Wizard's First Rule - Comic-Con Report
Well, the big news to come out of the Wizard's First Rule panel was that the series is not going to be called Wizard's First Rule. The new title is Legend of the Seeker. Why? Well, according to panelists and author Terry Goodkind the name change was made to focus on the hero of the book itself rather than the main book of the series.
A few other tidbits from the panel and press event can be found after the jump.
As Brett reported last week, the show will start in syndication on November 1st (filming has already begun). It has been cleared in about 97% of the stations. Most of these, according to executive producers Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert, are part of the Tribune network of television stations. It will air on Saturday nights and, in many cases, be part of the CW's leased-programming block.
The first season will be 22 episodes, with a two-hour season premiere. Each episode will be standalone and feature a beginning and an end. Wizard's First Rule author Terry Goodkind said that he wanted to have this format to allow fans of the series as well as new viewers to be able to jump into the show at any time. The first season will cover the main plot points of Wizard's First Rule, which chronicle the adventures of Richard Cypher, Kahlan, and the old, wise and powerful wizard Zedd (are there any young, silly and weak wizards?).
Everyone on the panel agreed that this was the right time for a syndicated series. Terry had always been looking for an avenue to get his characters onto the screen and Sam, Rob and Ken Biller helped him to get that request fulfilled. It didn't hurt that both Sam and Rob, as well as their kids, are big fans of the book series.
When asked if Legends will have some of the humor present in his previous syndicated outings of Hercules and Xena, Raimi answered that their will be humor, but it will come from the characters and not the situations. Raimi added that Legends will remain as true to the books as it can, which means fairly serious.
Even though the books are fairly violent, the Legends series has been toned down a bit for the television audience. However, said Tapert, being that they are a syndicated show has given them a bit of leeway. So, there will be blood coming from people's mouths after a lung injury but "no bubbles".
In addition to previously announced actors Craig Horner (Richard Cypher) and Bridget Regan (Kahlan), Raimi announced that actor Bruce Spence (Mad Max, The Matrix Revolutions) will portray Zedd. Also, Jay Laga'aia (Star Wars: Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith) will portray the boundary patrolman Chase.
When asked about digital enhancements for the show, Tapert said that the environment -- New Zealand -- will not be tampered with. However, there will be digital enhancements for some of the magical creatures the adventurers encounter.
When asked about potential lash-back from fans of the series who will be upset about the format of the show, Goodkind said he expects some kind of angry response. But, said Terry, as long as they get the characters right the stories are not important: fans want to see the characters they love brought to screen.
A new trailer has been released at the Legend of the Seeker website.