THR reports that a Wheel of Time Prequel trilogy of movies is being penned by Zack Stentz. The Age of Legends is an entire period of history set long before the events within The Wheel of Time books. The books make various references to this earlier, more technologically advanced era in Robert Jordan’s huge franchise. However, whilst this will follow on from both a Tolkien prequel by Amazon, and a Game of Thrones prequel from HBO, this one is a little different.
Robert Jordan passed away before he could complete The Wheel of Time and as such he chose author Brandon Sanderson to complete the final leg for him posthumously. The Age of Legends is therefore far less developed than the aforementioned works of Tolkien and Martin respectively. For one Martin is still around to guide these Game of Thrones Prequels. As for Tolkien, the Second Age that the Amazon show covers is the least fleshed out period. However, Tolkien did work on this until his death and had all the major timeline events locked down. Therefore both shows have far more to work with than this Age of Legends prequel will have.
“I’ve been a fan of Robert Jordan’s work for many years, and it is especially his allusions to the origins and backstory of The Wheel of Time that I have always found most intriguing. I’m excited to be bringing this era Robert Jordan conceptualized to life,” said Stentz in a statement.
The fantasy and sci-fi film will be produced by Rick Selvage and Larry Mondragon of iwot productions and Ted Field and Justin Smith of Radar Pictures.
However his one is also strange in terms of how the rights to Jordan’s books work.
A Potentially Unconnected Universe
You see Red Eagle acquired the TV and film rights to The Wheel of Time back in 2004. After which time various companies worked on film adaptations that never happened, first at Warner Brothers and then Universal. Red Eagle took the project to Radar Pictures, and they then took the project to Sony, who were interested. Ultimately after legal issues, the TV rights were sold to Sony. Sony then signed a development and distribution deal with Amazon Television. Ergo, we have the TV series being made right now.
Age of Legends would be potentially completely unconnected to Amazon’s show. Best guess is that Sony and Amazon got the rights to the 15 main books (14 and 1 prequel), but not the full franchise rights. This is allowing Red Eagle and Radar to move ahead with attempting to create a trilogy of movies from that brief prequel information.
That also means that as yet, no big studio seems attached to this film project. Frankly, the fact Stentz is penning the scripts does not mean anyone will actually begin filming it. Radar previously rushed another of Jordan’s work out to maintain the rights and it stank. To do this justice they need a major studio to finance the project.
Sony and Amazon jointly would be the most logical choice. However, there’s no way either are touching this. At least not until they see how the Wheel of Time TV series lands with audiences. It’s therefore possible for another studio to step in here and make a series of films that connect to Amazon’s show without actually connecting. There are characters that cross between both of these periods and the worst result here would be different actors playing the same parts across a film series and the TV show.
I’m not betting on this one ever going under a lens until a major studio gets involved. What do you think, does a Wheel of Time prequel trilogy of movies sound like fun? I myself am extremely wary. I suspect this announcement is motivated more by retaining the rights, than having a good story to tell. However if Sony/Amazon got on board? Well, then we can talk again.
Sound off below.