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SYFY WIRE The Wheel of Time

WIRE Buzz: Wheel of Time adds Sophie Okonedo; Tenet's early screenings; more

By Nivea Serrao
Sophie Okonedo on Red Carpet

The already impressive cast for Amazon's adaptation of The Wheel of Time continues to grow even more so — especially with the recent additions of Sophie Okonedo (Doctor Who) and Kae Alexander (Krypton).

Okonedo, an Academy Award- and Golden Globe-nominated actress, will step into the role of Siuan Sanche, the Amyrlin Seat (aka leader) of the Aes Sedai, a powerful all-female organization in the bestselling book series by author Robert Jordan, while Alexander will play Min Farshaw, a student of philosophy who can read auras and gets visions about people's present and future.

Also joining the cast are Kate Fleetwood (Brave New World) as Liandrin Guirale, Peter Franzen (Vikings) as Stepin, and Clare Perkins (Death in Paradise) as Kerene Nagashi.

The Wheel of Time follows the story of Moiraine (Gone Girl's Rosamund Pike), a member of the Aes Sedai as she arrives in the small town of Two Rivers in search of the Dragon Reborn, a chosen one who is prophesied to either save humankind or destroy it. Along with five young men and women, she undertakes a journey back to the city of Tar Valon, the seat of the Aes Sedai's power.

The first book in the Wheel of Time series was published in 1990, with the series going on to consist of 14 books. Following Jordan's passing in 2007, the final three books (The Gathering Storm, Towers of Midnight, and A Memory of Light) were completed by fantasy author Brandon Sanderson based on Jordan's extensive notes.

The show is currently in production, but Amazon has yet to set a release date. 

And speaking of long, winding sagas, the release plan for Christopher Nolan's Tenet is currently underway, with Deadline reporting that the time-twisting thriller will show for early screenings in certain U.S. cities between Aug. 31 and Sept. 2, ahead of its official release on Sept. 3.

This follows news that the movie will be released internationally first due to ongoing concerns regarding the current coronavirus pandemic, with the film's stateside premiere having been postponed a few times since its initial planned release date of July 17.

“Warner Bros. is proud to support our partners in exhibition as they reopen their doors," said President of Warner Bros. Pictures Domestic Distribution Jeff Goldstein in a statement via Deadline. "And there could be no better film to welcome audiences back to a true big-screen experience than Tenet.”

Tenet's release plans coincide with AMC Theatres' plans to re-open more than 100 locations in cities across the U.S. starting on Aug. 20, as the film is one of a few upcoming movies still intent on a theatrical release, which the chain is hoping will attract moviegoers back into the cinema — along with the even longer-delayed New Mutants.

Oh, and that's not the only piece of Tenet news. In a recent GQ profile, rapper Travis Scott accidentally revealed that he's written an original song for the flick, which Nolan later confirmed.

"His voice became the final piece of a yearlong puzzle," said Nolan in the profile about Scott's first venture into creating music for film. "His insights into the musical and narrative mechanism [composer] Ludwig Göransson and I were building were immediate, insightful, and profound."

Tenet will be released in select U.S. cities on September 3.  

Jurassic World: Dominion is one of a few film productions to once again resume production — along with Sony's Cinderella and Marvel's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — but Deadline reports that the film will be scaling back production in Malta at the end of the month, following a recent increase in COVID-19 infections in the country.

This means that not only will stars Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3), Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), and Sam Neill (Jurassic Park) no longer travel to the island, which currently has 600 cases, but production will also now be limited to a second-unit team currently shooting there.

The country recently saw a spike in cases again, with four Jurassic World crew members currently self-isolating after having tested positive for COVID-19. The U.K. has added Malta to its list of countries from which travelers must quarantine for 14 days, which will impact production, as the film's crew is made up of local professionals from Malta, along with members from the U.K., where the film is based and where it will continue shooting.

As reported earlier, these are just some of the many precautions the production is taking as it gets back on track, along with regular testing, and renting out an entire hotel for cast and crew.

Jurassic World: Dominion currently has a June 21, 2021, release date.