Marvel Director Tapped To Helm Iconic Fantasy Movie Adaptation

By Zack Zagranis | Published

A popular fantasy book series is making its way to the big screen. The Falcon and The Winter Soldier director Kari Skogland has been tapped to direct a live-action movie adaptation of The Wheel of Time. The BAFTA-winning director will start with a movie titled The Age of Legends, the first installment of a planned trilogy of movies based on the world of the book series.

The screenplay for The Age of Legends comes from writer Zack Stentz, whose work on Thor and X-Men: First Class proves that he’s a veteran of the sci-fi/fantasy genre. In addition to her Marvel work, Skogland has also worked on The Handmaid’s Tale, The Walking Dead, and House of Cards. The film is being produced by many of the same names behind The Wheel of Time series from Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios.

How can this movie and the current Amazon series exist at the same time? Simple. The Age of Legends is a prequel series. The Wheel of Time movies will be set hundreds of years before the timeline in Robert Jordan’s books, the books which are currently being adapted into a series by Amazon Studios.

Rand al Thor in Amazon’s The Wheel of Time

The Age of Legends will tell the tragic tale of the Forsaken, the original group of magic wielders who caused all the trouble being dealt with by Rand and his friends on the current Wheel of Time Amazon series.

Skogland called directing The Age of Legends a “remarkable opportunity” to bring The Wheel of Time franchise to life, a franchise she considers a “beloved universe” with “rich lore.” The director further stated that her “vision” was to “honor the worldbuilding” present in Robert Jordan’s book series while simultaneously “peeling back the layers of legend and myth” to get to the heart of the story’s characters. These are characters that Skogland called “flawed heroes and villains,” with no choice but to make some hard decisions as their universe crumbles.

Rick Selvage, president of iwot Productions—another studio involved with the project—gushed over the director, making it clear that she was the preferred choice to helm the new Wheel of Time movie. “Kari’s brilliance in crafting visually stunning worlds makes her the ideal director for The Age of Legends.” said Selvage. Selvage went on to say that the Age of Legends film was “not just an adaptation” but also an “exploration” of the world Jordan created. “Kari’s mastery in storytelling is crucial for bringing Jordan’s vision to life.” he said.

Lanfear, one of the Forsaken on The Wheel of Time

The Wheel of Time is a series of high fantasy novels that began with The Eye of the World in 1990. The series is famous for its prodigious length, highly detailed imaginary world, and unique magic system. The book series has sold over 90 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling fantasy series since The Lord of the Rings.

The series consists of 14 novels originally planned as six, with the final three novels being co-written by Brandon Sanderson. This was due to Jordan’s tragic death in 2007 while working on the remaining books in the Wheel of Time saga. Sanderson’s work was only possible thanks to the extensive notes Jordan left behind detailing how the story was to end.

A previous attempt was made to adapt The Wheel of Time into live action. In 2015, Red Eagle Entertainment, then owners of the franchise, paid FXX to air a low-budget half-hour pilot for a potential Wheel of Time series. Titled Winter Dragon, the pilot was based on the prologue to the first novel in the series The Eye of the World. The pilot wasn’t picked up, and soon, work began on what would eventually become the Amazon Prime Video series.

While it may not be as ubiquitous as similar fantasy series Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, The Wheel of Time has legions of fans, meaning that The Age of Legends has the potential to be big if done right.

Source: Deadline Hollywood