ELFSTONES at MTV with Jon Favreau / SMALLVILLE Duo

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PRESS RELEASE: SHANNARA MTV TV SERIES

In one of MTV’s most ambitious moves on the scripted side since Susanne Daniels became president, the network has given a script-to-series commitment to Shannara, a drama series based on Terry Brooks’ popular fantasy books.

The project, from Sonar Entertainment and Farah Films, has Iron Man helmer Jon Favreau on board to direct and will be written by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar. The trio will executive produce with Brooks and Dan Farah (The Crow remake).

If MTV likes the script, it is expected to give the project a straight-to-series order. Shannara reunites Gough and Millar with Daniels, who developed and put Smallville on the air while she was entertainment president at the WB. “I am thrilled to be working with the Smallville creators Al and Miles again along with the amazingly talented Jon Favreau,” Daniels said. “We feel that the Shannara novels are a perfect fit for MTV as this type of fantasy genre has continuously proved to resonate with our audience.”

Jon Favreau
Jon Favreau
Shannara is set in our world, thousands of years after the destruction of our civilization. The story is centered on the Shannara family, whose descendants are empowered with ancient magic and whose adventures continuously reshape the future of the world. The first season of the potential series will be based on The Elfstones Of Shannara, the second title in the series — a fan favorite accredited with cementing the series place in the fantasy world. The book series features plenty of young-adult adventure and romance to suit MTV’s target demographic. Shannara also would be compatible with MTV’s only successful drama series so far, Teen Wolf, which also has supernatural elements.

Miles Millar & Al Gough
Miles Millar & Al Gough
Shannara‘s road to the screen started years ago when Farah teamed with Brooks to explore an adaptation. It was first set up at Warner Bros as a feature in 2007 before the duo decided to pursue a series adaptation and teamed with Sonar last year. The plan was to attach an established showrunner and director before taking the project to the networks, which the producers did by bringing in Favreau and Gough and Millar. The Shannara development deal was one of the first major moves for then-new Sonar CEO Stewart Till as he took over the company when it was renamed from RHI Entertainment following the exit of founders and longtime toppers Robert Halmi Jr. and Robert Halmi Sr. While RHI was known mostly for its TV movies and miniseries, Sonar signaled a push in series by financing the development of Shannara. “The deal (with MTV) reflects Sonar’s emerging strategy to become a leading supplier of groundbreaking series programming,” Till said of the project’s network sale. Like most independent production companies, Sonar appears particularly interested in the direct-to-series model, which has a bigger financial upside.

Brooks is the second-biggest-selling living fantasy book writer, after Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, with the Shannara books estimated to be the highest-selling fantasy book series in the world that is yet to get a screen adaptation. The first book in the series came out in 1977, the two most recent were published this year, and two more are scheduled for 2014. “The adaptation of these books is very important to me, and I believe we are on the right track in our endeavor to create an epic television series that both new and old fans of the books will love,” Brooks said.

On the TV side, Favreau directed the pilots of NBC’s Revolution and About A Boy.

Reprinted from Deadline.com!

UPDATED: Read Terry’s reaction HERE!

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)!

  1. Scott Dubbeling

    Absolutely incredible to think about Shannara coming to life in a TV series. We’ve heard about the possibility for a number of years now, and it sounds like it’s getting really close to happening. And with Jon Favreau too — amazing!

    • Jae

      Trust me… MTV hasn’t played music for years… Also I am not young but I still like the vibe of giving it to a channel that is more apt to take it past pilot. AMC would have been another good fit. I think that based on the production values and resources behind MTV as well as the writing as a whole I feel this may be a good move… PS… I actually like the Teen Wolf show.

  2. Chris

    “Shannara also would be compatible with MTV’s only successful drama series so far, Teen Wolf, which also has supernatural elements.” Huh? Am I the only one that doesn’t see that?

  3. Chris

    I like the team but the network is questionable. I realize they are trying to go for the younger audience but that Harry Potter group is all grown up. I think it’s a daring move, hopefully it finds an audience.

