Jonathan Liebesman

MTV has given a 10-episode order to “Shannara” in the hopes of building its own “Lord of the Rings”-like fantasy franchise out of the book series by Terry Brooks.

Feature helmer Jonathan Liebesman has signed on to direct the first two hours of the series, to be shepherded by showrunners Miles Millar and Alfred Gough for Sonar Entertainment.

Millar and Gough have deep experience in the genre through their long run on WB/CW’s “Smallville.” Millar and Gough exec produce with Liebesman, Brooks, Dan Farah and Jon Favreau. Favreau had been attached to direct the project but has bowed out due to scheduling conflicts.

The “Shannara” novels, which Brooks began writing in the late 1970s, have bounced around Hollywood in film and TV development for years. MTV’s plan is to start the series with the second novel in the 17-book series, “The Elfstones of Shannara.” Series will feature a strong female lead in the story of a family with magical powers in a post-apocalyptic world.

Liebesman’s pic credits include “Battle Los Angeles,” “Wrath of the Titans” and the upcoming reboot of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” He’s managed by David Gardner of Principato-Young.

 

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