different. That's more of a "Liked the start and it went downhill."

I'm talking more of "Really didn't enjoy the first book, but there are a dozen of then, so I suppose I should read a few more (1000 page volumes) so I'm not judging it too early."

Life's too short and there's too much to read.


thejeff wrote:
Hama wrote:
You read the first 50 pages of Lord of the Rings and the book sucks?
How many volumes into The Wheel of Time are you required to get before you can decide you don't like it?

Three.

Then you're allowed to hate books 5 to 10.


MOST people give up around 6. 9 is more than fair.


Quote:
Relax people. It was made for the same reasons (and apparently on the same budget) as the gleefully bad fantastic four movie: to keep the rights and nothing more.

Apparently it was a bit of a fail in that area as well. This was made internally by Red Eagle and aired in an infomercial spot on FXX. They paid FXX a substantial sum of money to show it.

On that basis, this doesn't fulfil the terms of the contract, which required an external studio/producer to fund the series and get it greenlit. Red Eagle doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Werthead wrote:

On that basis, this doesn't fulfil the terms of the contract, which required an external studio/producer to fund the series and get it greenlit. Red Eagle doesn't have a legal leg to stand on.

Unless you've actually read the contract, that isn't guaranteed. More importantly, even if that's true, it doesn't mean they won't try to stand on it anyway, and force Bandersnatch (if not necessarily Universal) to go through the hassle of getting a judge to sign an order saying as much.

Sovereign Court

Orthos wrote:
Hama wrote:
You read the first 50 pages of Lord of the Rings and the book sucks?

I did. I dragged myself through the rest of Fellowship before giving up on the rest of the series, but it was pretty obvious from even the earliest parts of the book that Tolkien's writing was not for me. Love the world, love the history summaries on Wiki, love the movies... just can't stand the way Tolkien himself wrote.

At least Jordan made it to book 4 or 5, I forget which, before I got sick of his writing.

Actually that is a mistake, because the Fellowship is the weakest of the three. Two Towers picks up the pace considerably and is a far more interesting read.

Shadow Lodge

Hama wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Hama wrote:
You read the first 50 pages of Lord of the Rings and the book sucks?

I did. I dragged myself through the rest of Fellowship before giving up on the rest of the series, but it was pretty obvious from even the earliest parts of the book that Tolkien's writing was not for me. Love the world, love the history summaries on Wiki, love the movies... just can't stand the way Tolkien himself wrote.

At least Jordan made it to book 4 or 5, I forget which, before I got sick of his writing.

Actually that is a mistake, because the Fellowship is the weakest of the three. Two Towers picks up the pace considerably and is a far more interesting read.

I couldn't even start it. I got a few pages in, saw more of the same, quit.

It's just not the writing style for me. Tolkien writes too much like the scholar and teacher he was, everything in his books reads like a school lecture.


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Orthos wrote:
Hama wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Hama wrote:
You read the first 50 pages of Lord of the Rings and the book sucks?

I did. I dragged myself through the rest of Fellowship before giving up on the rest of the series, but it was pretty obvious from even the earliest parts of the book that Tolkien's writing was not for me. Love the world, love the history summaries on Wiki, love the movies... just can't stand the way Tolkien himself wrote.

At least Jordan made it to book 4 or 5, I forget which, before I got sick of his writing.

Actually that is a mistake, because the Fellowship is the weakest of the three. Two Towers picks up the pace considerably and is a far more interesting read.

I couldn't even start it. I got a few pages in, saw more of the same, quit.

It's just not the writing style for me. Tolkien writes too much like the scholar and teacher he was, everything in his books reads like a school lecture.

Wahey! Normally when I mention that people just call me crazy. Glad to find someone who agrees with me.

The Hobbit is the exception for me, I've always loved that story, and still read it fairly regularly. But Lord of the Rings, I've read it a couple of times, but it never grabbed me in the same way for exactly the reason you stated.


