April 22, 2008
Tangentially related update: Related only in that it deals with fantasy/scifi TV. Turns out that Wizards First Rule will be made into a weekly TV series. Really? Is it going to be broadcast on the Playboy channel, or maybe the BSM/Torture Channel? I loved that book, but the whole Mistress Denna thing isn't something that I see looking good over the air.
Update to the tangentially related update: Okay, Terry Goodkind is sure that it's happening, so it must be true. Oddly, considering some of the subject matter, Disney is one of the partners in this 22-episode television adventure. Anyway, excerpt:
Now that the announcement about the TV series has been officially released, I would like to take this opportunity to put it in perspective and fill in some of the details. (Please keep in mind that some of this might change as things evolve.)
The first season will be 22 one hour episodes, on Saturday evenings, probably at either 8 or 9 pm. Since this is a syndicated program you will need to check your local listings for the station in your area.
The first season will cover the story of WIZARD?S FIRST RULE. Along with exciting opportunities afforded by the air time in which we have to tell the story, the TV series also brings unique challenges. All film formats ? TV series, mini-series, or feature films ? must, to a greater or lesser extent, alter the novel in order to translate the story from words to pictures. A feature film has severe limitations of time, requiring major parts of novels to be cut out. Sam Raimi knew that a feature film of WIZARD?S FIRST RULE could never work to tell the story. That?s why he wanted to do a long format TV show. I?m especially pleased that we are going to be doing 22 one hour episodes to tell this epic story ? much more time than a mini-series would have afforded. That said, there must still be changes, yet within those changes lie exciting opportunities.
With Disney now on board we have some of the most gifted people in the world working to make this project not just exciting but successful.
All this said, I would like to interject a note of caution. In projects of this nature involving vast sums of money there are always things that can go wrong. For example, while the rights to many books are sold or optioned very few of these ever see the light of a bright screen. Many books, even though there is initial enthusiasm, in reality are simply not a good fit for film. Announcements of book rights being sold are quite common; having such rights ever end up as a finished product is actually exceedingly rare. Because so much money is involved in the production of films there are countless stages at which a project can be stopped cold.
Well, I'll wait until they start casting before I decide to add it to my viewing schedule.
Final update: Check out Amy's Commentary here for why I think that the book isn't what the people at Disney think it is:
Why did several people in the book group strongly dislike Wizard's First Rule? One reason given was that they felt this book was not well written (or poorly edited), that there were too many misspellings and too much bad grammar. Another felt parts were needlessly crude. There was also the complaint that the story was too derivative of other fantasy books, not very original. The reason discussed most, however, was an episode three quarters of the way into the book - the long torture scene involving Richard Cypher and Mistress Denna, the Mord-Sith. Richard suffers at the hands of leather clad Denna and her rod- like Agiel. The S&M aspects of their "relationship" didn't appeal to me, and several group members found it extremely disagreeable, enough so to sour them on the entire book. This scene was unexpected and intense, but not - in my opinion - gratuitous. They didn't agree. One person was extremely uncomfortable reading this scene and could only skim it. Richard's encounter with the Mord-Sith may be important in later books, but I think such a traumatic scene should've been better foreshadowed.
From the people who make Dreams Come True™ comes this whimsical tale of a guy who gets tortured almost to death, complete with graphic descriptions of blood and pain. For the record, the sex is just glossed over, so Disney might be happy. Torture good, sex bad.
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