have been Terry’s webmaster for 16 years.
In that time, thousands and thousands of fans have written into the website asking questions. The question most often asked, however, is, “When will Terry’s books be adapted into movies?”
Hollywood has been interested in Terry’s work for a long time. He has sold rights to various studios over the years but nothing has been greenlit into production. Currently, Warner Bros. holds the rights to the Landover books with Steve Carell attached to play Ben Holiday—you can see that news below—but we have new news to report about Shannara!
ALL NEWS ON THIS PAGE IS THE MOST CURRENT AND UP-TO-DATE!
DECEMBER 7, 2013 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.”
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.
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!
There you have it. The Elfstones of Shannara is being looked at for a television series ala Game of Thrones. I have to stress that while the rights have sold it doesn’t mean the adaptation is moving into production. Terry has high hopes it will given the enthusiasm at Sonar Entertainment and MTV but this is a first step—an important step.
There are some great things about this. In this situation, Terry is a partner, given a level of creative control that assures any adaptation is done to his vision. We also have Game of Thrones on our side. The show has been wildly popular in the episodic television format. Not to mention giving eight or twelve episodes to tell the grandness of Elfstones will ensure a faithful adaptation of one of the masterpieces of fantasy literature.
Terry also feels Elfstones is the right place to start. Sword mimics LOTR for the first third of the book whereas Elfstones is originally riveting from the start and also has the strong female characters Sword entirely lacks.
January 29, 2012 Official Landover Press Release:
Landover is a recently a different story though. Here is what Terry had to say in a website BrooksBlog announcement on January 29, 2012:
I may have alluded to a pending movie deal some two or three months back. That deal has now been consummated, and the announcement of the details to date is set out below. Remember, this is just an option, and if the option isn’t picked up the movie doesn’t happen. That said, we have interest from a major actor, a screen writer who is working on a draft of the adaptation, and reason to believe after talking to the principals that this time we have more than words to suggest something might really happen. More, when we have more.
For now, here is the announcement:
MAGIC KINGDOM FOR SALE – SOLD! To Warners and Weed Road
Warner Brothers has optioned Terry Brooks’ best-selling MAGIC KINGDOM OF LANDOVER series of books for Akiva Goldsman’s Weed Road Pictures and Andy Cohen’s Grade A Entertainment. Goldsman and Cohen will produce with Weed Road’s Kerry Foster and Alex Block overseeing for Weed Road. Warner Brothers’ Matt Cherniss brought the book series into the studio and will run point. Brooks was represented by Anne Sibbald of Janklow & Nesbit Associates.
The film will be based on the first book in the series, MAGIC KINGDOM FOR SALE – SOLD!, which was first published in 1986 by Del Rey Books, a division of Random House. The most recent book in the six book, ongoing series is A PRINCESS OF LANDOVER which came out in 2009. Other titles in the series are: THE BLACK UNICORN, WIZARD AT LARGE, THE TANGLE BOX, and WITCHES BREW.
Brooks is a prolific author best known for the LANDOVER series and the SHANNARA series of fantasy books, which began with THE SWORD OF SHANNARA. There are currently 19 books in the SHANNARA series with the next book due out later this year.
Weed Road is in preproduction on A WINTER’S TALE written and to be directed by Goldsman. Recent credits include PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 and FAIR GAME.
Cohen last produced UNTRACEABLE starring Diane Lane. He’s currently working on the stage show, HEATHERS – THE MUSICAL and the indie film, IN SIGHT.
More when I know it. Be good to one another in the meantime,
There you have it. From the man himself. In the future, the most current information from the movie front will be posted on this page. Again, I repeat, do not believe anything outside of this page. When Terry knows something he will share it in this space.
Until then, let’s hope Hollywood sees what we all see.