Well that didn't take long. Less than twenty-four hours after fans of Robert Jordan's (James Oliver Rigney Jr.) "Wheel of Time" series of novels read reports that actress Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl, upcoming The Banker's Wife) would be joining Amazon Prime's fantasy series adaptationas Moiraine, the show's writers' room took to Twitter to confirm the news. Rafe Judkins (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) serves as showrunner as well as writer, with Uta Briesewitz (Westworld) set to direct the first two episodes. Isis Mussenden is attached to the project at costume designer, with Karen E. Goulekas serving as visual effects supervisor.
— The Wheel of Time on Prime (@WOTonPrime) June 19, 2019
Here's a look at a more detailed description of Pike's Moiraine:
The Wheel of Time is set in a sprawling fantasy world where magic exists, but can only be accessed by certain women. Pike's Moiraine is one of those women, a member of the powerful all-female organization known as the Aes Sendai. She comes to the small town of Two Rivers and embarks on a world-spanning journey with five young men and women. One of them is prophesied to be the Dragon Reborn, a being who will either save or destroy humanity.
Rafe Judkins (Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) serves as showrunner as well as writer, with Uta Briesewitz (Westworld) set to direct the first two episodes. Isis Mussenden is attached to the project at costume designer, with Karen E. Goulekas serving as visual effects supervisor.
The casting news and character description falls directly in line with the series description posted by Production Weekly back in Janaury 2019, which showed that the adaptation would focus on Moiraine as the central character:
"The fantasy epic is set in a sprawling, epic world where magic exists, but only women can use it. The story follows Moiraine, a member of the shadowy and influential all-female organization called the Aes Sedai, as she embarks on a dangerous, world-spanning journey with five young men and women. Moiraine believes that one of them might be the reincarnation of an incredibly powerful individual, whom prophecies say will either save humanity or destroy it. The series draws on numerous elements of European and Asian culture and philosophy, most notably the cyclical nature of time found in Buddhism and Hinduism."
Here's what author Brandon Sanderson (who completed the series after Jordan's passing) had to say about the series adaptation and the changes being made by the writers' room:
"I found the mast majority of these decisions to be excellent choices–things that will give the show its own soul, but still in line with the feel and tone of the books. I can't say for certain, but my instincts say the fanbase will in general respond to them positively. There are a few I offered suggestions on, and we'll see.
I can't say too much, not just because of NDAs, but also because the show is very much still in flux as Rafe makes decisions on how he wants things to go. As the alterations go, I'd say they fall in line with positive changes made in bringing LOTR to the big screen–things that were altered in order to make the films work for the medium.
Overall, the thing I'm most impressed with is Rafe himself, who really seems to be guiding this show with a balance between love for the source material and his own creative vision. I'd much rather get this, personally, than something like the first two Harry Potter films–which felt like someone trying to bring the books to the screen with exact scene-by-scene recreations.
I'm certain there will be polarizing decisions made by the team, but the changes are coming from a good place, and I really like most of them. And let me tell you, the first of the two scripts I read was sharp. Excellent dialogue, nuanced characters, great pacing. The second of the two was in a rougher shape, so while still good, obviously was still undergoing revisions."
Amazon Prime Video's The Wheel of Time is executive produced by Judkins, 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.