MTV is moving forward with its ambitious high fantasy show. In a quest to find its own Game of Thrones, the cable network has greenlit to series Shannara, based on a series of popular novels by Terry Brooks. Ten episode have been ordered.
The story is set in our world, but thousands of years after the destruction of civilization. The tale is centered on the Shannara family, whose descendants are empowered with ancient magic and whose adventures continuously reshape the future of the world.
The Shannara saga was launched in 1977 with The Sword of Shannara. With about 25 books in the saga, it’s estimated to be the most popular fantasy book series in the world that hasn’t yet been adapted for film or television (Warner Bros. previously got the rights to develop a film based on the books in 2007). Producers plan to base the show’s first season on The Elfstones of Shannara, the second novel in Brooks’ series, a title the network describes as “a fan favorite which spent 16 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list and is accredited with cementing the series place in the fantasy world.”
Yet behind the scenes, there’s a change in the project from its previous announcement when it was merely in development last year. Jon Favreau (Iron Man) was originally set to direct and executive produce the series. While Favreau will retain an executive producer credit, MTV says Favreau has a scheduling conflict, and now Jonathan Liebesman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) will direct the first two epiosdes and executive produce the series. Previously announced writer-producers Al Gough and Miles Millar (Smallville) will remain on board. Terry Brooks and Dan Farah will also executive produce.