From The Hunger Games to Maze Runner and Divergent, there’s no denying the strength of YA fiction when it comes to film. However, save for a few notable exceptions such as The Vampire Diaries, the genre has never really taken hold in the same way on television. However, some networks are hoping to change that this year, and one of them is MTV.
With Teen Wolf already renewed and Scream successfully launched, the network’s now asking its audience to focus a lot of its attention on its next series, The Shannara Chronicles. But will the ploys work? Well, even if they don’t, we can say that the first Shannara Chronicles preview (which was first shown in public during the series' San Diego Comic-Con 2015 panel) certainly was a valiant effort.
The Shannara Chronicles is summarized by THR as follows:
The series follows the Shannara family, whose members can tap into ancient magic to help reshape the world's future. Season one will adapt the second book,The Elfstones of Shannara, with production taking place in New Zealand.
The series' cast includes relative unknowns like Poppy Drayton and Austin Butler, as well as seasoned acting veterans like John Rhys-Davies (the Lord of the Rings trilogy). Showrunning duties are being handled by Miles Millar and Al Gough (Smallville), with a pilot that was directed by Jonathan Liebesman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Jon Favreau (Iron Man 1 & 2) onboard as an executive producer.
What’s immediately noticeable right out of the gate for Shannara Chronicles is the show's scale. MTV simply doesn’t have anything like this (budget-wise) on its slate, right now. Teen Wolf, by comparison, is produced at a lower cost, though its limited settings and production values allow the drama to feel more personal and intimate... when the show's at its best, that is.
That said, if Shannara can manage the scale of fantasy epic promised in the new trailer (especially on the budget MTV is sure to give it), then the show could well stand on its won as a solid cable fantasy series (comparison to Game of Thrones aside). MTV is promising big things here, but that should only help to attract interest in the forthcoming series premiere.
The Shannara Chronicles debuts in January 2016 on MTV.