31/01/2008. Contributed by Jessica Martin
The good news? Evil Dead-creator Sam Raimi is set to produce a TV series for Disney and ABC based on Terry Goodkind's fantasy novel Wizard's First Rule. The bad news? It's to be made by some of the same people that did Xena and Hercules. Rubber dragon suit, anyone?
Disney-ABC is to make a live-action weekly TV series made by executive producer Sam Raimi (he of the Spiderman and Evil Dead fame). The one-hour weekly series will be based on Terry Goodkind's epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth, which follows the transformation of woodsman Richard Cypher into a magical leader who joins with a mysterious woman to stop a sinister tyrant.
"We are thrilled to offer a network-quality show to the syndication marketplace from the studio that brings us Lost, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Criminal Minds, Ghost Whisperer and Army Wives, together with the talented team behind Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys," Janice Marinelli, president at Disney-ABC, told SFcrowsnest.com. "The time is right to introduce a captivating new series from this well-established and successful genre that is sure to be an attractive fit for stations across the country."
"We're very excited to move into the first-run syndication arena," added Mark Pedowitz, president of ABC, "especially with Sam Raimi, a visually dynamic filmmaker who's mastered the fantasy genre."
"Terry Goodkind is a brilliant author and I fell in love with his books, reading them with my family," Sam Raimi told SFcrowsnest.com. "In discussing these incredible storylines and rich characters with my friends and partners Robert Tapert and Josh Donen, we agreed that 'Wizard's First Rule' would make an amazing television series - one that could be produced with compelling, self-contained episodes."
Wizard's First Rule will be produced by ABC Studios, marking their first venture into broadcast syndication. Production is slated to begin on the 22-episodes May 2008. Sam Raimi, Robert Tapert ("The Grudge," "Xena: Warrior Princess," "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" and "Cleopatra 2525"), "Joshua Donen ("The Quick and the Dead") and Ned Nalle (production executive for "Xena: Warrior Princess" and "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys") serve as executive producers.
Goodkind's epic fantasy series The Sword of Truth began with Wizard's First Rule, published in 1994, and ten additional titles have subsequently been released.
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