SHANNARA On MTV: Allanon Cast

cast-bennettThe Hollywood Reporter has reported the actor who has been cast as the enigmatic Druid Allanon!

And I have to say, Manu Bennett certainly looks the part! He should be no stranger to genre fans. He is Azog the Defiler in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy of movies. And he is Deathstroke in the lauded Arrow TV show.

Here is an excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter:

Shannara takes place in a world set thousands of years after the destruction of civilization as we know it. The 10-episode adaptation of Terry Brooks’ book series follows the Shannara family, who are able to tap into ancient magic and whose adventures help reshape the world’s future. Season one is based on The Elfstones of Shannara, the second title in Brooks’ series

Bennett will play Allanon, a druid who is the last of his kind in the world of Shannara. He is described as a wise, perceptive and serious man who knows something incredibly important has begun when the wise tree Ellcrys starts to die. He enlists Wil (Austin Butler) to fulfill his destiny and save the four lands.

Bennett has found success with action-heavy, alpha-male roles of late, and Allanon definitely fits that mold. Bennett can be seen on the big screen in The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies, in which he plays the menacing orc king Azog. He is also known for playing the deadly villain Deathstroke in The CW’s Arrow and the powerful gladiator Crixus on Starz’ Spartacus.

To read the entire article, click HERE! The Druid has left Paranor.

And we all are very excited about this!

Shawn Speakman

I am the long-time friend and webmaster for Terry Brooks as well as the author of The Dark Thorn, an urban/epic fantasy hybrid novel Terry calls "a fine tale by a talented writer." Join me on Facebook and Twitter (@shawnspeakman)!

    • isaac

      Agreed, first one I thought of when I saw his picture was Walker Boh. Although Allanon was strong I pictured him as rangy. I always thought for years that Adrien Brody had the range and the look to play Allanon, especially the muscle he put on for Aliens.

  1. Guy Mernaugh

    So caving into casting suggestion for MTV to up the female “sex” factor is how the casting is starting?

    Disappointed to say the least. Manu is 5’11 , not even six foot,

    Allanon was 6’10 ish in the books was he not ?

    Why not cast him in a role much better suited to him?

    As Stee Jans, or even Dadga Mor.

    Looks as though the worst fears of the fans is coming true, MTV is not the right home for a true telling of the masterpiece these stories are.

    I hope i’m wrong, but fear that i’m right.

    • Shawn Speakman

      Height is the least thing that matters when casting, to be honest, because of Hollywood magic. Plus, there are no good actors that are seven foot. So does that mean the TV show is doomed right from the start? Of course not. If the guy brings the dark personification of the Druid to life, that is what matters. Not his height.

        • Shawn Speakman

          I think it is important to point out that Hollywood made Lord of the Rings. It wasn’t a New Zealand studio that made the movie. It was New Line Cinema, which was founded in New York City in the USA and now has its headquarters in Los Angeles. The movies might have been filmed in New Zealand and had special effects created there, but the power and money to do some comes from Hollywood in America.

        • Luke Duke

          Nope. According to all the “making of” discs associated with the movies some scenes filmed in NZ, others filmed in parking lots in L.A. The effects workshop, Weta, is based in NZ, but many of the effects, including the forced perspective, are done with camera trickery, various sized props, and other tricks of the trade commonly referred to as “Hollywood”.

      • Pearl

        Yeah. But MTV is not Hollywood! It’s a company owned by MTV Networks that is owned by VIACOM based in Massachusset. I don’t think the budgets and the resulting product will be up to even half the Hollywood standards.

        • Kody

          I know that MTV makes some crap reality TV shows but Teen Wolf is actually very well done! There are one or two actors that overact a bit, but they aren’t in it very much. The effects are very well done and the scripts are always top notch. Don’t worry that it will be “Teen Mom 2: knocked up yet again”, because it won’t be. Think happy thoughts.

    • Jae X

      There are plenty of excellent casting choices that are not identical when it comes to height or even description. Wolvering is 5’3″ and Hugh Jackman is 6′ ish. Have you watched Manu in anything? He is a great actor with a lot of force in his line delivery.

    • Eric

      I had thought Stee Jans also. Actually would have been perfect but I’m not worried about the height. Movie magic. I like the casting so far though. I can’t wait to see who is cast as Stee Jans and Eretria

      • Joe

        Unfortunately I wouldnt be at all surprised if the likes of Stee Jans and the Free Corps were cut from the series. I just think the focus will be on Will, Amberle and Eretria on one side and Allanon defending Arborlon on the other hand. As to who helps Allanon in the defending of Arborlon will perhaps ultimately not be the priority of 10-12 episodic treatment.

