Westeros, Shannara, Fillory, Temerant… and now Xanth. According to Variety, Piers Anthony’s long-running fantasy saga set in the eponymous land of Xanth, filled with magicians and mythological creatures, may be joining the ranks of other fantasy series adapted for the big and/or small screens. Producer Steven Paul’s (Ghost in the Shell, Ghost Rider) SP Entertainment Group is launching development of the Xanth novels into both a feature film and a television series.
The Xanth series began in 1977 with A Spell for Chameleon, which established what to expect from the dozens of books that followed: A fantastical land where every inhabitant possesses some measure of “talent,” or magic… except for poor Bink, whose magic has not manifested. Exiled to Mundania, he must discover how to harness his magic; his journeys bring him into contact with a strange woman named Chameleon (who possesses beauty and intelligence in inversely shifting ways depending on the time of the month) and the evil magician Trent, who seeks to invade Xanth.
So—magic (or the consequences for lack thereof), spells, snarky humor, and, judging from the cover, a wicked-looking manticore. Anthony had originally planned the series as a trilogy, but fan demand spurred him on to write for the last forty years. The 41st novel, Ghost Writer in the Sky, will be published in April 2017.
Paul has not yet announced which book(s) would make up the film and which the TV series, nor if the structure will match the multimedia adaptations of Patrick Rothfuss’ The Kingkiller Chronicle or Stephen King’s The Dark Tower, with the main action happening in the film and supplementary stories branching off through the TV series. Variety reports that “plans are under way to announce creative talent as well as distribution and financing plans in connection with the project.”