Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Hey Hollywood: you can do better than this

The Hollywood Reporter reports that Warner Bros. studios has optioned the Terry Brooks Shannara fantasy series and plans to make at least one movie from the franchise. The Monk read the first three books The (Sword, Elfstones and Wishsong, respectively) of Shannara and a couple of the follow-ons. But the most notable aspect of Sword and Elfstones are that they are the closest Tolkien knock-offs of any fantasy fiction other than Christopher Paolini's Eragon series (which debuted 25 years after Brooks' books).

The description in the article indicates that the studio sees the series as something closer to a Thundarr the Barbarian type setting -- post-apocalyptic wasteland that devolved into medieval technology, etc. That was not the Shannara core setting from Brooks' original trilogy.

Worse yet, the jump-off point for the WB movies would initially be the second book in the series, The Elfstones of Shannara -- a pure throw-the-ring-into-the-mountain rip off of Frodo's quest in The Lord of the Rings. Simply stated, there are MUCH better choices (Donaldson, Eddings, Fred Saberhagen) for a major fantasy-fiction heroic quest set of films than Brooks' Shannara books.

This seems destined for failure and to prove, yet again, why fantasy settings do not lead to successful movies unless a moviemaker of exceptional talent and ability (two words: Peter Jackson) can helm the films.

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