Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time is one of those sprawling, elaborate fantasy book series that is only read by enormous dorks. In other words, people like me. Yes, I've read all 11 novels (plus the prequel novella) and nearly 10,000 pages. Many fans abandoned the series after book 5 or 6, when it became apparent that the plot was in a holding pattern while the number of notable characters approached three digits. Not me. The naysayers were right, to a point, but the world Jordan created was so rich, so interesting that I simply loved going back, even if nothing much was happening. Jordan swore that book 12 would be the last, but died before he could finish it; another fantasy writer has been tapped to complete it from Jordan's extensive notes.

The series has been optioned several times, with an eye toward movies or television miniseries. Nothing ever came of it -- the books are so long, the plots so intricate, the cast of characters so enormous, that each attempt hit a logistical wall. Now, Universal has staked a claim, shelling out seven figures for the rights to the series. Logically, they plan to start with the first book, The Eye of the World.

Good luck. It's hard for fans to get excited for something like this, because what we love about the series -- the vastness and incredible detail of the world Jordan creates -- is so unlikely to make it to the screen. I do hope to actually see a film adaptation at some point (I'm awfully curious to see what they'll do), but I have a feeling this might go the way of the previous attempts. If they're hoping for a Lord of the Rings-caliber franchise, the pressure will be on the eventual screenwriter to adapt the novels in a compelling and accessible way. Trust me: it'll be really, really hard.
categories Movies, Cinematical