Year End Review & What Lies Ahead: Part One
What can I say about 2015? So much happened in my writing life, and it looks as if more is on the way for 2016. The MTV/Sonar Entertainment project to bring Shannara to television was finally realized. The show debuted on January 5th after many premieres and a whole raft of trailers and additional feeds about the show, and the viewer numbers justified the expense and the faith of those involved. We are now on our way past Episode 5 to the other 5, all of which will show on Tuesdays until the season is complete. A few remain unconvinced that it lives up to the books, but I think it does. I’ve argued from the beginning that it would not be a paint-by-the-numbers but a true adaptation and both book and TV show should be celebrated as separate accomplishments.
For me, both are so satisfying to look back on. Since the MTV show is most recent, I am taking time now to remember the journey rather than the destination.
How fortunate I have been.
The show has been warded by many guardian angels. Dan Farah gave it life by bringing it to Sonar Entertainment who risked a whole lot of money on a possibility. Jon Favreau came aboard early and provided the gravitas and respect that the show needed. He stood up for it on numerous occasions. He helped with finding our show runners, Al Gough and Miles Millar, without whom I cannot imagine the show succeeding. All gave time and effort to approach and pitch various networks and convinced me that MTV was the right choice. All those at MTV, too many to try to name, became deeply involved in guiding the project to a successful conclusion.
Our actors – Poppy, Ivana, Austin, Manu, Jed and the indomitable John R-D – invested in and inhabited the characters they played so completely that now I cannot think of them without seeing the actors who brought them to life. They made me believe. They made me so proud.
I will never forget what I owe these people and these companies, and it is not always true that writers feel this way about an adaptation. Mine was exemplary, and so I can toss aside the old saying, “Having your book made into a TV show is like having your child kidnapped by a cult.”
Not so here. It was all good magic.
Meanwhile, over at Warner Brothers, Magic Kingdom remains alive and well as a potential movie project. After years of false starts, we think we finally have a writer who understands and can adapt a fantasy fable that walks the line between funny and dramatic. A final script should materialize sometime in the next two months, and if WB and Steve Carell and a few others deeply involved in this project approve, we might yet see that movie come to life.
I am betting on it.
Got a few more irons in the fire, but I don’t want to jinx things by talking about them just yet. All you need to know is all you’ve ever needed to know about my work and me. I am still writing, I am still creating, I am still young enough and driven enough not to throw in the towel. So you are stuck with me a while longer.
Hope you don’t mind, Terry