  4. Cat Holden

    The Shannara series are my favourite books, but this seems, hum, odd to me. Not sure how it would work and MTV I really think is not the right channel. I know we were all hoping for a movie, but if a series works it works, but MTV, what can I say I don’t think I have watched since Daria (the only programme watchable on it) when I was a teenager. Ah well fingers crossed.

  5. Michael Ratliff

    I’ll keep optimistic, but I’m still leery of any network that brought us the likes of Snooky. Still, what I’ve seen of Teen Wolf wasn’t terrible, and the guys behind this are awesome, so I’m holding out hope. Here’s hoping it gets picked up to series and premieres soon!

  6. Cantor Brad Hyman

    As amazing as this is a dream come true- seeing one’s imagination become visualized, I am more excited about the prospect of encouraging more people to want to read. If this is a happy bi-product of all the time and money invested in production, I am ready to be taken to Shannara.

    I wish everyone involved much success, and I hope we can count on a sensitive treatment of this world we love.

    • Steve C

      That would be great! I hope so.

      I am very excited. Yet a little concerned that MTV will want less magic/battles and more romance. But if Terry is involved, I know I will love it. Period.

  7. Andy Dennett

    I’m pleased that there is a quality team behind this. Hopefully that means it won’t turn out to be a complete pile of garbage like that Legend of the Seeker drivel.

  8. Jean Caruthers

    Why start with the second book of the series? Yee gads, ALANON is such a key figure throughout the whole series. You’re starting after he dies?????
    My favorite author my favorite series……………We’ll see.

  9. Charlene Clinger

    While I’m excited to see the screen version of my favorite book, I’m more than a little concerned about the MTV connection. I certainly hope they do it justice.

  10. Dave Walden

    All smiles here! I have very fond memories of The Sword and The Elfstones and my brother yelling quietly so as not to wake up mom and dad “TURN! OFF! THE! LIGHT!” I would reply “OK! I only have 3 more pages to the end of the chapter.” 30 minutes later “How long does it takes to read 3 pages?” *smirk* no reply. I’m already past 3 pages, and 2 more chapters into the story.

    • Shawn Speakman

      Terry is on record as saying that Sword is too similar to Lord of the Rings. But his largest reason for wanting to start with Elfstones has to do with the fact that Sword has no strong female characters for viewers to embrace whereas in Elfstones, there are two strong women present throughout.

  11. Jake

    On MTV what the hell are they thinking…as great as the books are its bound to flop on MTV..what a shame. I feel they should adapt the books into feature films like LOTR. Only way they could do them real justice.

  12. Peter

    I’ve been reading the books since they were published and I’ve been watching Teen Wolf. I think there is a lot of potential here. And Snookie has her merits…..imagine the turnout if they had a one-night only, pay-per-view event….Snookie…dissected live on MTV!!!

  13. Wesley

    I was so excited about this until I saw MTV was involved. That channel used to play music. Teen Wolf wasnt too terrible. I have my fingers crossed that they dont take the wonderful world of Shannara and ruin it and turn it into some teen romance. I’ve heard rumors of a Landover movie, and I have faith in that, but then again its not being made by the same people who came up with “Jersey Shore” and “Teen Mom”. I beg you MTV, please dont ruin one of the best series of books ever written!

  14. joe barnett

    You know what… I love shannara and I hope they do it right but at the end of the day its their money they are investing so they call the shots and you cant blame them for that. Terry is on board so im confident with his guidance it will be done well. Well done terry and well done mtv for putting the money up. I for one cant wait.

  15. Andrew

    I agree with most of the comments. I grew up reading Terry Brooks..I am in my 30’s now. I have been waiting a long time for the series to be made into a movie or TV series. Based on MTV’s choices of TV shows they have made in the past..this is bound for failure if they do not stick to the tone the store creates, which is NOT juvenile puppy love!!. It is going to to try to reach out to a younger audience..that has never read the books.. I have a feeling that the stories will be turned into teenage romances..of which I have no interest.LOL. TERRY!! don’t let them turn it into Jersey Shore or Teen Wolf or Twilightish rubbish!! KNOW your WORTH!

