The Sword of Truth fantasy series comes to TV
Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) is teaming with ABC/Disney on 22 hour-long episodes chronicling Goodkind's The Sword of Truth eleven volume series, though the working title of the show appears to be the title of the first novel only: Wizard's First Rule. Intended for syndication, Rule will be the first major fantasy syndicated series since the likes of Hercules and Xena ruled the airwaves in the late '90s.
It's said to be in development for a fall launch. Personally, I would have gone with The Sword of Truth as the series name as it has a more majestic feel. Perhaps they're only intending to adapt the first novel; certainly it's fat enough to fill a full season. I just hope they don't intend to cram all 11 volumes into one season (these books are easily 500+ pages on average) as there is way too much going on for that to work.
I'm sure this is going to piss off some of his fans, but I always considered The Sword of Truth a derivative of The Wheel of Time. The series shared too many similarities, especially in early volumes of Sword to be mere coincidence. But, admittedly, like Bloom County from Doonesbury before it, Sword did manage to find its own voice. Ideally, if Jordan's final volume can be compiled and published (tragically the author passed away last year before completing it himself, but he did leave extensive notes, and his official blog indicates they have found a writer to finish it), maybe Showtime or some other bigger budget studio could pick it up. I'd rather see a bigger budget on The Wheel of Time than the Hercules and Xena's of the world managed.
Hopefully, The Sword of Truth ... sorry, Wizard's First Rule will prove successful (and A Song of Ice and Fire will actually happen) and other quality fantasy series can be looked at for television treatment, just like The Lord of the Rings opened the doors for The Chronicles of Narnia and other high fantasy in the theaters. There's certainly plenty of source material to work with, but sci-fi/fantasy fans are very difficult to please, so it should be interesting to see if they embrace this alternate medium or reject it altogether. Or if it appeals to people who've never read the series and nobody cares whether the whiny fans like it or not.