Orthos wrote:
Hama wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Hama wrote:
You read the first 50 pages of Lord of the Rings and the book sucks?

I did. I dragged myself through the rest of Fellowship before giving up on the rest of the series, but it was pretty obvious from even the earliest parts of the book that Tolkien's writing was not for me. Love the world, love the history summaries on Wiki, love the movies... just can't stand the way Tolkien himself wrote.

At least Jordan made it to book 4 or 5, I forget which, before I got sick of his writing.

Actually that is a mistake, because the Fellowship is the weakest of the three. Two Towers picks up the pace considerably and is a far more interesting read.

I couldn't even start it. I got a few pages in, saw more of the same, quit.

It's just not the writing style for me. Tolkien writes too much like the scholar and teacher he was, everything in his books reads like a school lecture.

Yeah, I'm one of the bigger Tolkien fans around, but he's not for everybody. And that's fine.

I rarely stop reading books, but I've regretted not doing so on occasion. And I'm quite happy not to read more of a series if the first book doesn't grab me.

It's the author's job to hook me. If they can't do that in a few hundred pages, I don't owe them more than that.


Tolkien can sound like a scholar and teacher...if you find LotR bad...stay FAAAAAAR away from the Silmarillion.

Liberty's Edge

If they did a WoT live action TV show, they would have to do it like Games of Thrones. Multiple units filming at once. I don't think it should be made live action, too much to it. Could do it with animation I would think.

Sovereign Court

Problem is that western audience doesn't consider animation to be for adults.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Hama wrote:
You read the first 50 pages of Lord of the Rings and the book sucks?
How many volumes into The Wheel of Time are you required to get before you can decide you don't like it?

Three.

Then you're allowed to hate books 5 to 10.

Glad I'm not the only one... I stopped midway through 4... the story was just an insane rambling at that point, with hundreds of seemingly useless characters...

The Exchange

Quote:

Glad I'm not the only one... I stopped midway through 4... the story was just an insane rambling at that point, with hundreds of seemingly useless characters...

Ha, weird. I just finished reading #4, and really liked it (after seriously disliking #3). From reading around a bit I gathered that #4 is considered by many to be the best in the series - I consider it about on par with the first two.

Liberty's Edge

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Lord Snow wrote:
From reading around a bit I gathered that #4 is considered by many to be the best in the series

I definitely consider it such.

Although it was the ending of Winter's Heart that made me actually stop and go, "Holy f***..." and just stare at the wall in shock for about half an hour afterward.


I thought Wheel of Time started strong, and I continued reading through...7? 8?

I stopped largely because the story just kept bogging down. Jordan kept adding more and more side plots, characters, and prophecy, without ever really resolving them. Even the characters he killed off started coming back (or maybe coming back).

I think the last book of the series I read literally covered maybe a day worth of "events", with no real forward story momentum. I jumped ship then


That was Book 10. Even Robert Jordan, who was completely immune to criticism, later said it was 'misjudged', which was the closest he ever got to self-realisation.

To be fair, Book 11, which he wrote alone, was a huge return to form. Books 12-14 were excellent and did wrap almost everything up very well.

Anyway, new developments! Red Eagle are suing Robert Jordan's widow because, hey, there's a couple of fans they haven't alienated yet.

Passing over the dickery of the move, it's worth noting that:

1) Red Eagle made a ton of money on the deal. They bought the rights for $600K and sold them for at least $1 million to Universal (potentially as high as $9.9 million, but that's improbable).

2) The initial purchase was for The Eye of the World by itself. Presumably the later one was for the full series. If so, Robert Jordan got some bad advice as that was peanuts to pay for a series that had sold 40 million copies by that point. If not, Red Eagle can't adapt the whole series (and won't have made that any more likely due to their behaviour this week). This would go some way to explaining why no adaptation of the biggest non-adapted fantasy series on the planet has gotten off the ground whilst far less successful works are getting picked up all over the place.

3) The same studio that made Breaking Bad was interested in a deal, and may still be. That's pretty big news.

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