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The Sword of Shannara, from author Terry Brooks, is kind of a cold-war revision of J.R.R. Tolkien’s ideas. The book features all the fantasy trappings of Tolkien’s novels — so much so that critics dinged Brooks for rampant borrowing — but gives it all a nuclear origin, as the novels take place thousands of years after apocalyptic wars mutated mankind into elves and dwarves, and changed the geographic layout of Earth.

The book was also very successful, and it spawned two direct sequels and ultimately became the thing that dominates Brooks’ career — he’s got more Shannara books set for 2014 and 2015, almost 40 years after the publication of his first.¬†With all the interest in YA and fantasy novel properties from studios since The Lord of the Rings was a success, it is possibly only the very Tolkien-lite characteristics of Shannara that have kept the books from being adapted. Not that people haven’t tried, as producers who started working with the rights in 2007 have now hit pay dirt.

MTV is now developing¬†Shannara, a TV series, with Jon Favreau signed to direct the pilot. Read More »

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ABC may have found its Angels. After an exhaustive search, Minka Kelly and Rachael Taylor are now finalizing negotiations to star alongside Annie Ilonzeh in the Charlie’s Angels television reboot, which is being overseen by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar.

You probably won’t recognize Ilonzeh, as her most notable role before now was on General Hospital. But Kelly and Taylor should be familiar, the former having starred in Friday Night Lights and the upcoming The Roommate, and the latter appearing in Transformers and Shutter. Learn more about their characters after the break. Read More »

dianna-agron-i-am-number-four

The film adaptation of I Am Number Four, the first book in a sci-fi novel series co-authored by James Frey, became a big deal pretty fast. First it was because the film was rumored to be set up as a project for Michael Bay to produce and, possibly, direct.

Then DJ Caruso (Eagle Eye, Disturbia) was tapped to direct, with Bay and Steven Spielberg producing. Actors have steadily been added to the film, and now we’ve got one more: Dianna Agron, who has had insane exposure in the last year thanks to her role on Glee. Read More »

Alex Pettyfer in I Am Number 4

Alex Pettyfer

Alex Rider: Operation Stormbreaker and Beastly star Alex Pettyfer is in talks to play the lead character in Dreamworks’ Michael Bay/Steven Spielberg-produced D.J. Caruso-directed teen sci-fi alien adaptation I Am Number 4.

The screenplay adaptation was written by Smallville creators Al Gough and Miles Millar, which kind of makes sense if you think about it (teenage aliens that fall from space to earth?). Caruso is of course the director responsible for Taking Lives, The Salton Sea, Two for the Money and more recently, Disturbia and Eagle Eye. Bay has previously been developing the project as a potential directing gig.
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