First footage of MTV's ambitious, Tolkien-esque fantasy series The Shannara Chronicles

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Jul 13, 2015, 7:42 PM EDT (Updated)

Author Terry Brooks has written 10 separate series in his Shannara universe, starting with the original Shannara series, The Sword of Shannara, The Elfstones of Shannara and The Wishsong of Shannara. That’s a whole lot of Shannara. And soon, with the upcoming TV show The Shannara Chronicles from MTV, there’s going to be even more.

We have the official first look from San Diego Comic-Con, a featurette. And it looks freakin’ amazing. If it comes across as a bit Tolkienesque, there may be a reason: It’s filmed in New Zealand (and even co-stars John Rhys-Davies). The special-effects budget appears to be quite lavish as well. However, it seems as if the FX are being handled in-house by MTV, rather than from the Tolkien trilogies’ go-to production house, Weta Workshop.

Despite being a post-apocalyptic world, the plot also bears a resemblance to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. As Goodreads put it: The sole weapon against th[e] Power of Darkness is the Sword of Shannara, only usable by a true heir of Shannara. On Shea, last of the bloodline, rests the hope of all the races. Soon a Skull Bearer, dread minion of Evil, flies into the Vale to kill Shea. To save the Vale, Shea flees, drawing the Skull Bearer after him.

I read the Shannara books back in the Dark Ages when I was a teenager, and I had enjoyed them throughly (although now I recognize that a world of trolls, dwarfs and elves suffers from a few cliches). I'm genuinely looking forward to seeing the show.

Check out this gorgeous trailer, and let us know what you think about the upcoming series.

(Via MTV)