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 Post subject: The Shannara Chronicles
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:49 am 
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Okaaaay.....



http://www.ew.com/article/2015/07/08/sh ... -brooks-qa

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The Shannara Chronicles

Posted July 8 2015 — 1:08 PM EDT

For author Terry Brooks, it’s been a long road to seeing his Shannara fantasy books brought to life. But 38 years after the original book hit shelves, MTV is debuting a series based on the magical realm.

Ahead of the San Diego Comic-Con, EW spoke with Brooks about Shannara finally coming to TV screens, and what fans of the books can expect from the new series.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did this project came about?
TERRY BROOKS: The Shannara canon has been under option, on and off, for years, always with the idea that it would be a movie. About 10 years ago, I had this guy come up to me at a signing. He said, “I’d really like to represent you.” I said, “Fine. Go ahead and do something. Then report back.” So he did. This is Dan Farah. He basically put all of the pieces together over the years, particularly in the last couple of years with MTV and before that with Sonar Entertainment and with Al and Miles as writers. It’s going to be a TV show.

EW: Was it always going to be a TV show in your mind?
TB: This is something I always thought was a good idea because I think it needs more space. You’re talking about a 600-page-plus book. You really need a lot of space to sprawl all over and make it come in under three hours when you’re doing that.

EW: Did any of the other iterations come close to production?
TB: Lots of promises. Many people said how much they love those books, but it never got launched in any direction that mattered.

EW: What was behind the decision to start with your second book in the series?
TB: I’ve always thought Elfstones was the right choice. It’s the second book in the series. It’s probably the single most popular book. It’s the one I hear about most of the time, when readers are talking about the different books. The demographic is real strong. It’s good strong female characters, strong male characters. It’s got a love story. It just felt to me from the beginning that this was the one that should be the starting point. Luckily, everyone agreed with me, so that went along just fine.

EW: Were you able to visit the set at all?
TB: My wife and I were over there for about a week in February of this year. It gave us a chance to see how overwhelming huge this project was. I expecting a handheld camera, a couple of grips and a few trucks. When I saw how massive the project was, I thought, “Well, MTV is serious about this.” They really want to do something with this. That was very encouraging.

EW: What was it like seeing these characters you created come to life?
TB: I think you always have the fear that somehow it will be terrible. It was not. It was wonderful. It was great watching them. I watched them shoot several scenes … repeatedly. I think the adaptation is working out just as well as I could have hoped it would. You try not to get your expectations up too high, but I have to say, I’m pretty hopeful about this whole thing. I think it’s really good.

EW: Is the series a straight adaptation of Elfstones, similar to how Game of Thrones is adapted?
TB: Don’t mention Game of Thrones to me. We were saying, “We don’t want to go that route.” That’s not what the Shannara books are. They’re a family-oriented fantasy and always have been. That’s been one of the strong selling points. Anyone from 10 years of age up that has the reading skills can read these books. We’ve always talked about it as a family drama that anyone can watch. I thought of it as a straight adaptation. I told Al and Miles early on, “I know you’re going to have to make changes. Just hold the bones of the story together.”

EW: Was there ever any concern that this was an odd fit for MTV?
TB: This is the question that virtually every reader is asking. “MTV? Have you lost your mind?” I kind of like the idea of being first with something. I appreciated the strong pitch that MTV made for this and how willing they were to get behind it and support it, and that’s really what I was looking for, more than anything else. A commitment to the project. That was very persuasive to me, deciding that MTV was the right place for it. MTV is known for reinventing itself.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:37 pm 
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I haven't read the books, so I think I should tackle those before the translation to the screen.

How do you feel about it, Al?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:13 pm 
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The books were pretty generic Tolkien clones, at least the first couple. Sword of Shannara almost ridiculously so. You had the young farmboy on a quest for a mighty weapon of the enemy, a mysterious wizard, an elf and a dwarf companion, and they were being hunted by the "Skull Bearers" who were the Nazgûl in all but name. I'd guess that's part of the reason they're going with Elfstones of Shannara instead. It would just look like a cheap knock-off of LotR otherwise.

For what its worth, I'd recommend watching these instead of reading the books. The books are poor fare and at least the TV series won't be spoiled for you.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 6:54 pm 
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This is a better look at the show:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:49 pm 
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Am I just jaded or does it look not very promising? New Zealand is very pretty, but apart from that, I did not get any "Oh wow!" moments. Unlike the Fury Road trailer that just happens to be on TV right now.

I want my Wee Free Men movie. *pouts*

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:53 pm 
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not something I would recommend
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Frelga wrote:
Am I just jaded or does it look not very promising?



It's on MTV sooooo.........

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 9:49 pm 
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Well, on the plus side its a kid friendly novel being pitched at a family audience, unlike, say, The Sword of Truth tv series. I'd say it could be anywhere on the scale from campy Xena fun, through disappointing Wizard of Earthsea, all the way to appalling Dungeon Siege or D&D THe Movie.

And of course there's always an outside chance that it will be pretty good I suppose?

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:27 pm 
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yov, fair point.

