Wheel of Time spins out games, movies

Red Eagle Games lands rights to make multiple film tie-ins, MMOG for Universal Pictures films based on Robert Jordan's hallmark fantasy novels.

Last September, tragedy struck the world of fantasy literature when one of its most preeminent figures, Robert Jordan (aka James Oliver Rigney), died after a prolonged battle against heart disease. Jordan's untimely death was as much a blow to the fantasy community as it was to those caught up in the epic saga of his Wheel of Time fantasy novels. With the first volume published in 1990, the Wheel of Time saga spans 12 hefty canonical installments and one novella, and has achieved total sales of more than 44 million.

The final installment in the Wheel of Time series, penned by Mistborn author Brandon Sanderson, is expected to go to press in fall 2009. However, that won't be the last word out of Jordan's fantasy universe.

Red Eagle Entertainment announced today that it has secured the rights to create a series of games based on Jordan's popular franchise. The Malibu, California, company will be forming a new game development studio to handle the projects, which will tie into a series of feature films as they are released. Red Eagle also has plans to turn the franchise into a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, though no other details on this project were revealed.

"We've got a huge running start with this property," said Red Eagle producer Rick Selvage to Venture capital news blog Venture Beat. "We expect to have a game based on every movie, and we expect no less than three movies, though that depends on how well each does."

Venture Beat also cites Selvage as saying the projects are at least five years in the offing, and that he has only just begun raising cash to fund the studio. Red Eagle is planning to release the games on all relevant consoles, desktops, handhelds, and wireless devices.

As for the film, Variety reports that Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to make a motion picture based on the franchise through a collaboration with Red Eagle. The transition to celluloid will reportedly come in installments, with the first film focusing on book one in the series, The Eye of the World.

Red Eagle would not be the first gaming company to take a crack at bringing Jordan's novels to the interactive medium. In 1999, GT Interactive and Legend Entertainment teamed to release the critically well-received The Wheel of Time, a first-person shooter which was served as a precursor to the events in the first book.

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Discussion

49 comments
deckeon
deckeon

Look the books should have NEVER taken more than 10 to finish ANY story no matter how EPIC. Jordon started getting lost at about book5-6...the series turned into a bunch of women arguing and nagging men. I dont want to play a game or watch a movie with most events in books 7-11. He died for crissakes before he could finish it!

CthulhuFhtagn0
CthulhuFhtagn0

Alright...so they're going to try to encompass about...oh... 10,000 pages of epic fantasy into three movies? Why bother? Whatever they come up with will be nothing but a cheap bastardization of the original. I mean, LOTR had to leave out a TON from their movies, and they were making one movie per book! Robert Jordan must be spinning in his grave like a friggen lathe.

WootMannen
WootMannen

If they do go for movies, I personally hope they'll be smart enough to realize that there is no way in hell that they can possibly cram all the good stuff with real-world actors. Advanced 3D or some other form of artificial animation is the way to go, and it should allow them to ensure that the sheer awesome of WoT remains. Otherwise they'll have to make compromises and concessions and the end result would probably suck as much as the movie adaptation of Eragon did. I doubt anyone would be able or even willing to replicate the feat of Lord of the Rings with Wheel of Time... Not with a real-world actors movie. Though, we can hope, can't we?

MareInfinitus
MareInfinitus

The problem I would have with a movie adaptation is the fact that a movie will be hard-pressed to fit in all the details of Jordan's rich, engrossing world. If they make one movie for each book, each movie needs to be about 3 hours long in order to encompass even the major plot lines, changes, and characters from the books. Also, the characters in the books don't age 15 years from the Eye of the World to Knife of Dreams, and I can't see Red Eagle completing the series of movies before the actors look too old for their parts. Plus, they'll probably leave out some major things in order to make room, like completely ignoring the Atha'an Miere or something.

sircyrus
sircyrus

Movie tie-in games.. nooo! They should be dealing with the books, not the movies. I really hope the movies turn out well, but I really can't see that happening. I love the book series, but when magic is translated off of paper and into the visual (film) it looks lame/stupid/weak. I'd also bet they'd aim for a watered down PG-13 rating, which wouldn't be able to do the battles justice. I don't think The Wheel of Time can be successfully translated into any other form. The story is so much about the characters, and very few games are able to make the player actually care about the pixel people. Especially not when EA is involved, which they're the parter on this...

thefencemarv
thefencemarv

I started reading WOT in the 90s. It has been part of my life for almost 20 years. I am excited about any new news relative to the series. I just hope it is done properly and by real fans of the work. Anything less will likely be a huge disappointment to me and millions of other fans. I actullly feel better about the chances of movies than games. I watched with a hopefull heart as the first game based on the books failed miserably. It was well reviewed but sold about 3 copies (one of which I bought). I had lots of technical problems playing the game and it's weak sales killed any chance of ongoing tech support. I never got to play more than a few hours of the game. I still have it and it makes a nice frisbe. So Godspeed Red Eagle. Please get it right.

lordtorka
lordtorka

Red Eagle Entertainment = its going to fail...hard the only way this will not suck is if its made by BioWare or Blizzard And the movie will probably suck no matter what, its being directed by a new director who has nothing under his belt. Im pretty upset about the whole thing, i dont want to see WOT become the next dragonball (movie wise, the games were good =P)

Iriscal
Iriscal

Blood and bloody ashes.

