While fans are agog to see Amazon Prime's upcoming take on The Lord of the Rings as a series, the streaming giant has another genre-defining fantasy series in the works. Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time novels are being adapted into a television series on Prime Video. Rafe Judkins, the showrunner for the show, took to Twitter to talk to fans about his upcoming series, where he revealed that the show will rely as little as possible on CGI.
"I want things to be as real as possible, so in any place that we possibly can, we've built things instead of trusting to effects. Our show could be all green screen, all CGI, but I think you'll be surprised by how much of it was actually built, and touched and held by our actors."
The Wheel of Time will tell the story of Moiraine, who is a powerful member of a coven of female magic users known as the Aes Sedai. Following an attack by the evil being known as The Dark One, the Sedai take a group of five young people from a village, one of whom is believed to be the reincarnated spirit of the Dragon, an ancient hero who is prophesied to bring about the destruction of the old world order.
Despite the stereotypical fantasy setting, the world of The Wheel of Time is exceedingly detailed and complex and has served as a springboard for countless fantasy novels, movies, and games that came afterward. According to Judkins, the team behind their show paid special attention to the costumes and props, even building an entire map of the world of the novels and carving out each culture separately before getting to work on individual costumes.
"We have a fight time and swordmaster on the show who has built a fighting style unique to each weapon and culture. So, if you see a Borderlander fight with a heron mark blade it may feel different than a Seanchan."
The Wheel of Time series consists of fourteen ponderous novels. That is a lot of material for Judkins and his team to get through. In order to do justice to the full scope of the story, the showrunner's aim is to treat the show as one overarching narrative rather than adapting one novel at a time for each season.
"We're approaching this as an adaptation of the entire series, not just each book individually, so hopefully Season One will feel more like the entire book series of Wheel of Time than it does like Eye of the World. When the books came out they felt so blazingly fresh and different and new. So we want that same thing to be true of the show, and if you see us leaning away from certain elements in the books, oftentimes it's because audiences have now seen them before!"
Executive produced and written by Rafe Judkins, The Wheel of Time stars Rosamund Pike, Josha Stradowski, Marcus Rutherford, Zoë Robins, Barney Harris, Madeleine Madden, Daniel Henney, and Michael McElhatton. An Amazon Prime premiere date has not been announced by Amazon at this time. This news was first reported at ComicBook.com.