That´s right! If you don’t already know this, Universal Pictures has acquired the film rights to one of the all time greatest epic fantasy series out there, "The Wheel of Time".
Red Eagle Entertainment will be the ones in charge of the production. What!? Who the hell are they? You ask. That’s ok, I didn´t know who they where either. Basically they published graphic novel adaptations of the series and have a seven-figure deal that includes the rights to all twelve books. Even the soon-to-be published twelveth book that author and creator Robert Jordan never got to finish because of his unfortunate death. Author Brandon Sanderson will be the one in charge of completing the final novel of the series, using Robert Jordan’s notes and audio recordings. The last book in "The Wheel of Time" series will be entitled "A Memory of Light" and if all goes according to plan it will be available Fall 2009.
There has been mixed feelings, amongst the fans, about a movie adaptation. And rightfully so. Hollywood´s not exactly the best confidence builder now is it?
We all have our own concerns about how they’re going to make this adaptation work. Peter Jackson, himself, said that what he did with Lord of the Rings was a task of enormous proportions and he “only” had to adapt three books.
Jordan has numerous characters in these novels with their own separate storylines, each with its own hero and quest to follow. Adapting these novels will, definitely, be a huge tak and responsibility. Wheel of Time is praised throughout the world by anyone who read it and I don’t think its fan base has too much confidence for a company they barely even heard of.
Even Robert Jordan had his own reservations ( to say the least) for the people at Red Eagle Entertainment.
This is a quote from what is reportedly Jordan's last blog post:
“I hear things now and then floating out in the air. For instance, I hear that word was floating about ComicsCon in San Diego that I am displeased with Red Eagle. Too true. Too very true. ...Red Eagle thought they could tell me they spit in the soup, or pee in it, if they wanted to and there wasn’t anything I could do to stop them. You can’t apologize your way out of that with me, not that they tried. There isn’t enough money in the world to buy your way out of it with me. Not that they tried that either. So they get no further help from me. Once they are completely out of the picture, we’ll see what happens.” – Robert Jordan
Mind you, this was said after the Dabel Bros - the rights holder and producer of New Spring - got in to a rift with Red Eagle entertainment. Red Eagle stopped publication and the rights that the Dabel Bros used to have, ceased to exist. The publication could not continue and Jordon was, probably, just feeling frustrated with the whole situation.
Anyway, the fact remains. “The Eye of the World” has a release date set for 2011. Weather it will be animated or not is up for debate. One thing’s for sure, though. Universal has a real gem in its hands, let’s just hope they know how to make it shine.