Shannara Being Adapted for Television (The Fantasy Series, Not The Stripper)
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Shannara Being Adapted for Television (The Fantasy Series, Not The Stripper)

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Trade News | September 12, 2012 | Comments ()


I have enough books to open a used book store, except that it would be the least successful business in history since I would violently assault people who tried to take my books, regardless of whether they were throwing money my way. The reason why is that I have several times my own body weight of fantasy and science fiction paperbacks. Most of them are in the ninety percent of the genre that are crap (in fact, statistically, that's about ninety percent of the books I have).

The reason why I have so many is that I can appreciate those books for the scene or two that make them worth the while, even if the book as a whole is dreck. Terry Brooks is perhaps the patron saint of my book collection in that regard. He has some novels that are absolutely terrible, with only the barest hints of something to keep them on the sagging shelves. But then he has others that gleam in the darkness, in which he has managed to tap truly original things lurking in the shadows.

So, word is going around that the Shannara series is getting adopted into a television series. Perhaps realizing that adapting the first novel might fall flat since it echoes the plot of Lord of the Rings so strongly that one could practically make the film by simply splicing together Jackson's efforts, the development is starting with the second novel. This is a very wise decision, as Elfstones of Shannara is perhaps the strongest entry in the series, with a methodical and relentless antagonist, a constant current of hopelessness and terror, and one hell of a gut punch ending.

Sonar Entertainment and Farah Films (entities that I assume exist purely for generating Google searches to find out who they are) are developing the project and plan to start shopping it around to networks soon.

Says Terry Brooks himself:

"Partnering with Sonar Entertainment and Farah Films on adapting the Shannara saga for television is an exciting prospect. Everything about both companies suggests the result will be one that both old and new fans of the books will readily embrace. I am committed to doing everything I can to help make this happen."

Wow, if you read that in a monotone with just a hint of fear, it sounds exactly like Brooks reading at gunpoint something penned by a PR peon.

(source: Blastr)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • manting

    fabius maximus you are right- The Wheel of Time series, while possessing good ideas, is horrible. Jordan's writing is so tooth meltingly sweet and wholesome; its like he writes for an audience of home-schooled mormons. If thats not true may i bloody well be dipped in sheepswallop

  • manting

    Allanon = Gandalf (immortal wizard Check)
    Flick and Shea = Frodo & Samwise (pastoral hero and sidekick check)
    Balinor = Aragorn (badass warrior of an ancient line check)
    Durin and Dayle = legolas (elven archers check)
    Hendel = Gimli (baddass dwarf warrior check)
    Stemin = Grima Wormtoungue (evil councillor check)
    Warlock Lord = Sauron (all powerful ancient evil that has returned and lives in a barren and lifeless land where sane men fear to tread check)
    Quest by a small determined band of heroes that involves the band breaking up and a huge battle as a distraction so the pastoral hero can defeat the supernatural evil leader in a blasted and desolate land Check
    Hmmm. . . . accoring to my checklist Sword of Shannara and LOTR are the same

  • DarthCorleone

    Yeah, I was not into "Sword" back in the day, but I remember thinking "Elfstones" was awesome. The Reaper was scary.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Terrible idea. I read the first trilogy (it's always a bad sign if there is more than one trilogy in a fantasy book series). It was probably the worst stuff I've read outside of Salvatore or Greenwood.

    I was 15 or 16 at that point, and pretty impressionable about fantasy literature. I still threw those books away.

    What will they come up with next? The Wheel of fucking Time? Okay, they'd never run out of material, but they are already scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I think your trilogy comment is apt, though Thomas Covenant *almost* makes it work.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    My 14-year old insatiable reader-self was bored by the first Shannara book (which is saying something, since I read every Dragonlance that came down the pike). But I always want fantasy series to succeed. This will probably go the way of Seeker for me. I'll be excited by it, watch 5 minutes of it, change away during a commercial break, forget to come back, forget it exists, see it late night in reruns and think, "hey, I was gonna watch that."

