MTV Adapting Popular Shannara Series with Jon Favreau and Smallville Co-Creators

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MTV Adapting Popular Shannara Series with Jon Favreau and Smallville Co-CreatorsTerry Brooks’ multi-installment Shannara series, estimated to be the highest-selling un-adapted fantasy book series in the world with Brooks considered to be the second-highest-selling living fantasy author, is heading to the small screen on a very unlikely channel…

Per THR’s The Live Freed, MTV is teaming with Jon Favreau and “Smallville” co-creators Al Gough and Miles Millar in a development deal that comes with a straight-to-series commitment, which means that should network execs like the script, the project would bypass the traditional pilot stage.

The Shannara series first started in 1977 with The Sword of Shannara and encompasses multiple trilogies and a prequel, totaling 25 books, with Brooks most recently publishing Witch Wraith in July. Another three are due to be published in 2014. And what living legend has sold more books? Only Harry Potter‘s J.K. Rowling. Not bad company to be in.

Shannara takes place thousands of years after the destruction of our civilization. The story centers on the Shannara family, whose descendants are empowered with ancient magic and whose adventures continuously reshape the future of the world. Should the project go to series, producers — including Brooks, Favreau, Gough, Millar, and Dan Farah — plan to base the first season on The Elfstones of Shannara. The second title in the series, published in 1982, spent 16 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list and is credited with cementing the series in the fantasy world.

Favreau will direct and executive produce the project alongside Gough and Millar. The “Smallville” duo will write and executive produce if the project goes to series. Global developer, producer, and distributor Sonar (“Ring of Fire,” “Neverland,” “Alice”) and Farah Films acquired the rights to Brooks’ fantasy series in 2012 with the plan to recruit a showrunner and director before shopping the project to networks.

“This collaboration with MTV, combined with the amazing creative talent attached to this project, including our existing relationship with Terry Brooks and Dan Farah of Farah Films, gives us tremendous confidence that we have a potential hit property with appeal to audiences worldwide,” said Sonar CEO Stewart Till. “This deal also reflects Sonar’s emerging strategy to become a leading supplier of groundbreaking series programming.”

On the feature side, Warner Bros. picked up rights to the Shannara universe in 2007 for a film version, but they expired in 2010. With a scope as huge as this franchise has, it probably makes more sense to do a TV series anyway.

We’ll keep you posted as things progress depending on how Dread-worthy this ends up being. In the meantime here are the synopses of the first three books, known as The Sword of Shannara Trilogy:

The Sword of Shannara
Long ago, the wars of the ancient Evil ruined the world. In peaceful Shady Vale, half-elfin Shea Ohmsford knows little of such troubles. But the supposedly dead Warlock Lord is plotting to destroy everything in his wake. The sole weapon against this Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, which can be used only by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races.

The Elfstones of Shannara
The magical Ellcrys tree is dying, loosening the spell that bars the Demons from enacting vengeance upon the land. Now Wil Ohmsford must guard the Elven girl Amberle on a perilous quest as she carries one of the Ellcrys’ seeds to a mysterious place where it can be quickened into a powerful new force. But dark on their trail comes the Reaper, most fearsome of all Demons, aiming to crush their mission at any cost.

The Wishsong of Shannara
An ancient Evil is stirring to new life, sending its ghastly Mord Wraiths to destroy Mankind. To win through the vile growth that protects this dark force, the Druid Allanon needs Brin Ohmsford—for she alone holds the magic power of the wishsong. Reluctantly Brin joins the Druid on his dangerous journey. But a prophecy foretells doom, as Evil nurses its plans to trap the unsuspecting Brin into a fate far more horrible than death.

MTV Adapting Popular Shannara Series with Jon Favreau and Smallville Co-Creators

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