Saturday, 11 July 2015

Trailer for THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES

MTV have released a trailer for The Shannara Chronicles, their ten-episode adaptation of the Terry Brooks epic fantasy novel The Elfstones of Shannara.


The new series will debut in early 2016. If successful, adaptations of some of the other Brooks novels will follow (although, presumably, not all thirty of them).

The trailer looks promising, more promising than the so-so source material (the Shannara books are strictly entry-grade fantasy, although Elfstones is probably the best of them) may have indicated. The books are fairly straightforward epic fantasy, but Brooks does introduce some distinctly weird moments in them and occasionally brings the setting's post-apocalyptic backdrop into use in unexpected ways. The books do evolve as they go along, however, with airships and the hints of advancing technology along the way. The trailer plays up the post-apocalyptic elements more strongly than may have been expected, whilst the visual effects are extraordinarily good. There's also some nice moments of genre self-referencing, particularly the casting of John-Rhys Davis (best known as Gimli in the Lord of the Rings movies) as the King of the Elves.

As a more family-oriented take on fantasy, this should prove an interesting contrast with Game of Thrones and other upcoming fantasy projects.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

It looks great but still I have my doubts.

MTV is the master of making s@#t look as good as it can get until you buy it.

Bob R Milne said...

Damn, I must just have to eat crow and admit MTV did a decent job. We'll see how a few episodes play out, but so far Shannara looks great. I don't remember the post-apocalyptic element being so strong in the early books (it's been 20+ years since I read them), but I have to admit it looks cool.

Adam Whitehead said...

The post-apocalyptic stuff is really not played on massively until THE DRUID OF SHANNARA, which is partially set in what is clearly a ruined 20th/21st Century city (with crumbling skyscrapers). I think they've upgraded it for the TV series as a way of differentiating it from other fantasy series. It certainly makes it more visually interesting.

JoeSF said...

I first read the Shannara books as a kid in the late 80s, and to this day, the moment I realized that the story was taking place in a far-future/post-apocalyptic version of our world stands as a seminal mind-blowing "twist" for my young mind. I think, because of that, Shannara has always maintained a soft spot in my heart. ( I especially appreciate that, at least in the beginning, this wasn't the focus of or catalyst for the story, just part of the background/history of the world).

I have to agree that this trailer looks better than I expected. Trailers can be deceiving, but this at least gives me hope.
However, can we please be done with the quick glimpse/cut to black/quick glimpse/cut to black trend in trailers? I tend to watch these things on my iPad, and my house has lots of windows that let in daylight, which means that every other thing I see in the trailer is the reflection of my face (and all the fingerprints and smudges on my screen). This can obviously be really distracting when my thought pattern is: "ooh, Shannara, sweet; I need a haircut; New Zealand? Great setting!; man, I need to clean my screen; Jon Favreau!; am I really that fat?"...

Anonymous said...

As early as the very first Shannara novel do we see evidence of post-apocalyptic fury, when the group runs into a type of machine-demon in the Eastlands.

C.B.

Anonymous said...

It can hardly be worse than the books. Still don't get it though. Same as with Rothfuss. Mediocre stuff at best that gets opted for film. The world is a strange, strange place.

Marcus

Adam Whitehead said...

I think the equation there is "Mediocre-but-massively-massively-selling stuff".

I would love to see a MALAZAN movie, a BLACK COMPANY film or a CAINE TV series. But I don't think we're likely to see them any time soon.

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt said...

MTV? That leaves me extremely skeptical because of the fact. Game of Thrones and Vikings are great for medieval type stuff on TV. We'll see how this one does, but I'm not expecting much.

Unknown said...

Personally I wish someone would adapt Jack Vance's Lyonnesse trilogy.