  16. Stephen C.

    Congratulations to Terry! Love the direction on the director and writers. Have to say I am a little worried about the MTV thing, but as always, we put our trust in Terry. Will definitely watch it and would love to see the series at least go through Elfstones, Wishsong, and Heritage.

  17. LUKE DUKE

    First off, congratulations. This is a great accomplishment and well deserved. However…. MTV!!??!?!??! I am skeptical to say the least. “From the network that brought you Loveline, Real World, and Beavis and Butthead…. a brand new Shannara series!” ….. doesn’t seem like a good fit to me. Of course, time will tell! I honestly doubt I’ll watch it, but here’s to hoping that millions of teenagers do!!

  18. Pam H.

    I am so exited at the prospect of a Shannara TV series. I have been reading the books since the beginning and anxiously await each new one. I have always thought that the Shannara books would make wonderful series or movies.

  19. Cyclingwolf

    I’ll hold out high hopes. I never thought LOTR would be done true justice by the screen. I’d rather see a two or thee part movie than a series though, I think it will lose to much in translation. As far as Sword, anything done will have to flash back or incorporate parts of it for its character and world history – to give a film/series any true justice. Ex how did they come to possession of the Elf Stones, the significance or Paranor and The Druids, etc

  20. Fernando

    MTv is one of the few networks I’ve refused to watch mainly due to there lack of featuring Hispanic (Mexican to be exact) artist, and especially rappers. Long story short, they refuse to promote and feature Mexican rappers due to “gang ties”, even though they are perfectly fine promoting African Americans who have known gang ties or are in fact gang members. Mexicans living in Los Angeles out number blacks 6-1. Yet how many rappers can you name from that area & how many or them are Mexican?

    Either way I’m a true Terry Brooks fan and will have to tune in to MTV for at least 30 minutes once a week. I doubt there are many Mexican

  21. Jeff W.

    Personally I feel MTV hasn’t been worth crap since the awesome music and videos of its first few years. Unless I see Extraordinary comments from fans on this website, I will leave the scenery of my minds eye when I read the books, to be the only reference for my imagination for now. Smallville had some ok moments, but mostly I saw it as a vehicle for teen romance/drama. I am way past that demographic. I too, fear MTV will destroy my concept of what Shannara is to me as well. Unless of course, Terry has more influence than I think they will give him.

  22. Jeremy

    I have a bad feeling about this. I can see MTV changing the story to better suit teenagers and romance. I really wanted this story portrayed like the book with the Forbidding, Ellcrys, and Wil’s harrowing journey. Lotsa special effects on the lines of LOTR not some second rate budget crunching studio with cheesy previous shows like Teen Wolf. Well I guess I have to be optimistic and hope for the best.

  23. Eric Upchurch

    Thrill to see Elf stones come to MTV. Hopefully there will be enough material to last past the first season of 20-25 episodes. I haven’t heard how many shows per season. Or what will happen when they reach the end of the book!

    I would like to see Sword, Elfstonrs, and Wishsong done as a trilogy either as Movie like LOTR or as three season as a Tv Series.

  24. Grace

    All I know is that the Elfstones is the first book I really cried over.. and I also listened to Enya while reading and it went really well. Now whenever I listen to Enya Shepheards Moons I get really depressed. Enya would be so good with this series!

  25. Jerry Orr

    I am a huge fan of Terry Brooks and the Shannara series. That being said, I’m disappointed in the network choice. I normally refuse to watch MTV, mainly because of my disdain for all things hip-hop and pop culture. That’s just my opinion, but in a neutral sense I don’t see this as a good fit. I’d rather see Shannara given a Game of Thrones-like treatment, and perhaps find a home on HBO, Showtime, or another credible network. Considering its run of popular and well-received shows, maybe even AMC would like to take a crack at it. But MTV? I feel like I can’t watch it because I’m not a young Bieber-chasing, twerking teenager. Sorry Terry, love your stories, and I love the idea of them making their way to the screen, but I will probably have to pass on the MTV venue.

