Sonar Entertainment and MTV Networks are going to film Shannara, the TV adaption of Terry Brooks’ beloved fantasy series, in New Zealand, according to the Auckland Council. This is another boost to the film industry in New Zealand, with filming to take place at several New Zealand locations, including Auckland Film Studios Limited.
Pre-production begins this month, and filming will most likely begin in February this year. It has been stated on Terry Brooks’ website, (Brooks is one of the executive producers), that the TV show’s first season will be based off the series’ second book, The Elfstones of Shannara, and will be 10 episodes. Al Gough and Miles Millar, the creators of Smallville, are writing the series.
The cast so far includes Poppy Drayton (When Calls the Heart) as Amberle Elessedil, Austin Butler (Aliens in the Attic) as Wil Ohmsford, John Rhys-Davies (Raiders of the Lost Ark) as King Eventine Elessedil, Ivana Baquero (Pan’s Labyrinth) as Eretria, Manu Bennett (The Hobbit) as Druid Allanon, and Aaron Jakubenko (Neighbours) as Ander Elessedil.
For those unfamiliar with the series, here is the synopsis for The Elfstones of Shannara:
An ancient evil threatens the Elves and the Races of Man. The Ellcrys, the tree of long-lost Elven magic, is dying, unravelling the spell of Forbidding that locks the hordes of Demons away from the world. Already the fearsome Reaper is free. Only by quickening a new seed in the mysterious Bloodfire can the Ellcrys be reborn and the Forbidding made whole.
Amberle, a young Elven girl, is chosen to undertake the quest for the Bloodfire. The way is perilous, though. Other demons besides the Reaper stalk the land. Amberle will need a protector if she is to prevail, and Wil Ohmsford, heir to the elven magics of Shannara, is chosen to accompany her. Amberle’s quest and the fate of the Four Lands will rest on Wil’s ability to unlock the magic of the mysterious Elfstones of Shannara.