Surprise Wheel of Time TV Pilot Is an Absolute Nightmare

Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series is a highly coveted property when it comes to film and television rights, being one of the most successful literary fantasy series of all time. And after the success of Game of Thrones, it’s no wonder every production company on the planet wants a fantasy series to compete against it. Back in the mid-2000s, Jordan sold the property to Red Eagle, who failed on all accounts to make anything of the product, which you can read more about here. Red Eagle ended up selling the film and TV rights over to Universal in 2008, which allowed them to retain a production credit.

Those rights would have ended this coming Wednesday, February 11th… But behind everyone’s backs a secret pilot episode was filmed, under the title ‘Winter Dragon,’ and was silently aired last night on FXX. This was done with almost no expenses lost to them, and as an attempt to hold the property down, so other companies don’t swoop in for the taking.

Let me forewarn you, it’s one of the worst productions I’ve ever seen, but I’ll link the video below. The events in the pilot stem from the prologue to the first book in the series, The Eye of the World, and is primarily a conversation with the embodiments of good and evil. Ironically enough, I just read this passage not even a week ago and was toting it with friends saying it’s gotten me supremely hyped for the series to follow. Expect a review of Eye of the World soon. The video below does it terrible justice though.

As I mentioned above, nobody was told about this. Here’s a statement from Robert Jordan’s widow, Harriet McDougal:

“This morning brought startling news. A “pilot” for a Wheel of Time series, the “pilot” being called Winter Dragon, had appeared at 1:30 in the morning, East Coast time, on FXX TV, a channel somewhere in the 700s (founded to concentrate on comedy, according to the Washington Post).

It was made without my knowledge or cooperation. I never saw the script. No one associated with Bandersnatch Group, the successor-in-interest to James O. Rigney, was aware of this.

Bandersnatch has an existing contract with Universal Pictures that grants television rights to them until this Wednesday, February 11 – at which point these rights revert to Bandersnatch.

I see no mention of Universal in the “pilot”. Nor, I repeat, was Bandersnatch, or Robert Jordan’s estate, informed of this in any way.

I am dumbfounded by this occurrence, and am taking steps to prevent its reoccurrence.”

Rick Selvage, CEO of Red Eagle Entertainment, claims this isn’t the last we’ll see of the Wheel of Time television series, saying, “we think there’s huge demand for the television series internationally, and we’re looking forward to producing it and getting it out in the marketplace.” Find more on the ridiculous notion here.

But really guys. It’s the worst thing I’ve seen on TV in decades. If you’re a fan of this series, this is especially cringe-worthy. But if you’re new to the series? This won’t make any sense, so don’t bother to watch either way.

14 thoughts on “Surprise Wheel of Time TV Pilot Is an Absolute Nightmare

  1. Holy sheeit. All this and Billy Zane too? Truly we are entering the end times.

    More seriously, that’s terrible. I have no idea on the contractual stuff but a script like that should never have seen the light of day.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This isn’t an unusual move. Before the Jesica Alba Fantastic 4 (she is the only one I can remember from the show), Another production studio had filmed a super cheap Fantastic 4 just to hold onto the rights. At the time the contract was written that all they had to do was film the show but never did it say they had to show it (which they didn’t). There is a good write up here about it:

    Also I heard that one reason Alan Moore hates DC is because when they are about to lose the rights to his graphic novels they will re-release a new edition just to maintain the rights. It is also why he hates the movies based on his work. (Or so I heard).

    Honestly, I hope we don’t get a Wheel of Time until it can be awesome and I just don’t think TV technology is there yet for that (without insane expenses).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeesh. The actors are shitty, the effects are like a bad 90s movie, but worst of all?

        Where the bloody hell is my suicide-by-turning-yourself-into-a-freaking-mountain?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. It took me a while to figure out what exactly was going on in this drama a few hours ago. Thanks for your simple breakdown of what happened, the internet needs it.
    As updates started coming out the story kept getting worse and worse. I’m not a wheel of time fan (not yet at least) but I feel for all you poor people.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are welcome. Thanks. I hate to retread what others are reporting, especially when they’re doing it so much better. In cases like this, I keep the facts to a minimum, link to more facts, and express the simple gist. The gist here being this is remarkable and absurd.


  4. As destruction of intellectual property / trademark it’s actionable in tort for starters. Wow to the Nth degree at this craptastic thing- and the epic dickheadery behind it to make such a dick move. Not. Cool.

    But then sometimes this sort of thing happens for a cosmic reason…


    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have back when I was a Z-List insider.
        It’s kind of what a certain type of bottom feeder does- gets a property right then does F all with it, then at the last possible minute gets in the way hoping for a buyout. Corman did it with Fantastic Four for that matter.

        It ain’t done out of love and respect, put it that way.

        Have you been reading my Swamp Man, by the way? I finally feel I am expressing what I want to express with that one, amidst criticism I am making it too semiotically dense… 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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