Shannara Headed To Big Screen

Terry Brooks' fantasy series on its way

With Lord of the Rings long gone and Harry Potter five-sevenths done, the search is on for the next big fantasy franchise - but the search may be over, with the announcement that Warners has bought the rights to the Shannara series by Terry Brooks.

The series, spread over 14 books, is set in (what turns out to be) a waaaay post-apocalyptic future. But it's all cleverly disguised as a generic fantasy world, with elves and dwarfs and trolls and gnomes and magic and all that malarky. The Shannara family, on whom the books centre, are half-man, half-elf, all blessed with magical abilities that may be needed to save their world.

Brooks is the world's second biggest selling living fantasy author, after that Rowling bird but ahead of the likes of Terry Pratchett, Robert Jordan and Raymond E. Feist. He's resisted the temptation to sell before now, so let's hope that they've promised him lots of care and attention and not just lots of money.

The plan is to start with the second book in the series, The Elfstones of Shannara, and go from there. But, Brook fans, don't get your hopes up too high just yet. Remember that The Wheel of Time has been optioned but never appeared; that A Song of Ice And Fire is supposedly coming to HBO, and that budget problems can always stop a fantasy film dead in its tracks. Still, with the weight of Warners behind it and a very healthy sales record, it could happen, so keep fingers crossed.