Amazon Studios continues to seek out properties to find the next “Game of Thrones” when that show ends in 2019. Their big news came months ago when they purchased the rights to create a “Lord of the Rings” television series. That show will likely be a prequel to the films of the film franchise, occurring alongside or tangentially with “The Hobbit” films. While that property looks promising, Amazon continues to look for other potential hits. Now, they’ve acquired another massive fantasy world for the small screen, picking up the rights to “The Wheel of Time” from Robert Jordan.
According to Deadline, the project has actually been at Amazon for more than a year. With scripts in development, they took a surprisingly patient view of the property. This seems to stem from the series’ inability to get on the air. An unauthorized version of the series aired on FXX back in 2015, creating anger from Jordan’s widow in the process. Instead, Amazon took a wait and see approach to ensure the highest quality could be fleshed out.
Many will laugh that former “Survivor” contestant Rafe Judkins will showrun and write for the series. He also served as a producer and writer on NBC’s “Chuck,” ABC’s “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Hemlock Grove” for Netflix. The last one shows he has at least some experience in the streaming world, despite the relative letdown that the show became.
“The Wheel of Time” story spans 14 novels, a prequel novel, and two additional companion books. Jordan wrote stronger female characters than many fantasy books as well. The text also features highly philosophical concepts on Taoism, Buddhism, Christianity and other religions. The franchise remains the highest selling fantasy franchise since Tolkien’s work, selling 80 million novels worldwide. Amazon, along with Sony Pictures, may have picked up the next blockbuster series.