    Maybe things will be different now that Game of Thrones has set a high bar... and I have TiVo.

    (I'm so fresh to TiVo, btw, that I'm still obsessively telling everyone I have TiVo and trying to fast forward through commercials on live tv).

  • DarthCorleone

    Not only did I read every Dragonlance book I could, I once conned one of my teachers into let me writing a book report on Stormblade.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    (spoiler) Sturm's death wrecked me. You know how everyone talks about Bridge to Terabithia? That's how I felt when Sturm died - so pointless, so wrong, such an injustice.

    Plus for a while I was gonna name my future daughters Laurana and Alhana.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    I thought Flint's death was somehow worse. Tasslehoff's reaction to it alone was awful..

  • I could never get into the Dragonlance saga proper...I loved collections of short stories set in that world, and the backstory novels, and histories, and some of the Age of Chaos stuff (short stories again)...but I put the book down when Sturm died. I found out that Flint died too somehow and that only hardened my resolve. One of my favorite books was when Flint got trapped in the mountain dwarves' city and had to organize an army of gully dwarves. So yeah, not gonna read about his death.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Try and get a copy of the Dragonlance Legends, the trilogy (yeah, I know) after the Chronicles. It is a pretty unusual story as it focuses on Caramon and Raistlin's relationship in combination with time travel.

  • The Other Agent Johnson

    Oh my God, that perfectly describes me feelings on Seeker. Nicely done.

    Man that show was boring as hell.

  • Guest

    O my lord.

  • sounds like someone has mistaken a 40 year old generic puberty pulp for either fire and ice--a politically dense medieval saga that has only a little fantasy so does not scare away the audiences who liked Rome and The Borgias, or The Lord of the Rings, which has pedigree, generations of enthralled loyal legions and had a zillion dollar budget to make it look pretty

  • ed newman

    I have read a bunch of Brooks's books, and I can't remember one single thing about them. I have a vague sense that I enjoyed them as I read them and that they were somewhat equivalent to reading USA Today. They give you the basics without doing much more than scratching the surface in an easily digestible way. Sort of the genre's fun Beach Read.

    Could they be turned into watchable TV series? Almost certainly.

  • This doesn't disturb me at all, unlike the news from Bravo about
    Heathers. As Ed Newman and The Other Agent Johnson commented, I read
    several of these about 20 years ago. I literally don't remember anything
    about them, other than the fact that I did read them. Doesn't sound
    like the makings of very memorable t.v...

  • The Other Agent Johnson

    I actually just picked up the first one - at least I think it was the first one - The Bagel Slicer Of Shannara, or whatever the hell it's called, to try to relive the memories. I got one chapter in and then I stopped because something interesting was happening somewhere else.

  • The Other Agent Johnson

    This, times a million. I mean, I read them a long time ago, but I have literally no memory of them. At all. And it's not because of the drugs,

  • Guest

    Allow me to third this. And to echo Ed with a "why not?"

  • BWeaves

    I read this as Sha-na-na, and was hoping Bowzer and the gang would shoop-de-shoop in their ducktails and saddle-oxfords.

  • Kaetian

    I was still waiting for "Magic Kingdom for Sale" to become a reality.

  • A fantasy story with a somewhat interesting and novel concept? It'll never happen.

    Also still waiting.

  • Pookie

    Dude, you don’t throw the word “Stripper” around haphazardly.

  • Groundloop

    Damn right! It's just so offensive. Please, in future, kindly use either "Exotic Entertainer" or "$5 Ballerina".

  • Snath


    It's SO BORING.

    The one thing I remember from the first book is that the archer guy shot someone in the ass. That's literally all I remember.

  • Miss Laaw-yuhr

    Sounds like adapting the stripper to TV would be much more entertaining.

  • Snath

    And they could still get shot in the ass.

  • Dragonchild

    I was once a stripper. . . then I took an arrow to the ass.

  • Pookie

    That's the point.

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