Wednesday, July 16, 2014

So now that Shannara is officially greenlit you'll finally be able to pronounce it correctly.

MTV has ordered Shannara, based on the fantasy novels by Terry Brooks. The first season is going to be ten episodes and is based on the Elfstones of Shannara. The pilot is being written by Miles Millar and Alfred Gough. You might recognize those credentials from the tv show, Smallville. The first two episodes are to be directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). I'm not particularly crazy about that option, but at least he's directed action scenes.

I am interested in whom they cast for the villains: Dagda Mor, the Changeling, and the witch sisters Morag and Mallenroh. The Dagda Mor is a complete badass. Basically he's the mightiest of all the demons trapped behind this wall called "The Forbidding," which you normally can't see. It's where the elves stuck the demons after they won the war and basically shunted them off to this alternate dimension where they could have their own government and stuff. Anyway, the Dagda Mor was a ruthless and cunning sorcerer/demon and he had mighty spells. He's also not as stupid as Voldemort who kept using the same killing curse on Harry Potter probably thinking it "HAS TO WORK THIS TIME" and then it "surprise!" doesn't work.

I vaguely remember a part of Elfstones when the Reaper breaks into one of the witch sister's towers. She has a battle with it flinging emerald green fire from her fingertips (or something like that). She starts one of her twig soldiers on fire and burns to death in the resulting inferno. That should be fun. I'm also interested in who they get to play Eritrea, Wil, and Amberle. The Reaper (of course) will be all CGI (which is probably where their budget will go...that and to the various colored lightning that Terry Brooks is fond of). The elfstones produce blue fire, the Dagda Mor produces red fire, the witch sisters make green fire...fantasy fiction is all about the rainbow.

So now that Shannara has been confirmed, what fantasy fiction adaptation are you hungering for? My vote is on Laurel K. Hamilton's Anita Blake. Let's all chant "Anita Blake! Anita Blake! Anita Blake!" How can you go wrong with titles like Guilty Pleasures, Circus of the Damned, Burnt Offerings, and Obsidian Butterfly? You can't really. HBO should produce it though. That way Anita can go full on slut. Seriously, I love that bitch. Ma petite anyone?


  1. That MTV is doing is still scares me. I've always wanted to see the trilogy as movies, and not sure MTV, or starting with the third book, is the best venue. Could be worse - could be a SyFy movie.

  2. So I guess MTV wants on the Game of Thrones bandwagon. I don't know enough fantasy books to recommend any other adaptations.

  3. There seems to be a lot of fantasy fiction out there for TV to capitalize on. Aside from "Game of Thrones" and "Walking Dead" I don't watch all that much.

  4. I want to know why they're skipping Sword, although I can't say I ever thought that much of the Shannara books.
    And I would never vote for Hamilton's books for anything.

  5. This if the first I've heard of this. I couldn't even pick a series I'd like to see. It's so impossible for a TV series or movie to capture the depth of a good fantasy series.

  6. Cool! I hope MTV does a good job. There are so many juicy fantasies. It's hard to pick one.

  7. @AndrewLeon: Because "Sword" is a direct ripoff of Tolkien and the directors and MTV know this and want to avoid the online shellacking they would no doubt get as people realized this and stopped watching the show. In case you didn't know "Sword" was a ripoff of Tolkien then compare these:

    1) Ring = Sword
    2) Warlock Lord = Sauron
    3) Nazghul = Skull Bearers
    4) Flint and Shea = Samwise and Frodo
    5) Allanon = Gandalf
    6) Flick = Gimli
    7) Skull Kingdom = Mordor
    8) Mines of Moria = Hall of Kings
    9) King of the Silver River = Elrond
    10) Leah = Hobbiton

    For crying out loud, the "Sword of Shannara" is not just influenced by Tolkien. It's like Brooks directly copied the text word for word and character for character and only substituted out names.

    Now, since "The Sword of Shannara" Brooks has found his own voice. Elfstones is quite obviously still drawn from Tolkien, but has enough of a difference to the original source material that most readers/viewers won't be bludgeoned over the head by it seeing as "The Lord of the Rings" is still fresh in everyone's imagination.

    Does that explain it?

  8. Cool. I think I heard something about this, but I wasn't paying close attention. I hope more networks adapt some of the great fantasy works out there. Although, the market is probably too niche for them to get into the series I'd want to see.

  9. I've never read the Shannara books, but they sound more my style than gory vampire stories. Yet when you point out how much the author is indebted to Tolkien, I wonder if I should just watch those flicks again.

    I do like that television is taking on more and more ambitious projects with complex stories.

  10. Maybe they should do the Thomas Covenant series... those might be really good!

  11. I still haven't read these books. Got them on my TBR list. I'm probably the only one confused on why they're starting with the second book for the MTV series, but I'm sure it makes sense somehow.

  12. Disappointing. I love The Sword of Shannara best, so they skip it. Anyway, it obviously won't be done with anything near the quality of Game of Thrones. Only someone with the budget of an HBO can do these things justice. Just wait and see...

  13. we do need us more epic fantasy shows, although I won't watch if it's pointlessly morbid like GOT