What? Where? How? Why was the World not notified that one of the biggest fantasy series ever created was turned into a TV show and then being aired?
Well, a lot of reasons. One, not even Dragonmount or Brandon or Team Jordan where aware of the happenings. See the confusion and Drama unfold over twitter/facebook.
“Wheel of Time pilot? WTF?!?!” – Me, to my roomates
First off, as a lot of things always do, a fan posts something innocuous on Reddit:
|r/WOT begins speculating|
u/LewShova asks the question. What is this, and why don’t we know more. You can see Jason Denzel from DragonMount.com respond below. This just got real. Checking on FX, IMDB, and your channel guide doesn’t give too much more information:
Instagram provides this behind the scene imagery:
|The Dragonmount Twitter starts speculating at around 7 PM|
|Brandon Starts responding 2 hours later|
The best part of this fiasco is that nobody knows what is happening. Dragonmount literally dies from the traffic overload as people flock for any information. But most people agree it is too keep their licensing rights.
“Ninja is accurate… as it stealthily slipped the #Wot community a Ninja Middle Finger” – +Darth_Andrea
“And in all seriousness, props to @Sedavision for giving #winterdragon his best despite knowing it was just a rights extender. #WheelOfTime” – @bradkane7
Adding to the Drama is the fact that Seda James, the man at the center of the controversy, dies a few days after filming. His memorial is held on Feb 8, the evening of the premier of his pilot. These are his last tweets:
To one and all, our dear, friend Seda James has been badly injured in a car accident and is in the hospital, he has been take off of life support and will be on his journey back home.
Seda has touched so many lives and I want to be certain that all of his circles connect. We would love to celebrate his life and love.
We are trying to get the word out to all Firespinners, Spiritual Community, actors, I have contacted the production he worked with…
Please help in any way you can in spreading this information to all that were touch by Sweet Seda.
♥ A memorial service will be announced here. It is possible it will be as soon as Sunday at sunset.
“Seriously, somebody needs to tweet us a YouTube link.” – @Dragonmount
Leaks, streams, and cams start appearing. There is notably a cam up, and more copies to follow.
|Wheel of Time Facebook|
And finally Dragonmount comes to save the day!
“I am dumbfounded by this occurrence, and am taking steps to prevent its reoccurrence.” – Harriet McDougal Rigney
“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.”
“We know that Red Eagle’s rights expire after 7 years, beginning about a year after RJ died in 2007. Harriet has been very clear about that length of time in the past. (She’s called it an “biblical” number of years.) Based on our math, it’s our suspicion that the rights are about to expire. Possibly any day. Typically in contracts of this kind, the producers who own the rights need to produce a TV show or movie before the deadline, at which time they receive an extension. So in order for Red Eagle to keep those rights, and extend the time period they have them, they would have to successfully produce a pilot before that deadline occurs. All they need to do is put out an episode with the name Wheel of Time on it, and use some familiar characters.” – Dragonmount.com
What is the fate of the Wheel of Time series? As far as I have researched, there are no definitive answers. We can speculate that Red Eagle Entertainment was successfully able to release a pilot, and therefore technically renew their rights, though at what cost?
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