The Wheel of Time franchise just got even bigger with a trilogy of prequel movies to compliment the upcoming TV adaptation on Amazon Prime Video. Fan excitement was already at a fever pitch for Amazon's take on Robert Jordan's epic fantasy novels, but somehow on Tuesday, it went even higher when The Hollywood Reporter broke the news of these movies. The first will be written by acclaimed genre screenwriter Zack Stentz.
Stentz is best known for co-writing Thor, X-Men: First Class and the cult classic sci-fi series Andromeda. He will reportedly now be writing The Age of Legends, a series set thousands of years before the main events of The Wheel of Time, in an era of magically-enhanced technology. Stentz said: "I've been a fan of Robert Jordan's work for many years, and it is especially his allusions to the origins and backstory of The Wheel of Time that I have always found most intriguing. I'm excited to be bringing this era Robert Jordan conceptualized to life."
*Checks notes* it’s not April Fools, so unless @lordmatcauthon is pranking me, this feels like real life?!? Even MORE WoT content! With, presumably, @LanfearChosen playing a pretty big role….. (it’s early days, but STILL!)— Egwene al’Vere (@Egwene_al_Vere) July 13, 2021
Fans of Jordan's book series — available here in print, digital and audiobook formats — know that the "Age of Legends" took place at least several thousand years before the events of the main series. It was a time when magic users ruled the world, interfaced directly with gods and reshaped the land through the force of their will.
Jordan only gave hints at this era in his books, however, rarely depicting it directly, which means that Stentz will be writing brand new material within the canon. That's a lot of pressure for any writer, and it could easily upset long-time fans if it doesn't match their conception developed over the last several decades.
It's also not clear how much DNA these movies will share with the Amazon series. The Wheel of Time is being produced by Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios, but no studio partner or distribution has been named for The Age of Legends. Fans on social media are already speculating about what licensing deal has made this separation possible.
The Wheel of Time was the best-selling fantasy novel series since The Lord of the Rings in its day. It consisted of 14 main books plus a prequel novel published later on. Unfortunately, Jordan passed away due to heart disease before the series was finished, but he left extensive notes which were adapted into the final three books by author Brandon Sanderson.
The Wheel of Time is expected to premiere on Amazon Video sometime in 2021, though so far no trailer has been released. The series has already been renewed for a second season, which is filming now. There are no production details available for The Age of Legends.