Vainamoinen82
Vainamoinen82

I've heard of the Wheel of Time series, but I've never read any of the books. I think it's time I started the series, see what all the fuss is about.

RelentlessAngel
RelentlessAngel

I would LOVE to see a WOT game come out that literally follows the books and you have your choice of what character from the books that you wanna be, (I'd be Rand he's my fav lol). From the time they leave Emonds Field to where the last book ends... And you know that if they did follow the game from beginning to end that it would be a very long game. N hopefully its not just going to be an online game because I like it to where you have the option to play online or not, (example Neverwinter Nights) your not being forced to choose one, (example World of Warcraft). And maybe leave it open to where some of your mod builders can add their own mods. I have been dying to see this done n hopefully a lot of WOT fans can actually have a game for themselves... Heres to hoping and Praying... GOOD LUCK As far as to the movies, thats a big iffy because there are so many books and the stories break off from one character to another. But would like to see n hopefully they stay true to the books for game n movies...

Eclipse20l
Eclipse20l

I am really looking forward to an MMORPG based on these books. I tried the first book on chance got 2 pages and stopped cuz the begining is boring, but picked it back up and it's been non stop awesome ever since i got past the begining... I think an MMO would work well with this world and story. These books are WAY better then lord of the rings......

dmjake
dmjake

i defiantly need to reread this series stopped a couple years back but now that they are making movies and stuff might as well read them again

Zloth2
Zloth2

If the games are based on the movies and timed to come out with the movies, I expect them to reek. If they don't then maybe. The movies... well, it depends on who does them and how serious they are about it. If they can sell it as a modern day Lord of the Rings (which it is in several ways) and they can find somebody willing to finance it, this could be seriously big stuff. The books split the main characters up a lot and follow them all. Maybe the movies could only follow a few of them if funding is light and more depending on how much funding they get. Or maybe they could pull one character's story out of multiple books and do it as one movie, then another character's story as another movie.

baradon
baradon

I love the books and would happy to see films and games of them. My fisrt main concernrs are how do they intend to make a film that is no more than 3hrs on the first book which is the same size as the entire lord of the rings triology, but there was a lot more descreption in the wheel of time. Also with the game tie in's it would be good if they could make them more as games like oblivion, fable, the witcher (you get the point) than just go here and kill this trolloc with a battle with a forsaken at the end of each level like so many poor adaptions.

Richard7666
Richard7666

The only thing I dislike about the books is that they focus very little on combat events, which are usually pretty important plot points. A skirmish gets 1 page or so, which is pretty annoying. Raymond E Feist does a much better job in that regard, he's like a medieval/fantasy Tom Clancy. These movies are probably only going to be very loosley based on Wheel of Time, as opposed to a retelling; with each book being about the size of LotR, and 12 of them...well, they can't really cram everything in to a trilogy of 3-4 hour movies, can they..

MetisZa
MetisZa

I love WoT. Read all 11 books, loved every one. No matter how much the games will suck, or the movie be lame, I'll still play/watch each and every one of them.

XXMadManVII
XXMadManVII

They would need to make like 20 movies to do the story justice... Hollywood is gonna murder it. I will stick with the books for the story. a game however could be interesting.

Stryker521
Stryker521

Hollywood is going to ruin this.

Mauller
Mauller

Movie. Game. Doesn't really matter, they'll both have plot lines that don't seem to really know where they're going. He had some great ideas and concepts and I enjoyed his characters but the man lost his direction.

88jim8814
88jim8814

The best thing I can say about this series is that the first book is really good, and that the second is only three-quarters bad. The taut, well-crafted "Eye of the World" stands alone, and I recommend that it be read that way. But there are hints, even as far back as that, that the WoT was going to turn into a disaster. Read George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" instead.

88jim8814
88jim8814

At this point, reading Jordan is like talking to one of those semi-retarded adults that doesn't look directly at you

Feibie
Feibie

mmm i dunnoes i haven't read much into wheel of time, is it any good? i heard it's good from some people but they don't tell me why.. >.>

kjax8
kjax8

Movies...Hell no! They could make 2 or 3 of every book! Games on the other hand...There's a lot of good stuff going on in the universe that could be amazing in a game. If AND ONLY IF, they take advantage of the awesome magic system (weaving different threads and whatnot) there could be a lot of potential to it. And while I'm traditionally against the recent MMO explosion, I could let this one fly. IF they do it right, but that would require thought and a lot of effort...so...I'm not gonna get too excited. But there's definately a lot of untapped potential between those pages!

