When last we spoke of the planned television adaptation of Terry Brooks’ fantasy series Shannara, it was headed to MTV with Jon Favreau directing. The good news is that the network has decided to go ahead with the series and has placed a 10-episode order. The not-so-great news is that Favreau will no longer be directing due to scheduling issues, though he’ll retain his executive producer credit. Word has it that Jonathan Liebesman, the director of the upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, will be directing the first two episodes of the series and will act as executive producer. Hit the jump for much more on this ambitious adaptation.
EW reports that MTV has placed a series order for Shannara, which will have Liebesman taking over directing duties. Set in our world, but thousands of years after the destruction of civilization, Shannara is centered on the title family, whose descendants are empowered with ancient magic and who reshape the future of the world itself through their adventures.
Launched in 1977 with Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara, the series now boasts about 25 books and has been called “the most popular fantasy book series in the world that hasn’t yet been adapted for film or television.” That’s about to change as producers are planning to look to the fan-favorite second book in the series, The Elfstones of Shannara, for the first season of the show. After that, who knows? It could very well turn into the network television version of HBO’s Game of Thrones, albeit with quite a few more restrictions on gore, violence, and nudity.
My concern lies not with Liebesman at the helm – TMNT actually looks pretty entertaining despite all the things that could easily go wrong with the reboot – but rather the network itself. It has a strong hold on its young demographic, mostly due to its teen-centric reality shows (ie Teen Mom) and horror-fantasy series (ie Teen Wolf). It remains to be seen whether we’ll get something closer to The CW’s Reign or HBO’s Game of Thrones. The good news is that the series will get the chance to shine either way. Smallville writers Al Gough and Miles Millar remain on board; Brooks and Dan Farah will also executive produce.