        Just my thoughts on this.

        • Shawn Speakman

          If I were part of the TV show’s creative team, I’d cut Stee Jans too and replace him with Ander. Keep the show more focused and really show Ander’s evolution from someone who doesn’t want to lead to the ultimate leader.

          • kinsler tae

            The only people who know aren’t going to spoil the show by throwing out too much info. I can see stee jans not being included, but who knows. I see Mattias Inwood will play lauren and he had a small part in the book, but you have to have him to launch the story. Sadly, he’ll have his face relocated by my favorite character. I’m ready for some villain casting news!

    • Tou Pheng

      Don’t just focus on the height thing. I don’t know why that was brought up. Frustration probably. Allanon is a wise historian. An intellectual. He just happens to be blessed with innate magical powers and heroic physical prowess too. What about orc king and gladiator slave screams out intelligence and literacy?

      And on a side note, Allanon is descended from Americans. Manu is Australian. We gotta stop giving all of our good american heroes away to british and other foreign actors. They already have batman, superman and spiderman!

      A different side note. Manu woulda made a great Slanter I think. Tho kinda buff for a gnome. There’s always movie magic.

    • Francesco M. DiGiovanni

      And Hugh Jackman isn’t 5 foot 3 like Wolverine is said to be in the comic book reality of Marvel Comics’ X-Men. He’s something like six foot plus. It happens – there is no way to guarantee that an actor who is good will be available who looks EXACTLY like a fictional character.

      On a related topic, the cover art of Walker Boh with his arm in a cast from Heritage of Shannara looks a lot like Jonathan Frakes after Commander Riker grew the beard.

  2. Pete

    Ok, now I’m a huge Manu Bennett mark, but Allanon, come on now… No. Don’t see it. HIs personality is not right to pull of the character. Liam Neeson, albeit way too expensive, is the type of person that is perfect for this role.

    But alas I’ve waited this long and I’m not the professional who is casting the role. For all of us who have been patiently waiting I pray to the King of the Silver River that this has been cast correctly. Or someone is going to be swimming in the Hadeshorn! Lol

  3. Rob

    I do like Manu. He has a very imposing presence when on screen especially in Arrow. Always considered Allanon as (quite a bit) older but a little bit of make up will resolve that. dies anyone else from Arrow want to join the cast considering Austin Butler is currently starring in Season 3?

      • Tou Pheng

        Didn’t the events in Sword really age him? And elfstones is two generations later. I mean, george clooney is 53. That wouldn’t be bad for the 200 some years old allanon really was

        • Shawn Speakman

          Allanon expended almost zero magic in Sword. Go back and read the book. It wasn’t until he expended a massive amount of magic at the end of Elfstones that he finally ages. And even Eventine in Elfstones states how Allanon hasn’t changed from the time they met in Sword to Elfstones.

          • Tou Pheng

            I should go back a reread it. It’s one of the books in the series that I haven’t reread. I just thought I remembered a scene at the end, when shea last saw allanon (maybe he was retrieving the sword?) and shea remarked in his thoughts about how old allanon had seemed to have gotten. But maybe I’m mixing it up with a scene from elfstones with wil? I have reread that one a couple of times tho… flick too says something about how allanon doesn’t look older at the brginning of elfstones, I think

  4. Luke Duke

    Of the four cast members revealed so far, this is the best. I’m not familiar with Manu other than his work in the Hobbit, but he looks like a great choice. Glad to see a New Zealander get a lead role, as it’s being filmed there. “Wise, perceptive, and serious” = Allanon, no doubt!

  5. Jennie

    At first I was, “…He looks more like a Garrett Jax-type…” But then I remembered how bad-@$$ Allanon’s intro was during “Sword”. I think it will work out! Getting psyched!!! 😀

    • Jessica

      That was my initial response, too, Jennie. In fact, I ended up totally mixed up after reading the casting. I knew Manu was going to be Allanon, and I am quite sure he can carry the role, but I kept picturing him as Garet Jax while I was reading Wishsong. It’ll take the show to untangle things, I guess!

  6. Tim Fotinos

    If someone one had simply said this fellow was cast for Elfstones without saying what part, I’d have guessed he was the Rover leader, whose name escapes me. Allison? Well, we’ll see.

  7. Mike Robinson

    Love Manu since his days in Spartacus and I think he will bring an intense presence to Allanon and that special effects will handle the height issue, but I would have loved to have seen him in the Stee Jans role or even Cephelo. Can’t wait for this series!

  8. Andrew

    I’m a huge fan of Arrow, about as much a fan of it as I am of the Shannara series, and I must say that Manu Bennett did an amazing job as Slade on Arrow, and due to his portrayal of Slade in parts of the second season of Arrow, I completely agree with him being cast as Allonon.