    • Larry Hildebrand

      I really hope you are correct on that. I hqve been a Brooks fan since the late 70 s. Please don’t turn it into a teen romance . It was written to be an epic fantasy with a small romance in it. I have purchased every Brooks book written and anxiously await July 15th new release. Keep up the good work . Consider a trilogy of movies of shannara movies. Will do as well as lord of the rings. Maybe better. Has more potential to be a more detailed story. The different shannara series could turn into 6 to 9 movie series. Thank you for your time. Larry Hildebrand. Larryhildebrand 23@gmail.com

  26. Wesley Bell

    Iron man and Smallville are my go to entertainment to relax! You guys picked some good people for this! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to watch it right away since I don’t have cable but I think all of MTV’s stuff usually goes to Netflix so it’s a win for me anyway! I think their stuff goes to Hulu plus too so I might have to get that membership back. I can’t wait for more news on this!

  27. Andy G.

    I’ve been reading the Shannara series since the 7th grade. I’m now 35 and have been waiting for this to happen for years in the form of a set of great movies or a great TV series. I am very concerned it wil become a teenage angst-fest on MTV though, much to my dismay even with those involved in the series. My main question is this, are Favreau and those from Smallville involved throughout or only on the pilot episode(s) if that’s the case it may be brilliant and immediately fall flat (see “Agents of Shield”) the minute someone else touches it. I had hoped that a drive to get Peter Jackson’s buy-in would have occurred. The potential for so many epic LOTR style movies is huge. So, while I’m excited, I’m also extremely disappointed in the network choice.

  28. Angela Rose

    I understand all the misgivings, caution feelings I have them too, but this venture lays with Terry it’s his baby. I just hope he holds on to truth of the book and does not let any one compromise it.

  29. Jesse Champlin

    I am confused as to why people are so worried about the network. First off, Mr. Brooks doesn’t have a problem. The team working on the project has done excellent work. So what if it is MTV. We have been waiting for something and with the flops that happened in the past this should be considered a blessing. Now what I plan on doing is to continue what I was doing and wait for this to be produced because when I watch it it probably won’t be on TV but some other program like Netflix, or Hulu.

  30. Eric Upchurch

    MTV is obviously trying to change the format of their programing, by introducing fantasy and sci-fi shows. While Elfstones would have been perfect for the SyFy Channel, I foresee no problems with MTV. The core fans of Terry Brooks will support the show enough to boost the raitings and the few music video freeks and reality junkies may opening their minds to something new, and eventually purchase a book or two on the Shannara series!

  31. Mike M

    So where is MTV Broadcasted on? I have no access but off air so I guess I won’t be watching, as many also don’t have cable or sat tv so again nice for some but not all and when will it be available online to watch? If ever? Keep seeing it will be but when will it be shown on MTV and hopefully Online?

  32. dale

    I am disappointed that the tv series is going to be aimed at young adults and having a target market the same as the teenwalf age group, as a reader of all the shannara novels I am disappointed as will a lot of fans will be It cant be true to the story as it would be to gruesome.I love your books terry PLEASE don’t let them lighten the look and the story for teenagers.I thought it was going to be aimed for the same market as The game of thrones.

  33. Nic Nardoni

    When I read “Elfstones” would become a TV series I was ecstatic. And then I read that it will be on cable. My first thought was “Ah s**t” My budget won’t allow for a cable bill. I’m still excited about the TV series. I will just have to wait until it is available on DVD. Unless you have plans to rebroadcast it over the air on free TV. I still hope that the show has a successful and long run.Good luck to Terry and everyone involved with the project.

  34. Dana Allen

    Im excited and am keeping an open mind about it. My only concern is that it ends up like Terry Goodkind Wizards Rule. The series was all over the map and diddnt come close to the books

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