Mr_FinalFantasy
Mr_FinalFantasy

Movies: Probably won't do the books justice Games: Awesome!

KennoSac
KennoSac

Agree with most, major reservations around the movies - a HBO / Showtime series with the same level of production as the LOTR movies may have a shot. Have always wondered how the series could be implemented into games - many creative ideas could be used. But again, I agree with most here to keep it a single player RPG. For a WOT MMOG, just visit WOTMUD.ORG - by far the most developed and detailed Jordan Universe created outside of the books themselves.

Pachilles
Pachilles

The books are so long and detailed, not mention many, a movie won't quite do it justice. There should be a TV series created, with each season being a book. The production costs wouldn't be too bad since most scenes are outdoors.

meluvulongtime8
meluvulongtime8

I love the WOT series. Not so sure how movies on the series would turn out especially seeing as the series will be 12 total books and there's so many plot twists that are intertwined. Still I'd love to see the series on film as long as the production scale is as good at LOTR......just not thinking it'll be very good :(. I'd rather see an RPG game series than an MMO, but we'll see how it goes.

cervejaelgrande
cervejaelgrande

Just a quick fyi, he died of Amyloidosis, not heart disease.

cyrus151
cyrus151

amazing news...regardless of how they do I will forever support work done by robert jordan!!

andydevilkazama
andydevilkazama

This would be perfect for an MMO, the characters are super shallow and do the same things over and over again.

Akawoa
Akawoa

Awesome, Robert Jordan was my favorite author! Its nice to see hime get some mainstream recognition, the wheel of time series is not to be missed!

GhostWolf7
GhostWolf7

Game: yes, but it should be an open rpg (not an MMO). Movie: no, the story is too big and there are too many characters. HBO series maybe.

newbei
newbei

It has potential, but I agree with agnstdubya, why are so many games MMO recently! I understand that some get revenue from a monthly prescription, but it costs to keep the servers running and they are missing out on other sales, such as myself, from those who don't want to play online. I'd much rather play on a LAN. I play at home with my family and friends. It's a great time together hanging out; and besides we don't get a very good internet connection where we live.

GhostyMcboo
GhostyMcboo

buddy of mine was obsessed with these books in high school. I wonder if he's gonna hate on this or be happy as a politician in slop

Canvas_Of_Flesh
Canvas_Of_Flesh

Ooooohhhh nooooo, this isn't very good. The sheer amount of memorable characters, themes, and intertwining plots would make movies/games a bad medium. Oh well, maybe it'll work, but I doubt it.

toffifee
toffifee

I feel my heart jump but my brain says otherwise. Movies = YEY!!! Three movies on 13 books?! BIG questionmark. Games = YEY!! games = YEY??? If they make RPG's then i am totally aboard. if they make FPS I hope they never get made. This is a fantasyseries. Treat it like one. I have to edit my comment now because I just saw that it will be an FPS. *insert cursewords here*

Zetona
Zetona

So what would the next WoT game be like? It could be an FPS like the 1999 game. An RPG or action game is of course possible, and an RTS set in the world with the various nations and species would be truly intriguing if it was done well.

Demonsethes
Demonsethes

Hmm, one of the most intense fantasy universes ever created, I hope for good things of course, but I don't know if it will be possible to make a trilogy of movies that even brings a third of the information from the series to light.

nicyar
nicyar

As much as I would love to see the WoT series hit the big screen, the truth is, it's just way to big. Universal would have to make 5-6 movies to even come close to doing the story justice. All I can say is, I'd hate to be the guy in charge of editing those movies.

GodsPoison
GodsPoison

Ive never read this, but i can say with good experience that games based on movies based on books= usually fail horribly.

unkleprev
unkleprev

I am in the process of reading book four: The Shadow Rising, of the Wheel of Time series. Anyone who does not know what the Wheel of Time is.. well you're in for a treat. if the games aren't good, oh well.. what else is new. but the movies will be the greatest fantasy flicks since lord of the rings

agnstdubya
agnstdubya

hopefull of the movies and the games. but why an mmo there doesnt need to be an mmo for everything.

rave_n2
rave_n2

YES!!!!! WOO!!!!!!!! I always knew these books would make an amazing game! I hope they don't screw it up.

shadowblade99
shadowblade99

That's really cool. I loved the Wheel of Time series, but will the movie makers and the game developers do it justice? We'll see. The only good thing I can say about book to movie/video game tie ins is the Lord of the Rings series. So there is hope.

Bataar
Bataar

I see potential with games, but a movie scares me. The story is just too large and epic to handle movies. It would take multiple movies just to do justice to the first book.

3KindgomsRandy
3KindgomsRandy

I'm reserving judgement, but am cautiously optimistic.

SSJ_Tenx
SSJ_Tenx

omg i just wet myself....this is f*&$% awesome!!!!