    In fact, if I’m concerned about the outcome of the series at all (which I’m not), the casting choice has absolutely nothing to do with it – The only things I’m concerned about are the constant recasting that will need to go down every season due to the generational gaps and the fact that there will only be 10 episodes to tell this amazing tale.

    • Andrew

      Also, forgot to mention, I saw a small error in the article near the bottom where it says that Wil is half human and half elf. I’ll have to check back on this later, but I think that the most recent Elven ancestor that Wil had was Shea’s father, or Wil’s great-grandfather, making Wil more like a 1/8 elf. I forget off the top of my head if Shea was Wil’s father or grandfather, but I think it was grandfather.

      I need to reread Elfstones by the time this comes out…

        • Andrew

          Often article writers, even if they know the correct information, may simplify things for newcomers to the franchise so as not to scare them away. I’m not at all concerned that they’ll get the fraction of Elven blood that Wil has incorrect; I just enjoy pointing out minor flaws such as these that most people would gloss over (It’s not a mission accomplished until I can also manage to do so without causing an argument!)

  9. Kody Moreno

    Very excited about this news. I refuse to get anything in a twist until I view the pilot. Every bit of news until then just means the show is happening and I couldn’t be happier!

    • Andrew

      In my opinion, even news sites that get things completely off are good news, as that just means that people outside of the established fanbase from the books are interested, people who may potentially become interested enough to read the books as well.

    • Dtay

      Sadly, I agree. It looks as if Shannara is going to get the MTV teeny treatment, so don’t expect the book/original stories. Hopefully, though, it won’t be as bad as what another network did with Goodkind’s work in Legend of the Seeker 😛 Talk about terrible casting!

  10. Bob S

    Bennett does have Allanon’s look.

    The only problem might be accent. Allanon with a New Zealand accent would be just awful. Wil, to be an Everyman, requires an American accent too.

  11. halfelf

    I’m sorry but I’m very disappointed about this casting. Maybe he’s a good actor (I haven’t seen Arrow or the rest of his work) but he most certainly doesn’t look like Allanon for me, like at all. Too muscular, too short, even too good-looking.

    I understand that Holywood magic can do a lot, butonestly I was hoping for someone more fitting for this role which is one of the most charismatic and important in the Shannara’s universe.

  12. Joe P

    I have been waiting forever for this to come to the screen, and yes I know the book is always better but I am looking so forward to this Shannara series, thanks terry and for all that made it happen

  13. Michael Alan

    I think that Adrian Paul would make a better Allanon. He has a lot of experience in the Genre and has the capability of maintaining the enigmatic facade while building the trust that Allanon requires. He’s also older. Besides his appearance in The First King of Shanara, Allanon is always depicted as a man in his 50s. Just a thought…

  14. Troy

    It will be nice to see what he can bring to the character. I think his imposing presence as an actor will make up for the height deficit a few are worried about. I think part of the reason he was described in such a way in the book was to help us imagine the presence Terry wanted. Manu can employ his talents and intense presence to convey something similar I think. Allanon isn’t the nicest, or most patient, or talkative, or… and I think Manu will be very good at those ‘qualities’. 🙂

    • Shawn Speakman

      Yes, Stee Jans is an amazing character. But he does virtually nothing for the overall story. Ander could be given that same role and take over being a badass. And it would add to his character arc since Stee Jans doesn’t have one. If I were writing the TV show, that’s what I would do. Not a popular decision amongst the fans but from a storytelling point of view, a solid decision.

  15. Mike Robinson

    Hey Shawn, I have a question concerning IMDB showing that some of the characters are only appearing in one episode, such as Allanon, Will, Amberle, and Ander, all central characters to the Elfstone storyline, but then it shows Eventine and Eretria in it for 10 episodes. Is this just an oversight, or something we fans should be concerned with?

    Cast
    Ivana Baquero Ivana Baquero …
    Eretria (10 episodes, 2015)
    John Rhys-Davies John Rhys-Davies …
    Eventine Elessedil (10 episodes, 2015)
    Manu Bennett Manu Bennett …
    Allanon (1 episode, 2015)
    Austin Butler Austin Butler …
    Wil Ohmsford (1 episode, 2015)
    Poppy Drayton Poppy Drayton …
    Amberle Elessedil (1 episode, 2015)
    Aaron Jakubenko Aaron Jakubenko …
    Ander Elessedil (1 episode, 2015)

  16. Wendy Bartle

    I was wondering if there would be any comment on this website about what happened during the Alamo City Comic Con with Manu Bennett? I guess a party at a hotel got out of hand or something.

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