Al, do your children like the books? I had them mentally filed along with the Belgariad, which, for the record, I enjoyed in many parts as long as I didn't stop to think about it. You know, a Splenda to Tolkien's raw fair-trade cane sugar.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 1:14 am 
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Thanks Al.

After your explanatory posts, I rememberl finding the book at a used bookstore a few years ago and starting to read it. I don't recall getting much further than the first chapter. I posted about it here somewhere and the responses weren't encouraging so I didn't persist with it.

I guess I will wait for the series, though it seems equally likely that it'll pass me by.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 3:03 am 
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I read one of those - found it impossible to read. Experienced the same thing again with the Dragons of Autumn Twilight - oh my! The writing, the character development. So bad. One sentence actually went "and then in came a monster" (or something) And after two sentences we are told it's a giant slug. Sorry, I already imagined a 3 eyed green thingamajig. Uff. Makes you appreciate Tolkien & Pratchett & Landon & Nesbet.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 4:11 am 
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Inanna wrote:
Makes you appreciate Tolkien & Pratchett & Landon & Nesbet.


:love: :love: :love: :love:

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:00 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 8:35 am 
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Frelga wrote:
Al, do your children like the books? I had them mentally filed along with the Belgariad, which, for the record, I enjoyed in many parts as long as I didn't stop to think about it. You know, a Splenda to Tolkien's raw fair-trade cane sugar.


To be honest, I haven't recommended them, so none of my kids have read them. I'm competing with all this YA Fiction like Hunger Games and Divergent, so I don't waste a recommendation on books that I don't really have any passion for. I read Sword of Shannara, Elfstones of Shannara and Wishsong of Shannara about 30 or 35 years ago and never reread them since. They don't get a strong recommendation from me on that basis. Also, there's been a total of 26 books in the series now, and I've barely heard of any of them.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 01, 2015 5:51 pm 
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I wouldn't recommend them either. But the series might be something to pass the time watching. They're only doing it because of the success of Game of Thrones, which was pretty much only done because of the success of the Lord Of The Rings movies.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 8:50 pm 
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Alatar wrote:
Frelga wrote:
Al, do your children like the books? I had them mentally filed along with the Belgariad, which, for the record, I enjoyed in many parts as long as I didn't stop to think about it. You know, a Splenda to Tolkien's raw fair-trade cane sugar.


To be honest, I haven't recommended them, so none of my kids have read them. I'm competing with all this YA Fiction like Hunger Games and Divergent, so I don't waste a recommendation on books that I don't really have any passion for. I read Sword of Shannara, Elfstones of Shannara and Wishsong of Shannara about 30 or 35 years ago and never reread them since. They don't get a strong recommendation from me on that basis. Also, there's been a total of 26 books in the series now, and I've barely heard of any of them.


26 books !!!!!!!! that guy has some stamina

Like Alatar I read the first one many years ago, not so much sub Tollers as sub-D&D -

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:42 pm 
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Sooo, first reviews are out and its not great news. Pretty much a case of decent cast, decent effects, but MTV generation super pretty people who never get their hair in a mess running round futuristic America (thats now magical fairyland) while spouting modern dialog like "Wow, he's super hot".

Still, might be one for the kids.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:51 am 
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Pity. I'm always open to the possibility of a new fantasy or scifi series, but this doesn't draw me in. (I'm sure I saw an orc straight out of LoTR during that second clip.)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:24 am 
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I was wondering how this was.

I liked Terry Brooks as a young girl (very young girl). I don't think I read the Shannara series, though I read the Landover series. They reminded me of Piers Anthony's stuff, but not quite as good. Still, entertaining when you're a kid.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:19 pm 
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Some positive reviews:

http://collider.com/the-shannara-chronicles-review-mtv/

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If you’re looking for something with the level of darkness or action of Game of Thrones, you’ll be sorely disappointed. But The Shannara Chronicles offers an alternative to Thrones’ dim and grim fantasy, focusing on optimism and mythology more than devastating emotional stories and dire situation after dire situation. (It’s not a straight comparison, but the video game Skyrim kept coming to mind as I was watching the show). At the same time, the series makes clear that the stakes are real and the fate of the world is in the hands of this unlikely trio. It’s just that they’re impossibly good-looking, young, and keen on flirty banter, which it turns out is actually not a terrible thing to have in a high-fantasy series. Color me pleasantly surprised.


http://nerdist.com/shannara-chronicles- ... eview-mtv/
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Bottom line: Think of The Shannara Chronicles as Lord of the Rings meets Game of Thrones, with a lighter touch (more comedic situations and one-liners) and a slightly younger target audience. But that doesn’t mean it’s just for MTV’s demographic. Bennett, John Rhys-Davies (who plays Elven king Eventine), and the rest of the Elf royalty bring the right amount of maturity to balance out any younger drama that might get kicked up along the way of Wil, Amerble and Eretria’s quest.

Adapting Brooks’ original series was a major undertaking for MTV that could have crashed and burned, but from the first four episodes (of the 10-episode first season) it’s clear that it was the right home for the fan-favorite, ultra-popular franchise to finally come to life.

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