The Wheel of Time: Rafe Judkins Talks Bearded Mat, Forsaken & More
With the live-action series adaptation set to hit Amazon Prime screens starting this November, series showrunner & EP Rafe Judkins and star Rosamund Pike (Moiraine) checked in to offer some more details about the upcoming live-action series adaptation of Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" novels (more on that in a minute). But Judkins also made a promise to the fans that he would select five questions from the comments of the EW article previewing the series and answer them. And that's exactly what he did- and thanks to The Wheel of Time Twitter account, we have those questions as well as Judkins' responses.
Who's idea was it to have Mat have a beard?
"We aged up the Emond's Field Five from the books because sometimes TV shows with a bunch of 17-year-olds as leads feel more like YA and 'Wheel of Time' isn't YA"
Can we expect to see any of the Forsaken in s1?
"It depends on how much you know about the Forsaken" (Judkins ended it with a geek emoji)
Will the World of Dreams be in the show?
"How could you do the show without it?" (So we're taking that as a "Yes"?)
How are you feeling Rafe? Feels good to see the fandom freaking out on a Wednesday?
"It's so nice! I'm glad people are liking what's out there. The more #TwitterOfTime can get people excited and engaging with these things the better it is for the show and the more people will get welcomed to this weird world :)"
Who is always late to set?
"Uh oh! Wish I hadn't randomly selected this one ha. Let me see. Maybe I'll just keep typing until I run out of characters and then it'll just be like whoops I couldn't really answer your question. Of course, I WISH I COULD but it's just so tough with the character limit on Twi" (Well-played, Judkins. Well-played…)
With the series set to premiere this November, Judkins & Pike offered EW some additional details on what viewers can expect- from why a powerful man is not a good thing in this world, the role Moiraine plays, the uniqueness of the ensemble aspect of Jordan's story.
"The Wheel of Time" Brings an Ensemble Approach that Makes It Unique to Adapt: "'Wheel of Time' is the first fantasy series that really dove into the political and cultural worlds of all these different characters. It was also one of the first to dive into multiple POV characters, so you're following an ensemble, with each of them having their own agendas and approaches to everything. That's always felt to me like the missing piece of the fantasy-literature landscape that hasn't been brought to TV or film yet." – Judkins.
Rosamund Pike's Moiraine "Is the Guide Figure in This World": "Moiraine is the guide figure in this world, the mysterious stranger who comes to town and changes their lives forever. They leave with her on a journey that will either save or destroy humanity." – Pike
In This World, Women Rule & Men Kept Powerless- For a Reason: Like the rest of the Aes Sedai, Moiraine can tap into a magical force known as the One Power- a power that used men and women used to access until an evil known as the Dark One cursed the male half. So if you're a dude like Logain (Álvaro Morte) who's looking to tap into that power? Consider yourself on the Aes Sedai radar. "Just as men are often trying to shut down female power in our world, the Aes Sedai are trying to stop this man from becoming too powerful," Judkins reveals. "If, hypothetically, one of our male characters were able to use the One Power, they understand the stakes of it from what they see of Logain." Of course, that's going to become an issue when Moiraine suspects that either Rand (Josha Stradowski), Mat (Barney Harris), or Perrin (Marcus Rutherford) has that gift.
Judkins & Amazon Spared No Expense to Tell Jordan's Story the Way It Was Meant to Be Told: "We literally built Shadar Logoth from scratch just for 15 minutes of airtime because it's that important to the series. That's where it becomes very clear it's not just the forces of good and evil. There are lots of different angles." – Judkins.
Amazon Prime's The Wheel of Time stars Rosamund Pike as Moiraine, Josha Stradowski as Rand al'Thor, Marcus Rutherford as Perrin Aybara, Zoë Robins as Nynaeve al'Meara, Barney Harris as Mat Cauthon, Madeleine Madden as Egwene al'Vere, Daniel Henney as Lan Mandragoran, Michael McElhatton as Tam al'Thor, Álvaro Morte as Logain Ablar, Hammed Animashaun as Loial, Alexandre Willaume as Thom Merrilin, Johann Myers as Padan Fain, Jennifer Cheon Garcia as Leane Sharif, Priyanka Bose as Alanna Mosvani, Emmanuel Imani as Ihvon, and Taylor Napier as Maksim.
Recent additions to the cast include Lolita Chakrabarti as Marin Al'Vere, Michael Tuahine as Bran Al'Vere, David Sterne as Cenn Buie, Christopher Sciueref as Abell Cauthon, Juliet Howland as Natti Cauthon, Mandi Symonds as Daise Conger, Abdul Salis as Eamon, Stuart Graham as Geofram, Pasha Bocarie as Master Grinwell, Jennifer Preston as Mistress Grinwell, Izuka Hoyle as Dana, Darren Clarke as Basel Gill, Maria Doyle Kennedy as Illa, Narinder Samra as Raen, Daryl McCormack as Aram, Sophie Okonedo as Siuan Sanche, Kae Alexander as Min, Clare Perkins as Kerene, Peter Franzen as Stepin, and Kate Fleetwood as Liandrin.
Uta Briesewitz (Westworld) is set to direct the first two episodes. Isis Mussenden is attached to the project as costume designer, with Karen E. Goulekas serving as the visual effects supervisor. Amazon Prime's The Wheel of Time is executive produced by showrunner Rafe Judkins (Chuck, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), alongside Rick Selvage and Larry Mondragon of Red Eagle Entertainment, Ted Field and Mike Weber of Radar Pictures, and Darren Lemke. Harriet McDougal serves as a consulting producer. Produced by Sony Pictures Television and Amazon Studios, The Wheel of Time will launch in over 200 countries and territories.
Bleeding Cool TV on Instagram: For all of the stuff too random and bizarre to make the site, make sure to follow us on Instagram: Bleeding Cool TV (@bleedingcooltv).
BCTV Daily Dispatch: For a look at what's going on across the television and streaming landscape, sign up for Bleeding Cool's daily email round-up of the news you need to know here.