Gather ’round for a weird one, fellow Wheel of Time fans. This week, Deadline broke the news that a brand new “immersive adaptation” of The Wheel of Time is on the way from Rick Selvage and Larry Mondragon of iwot Productions, along with the immersive storytelling company ArtsDistrict Studios and Vortex Immersion.
What exactly is an “immersive adaptation” of The Wheel of Time, you might ask? According to the companies, it means they will “leverage their respective strengths” in order to “bring the wonders of The Wheel of Time to life by harnessing the power of cutting-edge immersive and AI-enabled technologies, including 360-degree visuals and sound, holographic projections, and spatial storytelling, to create a riveting entertainment experience.”
After reading that I’m…still not really sure about the nature of The Wheel of Time immersive adaptation. Does this mean we’ll be walking through a holographic representation of the Two Rivers? Breathing in some dusty desert air blown out from a fan while images of the Aiel Waste are put up on screens? And will it actually be adapting the story, or just giving fans a way to visit iconic locales? As of right now, we have far more questions than answers.
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with proven innovators ArtsDistrict Studios and Vortex Immersion to create extended Wheel of Time-branded experiences in an immersive, interactive, and unforgettable way,” said Selvage, CEO of iwot productions. “This collaboration will allow us to create spellbinding experiences that will redefine the way that audiences interact with stories.”
David Galpern, co-founder of ArtsDistrict Studios, shared a statement as well: “We are excited to partner with iwot productions and Vortex to push the boundaries of immersive storytelling. We aim to fully immerse the audience in narrative worlds, and it is a thrill to explore a world as rich as ‘The Wheel of Time’. We believe that immersive entertainment is not just the future, but the here and now, and we are committed to creating experiences that are truly unforgettable.”
The Wheel of Time franchising is well under way
As cool as it always is to hear about new Wheel of Time stuff, I’d be lying if I said this news didn’t make me more nervous than excited. iwot Productions is the company which holds many of the adaptation rights for The Wheel of Time. Its two founders now serve as executive producers on the Amazon series, which is all well and good. However, back in 2015 they made the Winter Dragon Wheel of Time TV pilot as a very transparent way to hold onto these rights. The middle-of-the-night airing of that pilot, and its performance by Billy Zane as Ishamael, are infamous among fans.
Add in the recent news that iwot is producing a new Wheel of Time animated prequel movie, and it sounds like they’re looking to capitalize on the property’s recent spike in public awareness. That’s not bad on its face, but we’ve had some pretty recent examples in genre media of how over-saturating the market with content can backfire; just look at what Marvel is going through at the moment.
That said, I hope that the companies involved take their time building this immersive adaptation so that it ends up being a cool new thing that The Wheel of Time fans can enjoy. Hopefully we find out more details soon!
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