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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Darkover coming to television

map of Darkover

Just got some news that I suspect lotsa folks will be excited and nervous about:

Producers Ilene Kahn Power and Elizabeth Stanley Secure Rights to Epic Fantasy “Darkover” Novels

Plan to Develop Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Best-Selling Novels Into TV Series

February 13, 2012 — Producers Ilene Kahn Power and Elizabeth Stanley have secured the rights to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s renowned “Darkover” novels and are currently developing a fantasy television series around the saga.

Kahn Power and Stanley, both award-winning producers of movies and mini-series, are developing the “Darkover” novels into a multi-platform TV series.

A gifted and prolific science-fiction and fantasy writer, Bradley, who garnered the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2000, was the author of over 66 books and 105 short stories, who

“The Mists of Avalon,” Bradley’s monumental re-imagining of the Arthurian legend, won the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel in 1984 and in 2002 was developed into an award-winning miniseries. Bradley’s critically acclaimed works have sold millions of copies world-wide and have been translated into more than 10 languages.

“Set in a unique world and full of great adventure, the ‘Darkover’ series truly has the potential to be must-see television for seasons to come,” says Kahn Power. “The novels have a huge fan following throughout the science fiction and fantasy communities internationally, and Marion Zimmer Bradley was an inspiration to and a nurturer of many notable fantasy writers including C.J. Cherryh, Charles de Lint, Mercedes Lackey, Diana L. Paxson, and many others.”

According to Stanley, “Bradley’s Darkover novels and short stories chronicle the development of a remarkable civilization – technology poor but rich in its ability to harness the psi powers of the human brain (such as telepathy and telekinesis).

Stanley adds, “One of the hallmarks of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s work is her rethinking and reinvention of gender roles. She was among the first speculative fiction writers to take on gender stereotypes and bend them or turn them topsy-turvy, thereby creating complex and unforgettable characters whose struggles with their own identities, as well as what society expects of them, feel completely modern.”

Kahn Power continues, “With the ability to create the ‘Darkover’ world through state-of-the-art effects and the opportunity to utilize multiple platforms to unfold our narrative, now is the ideal time to create a lasting and far-reaching series that features compelling characters and gripping stories that will appeal not only to existing fans but also to the broader audience which has embraced series such as ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Battlestar Galactica’.”

Ilene Kahn Power is the Emmy Award winning and multiple Golden Globe nominated producer of movies and miniseries such as GIA, Roswell, Who Is Clark Rockefeller, Stalin, White Mile, Elvis, Traffic, and Buffalo Soldiers. She is a former longtime Senior Executive with HBO Films where she developed and oversaw the production of over sixty films.

Elizabeth Stanley is the producer of the critically-acclaimed multi-platform series Trailers from Hell (www.trailersfromhell.com); Splatter, an interactive series for Roger and Julie Corman’s New Horizon Pictures and Netflix; The Dark Path Chronicles, a new media series written and directed by Mary Lambert for FEARnet; and the feature documentary The Doctor, The Tornado and The Kentucky Kid, written and directed by Mark Neale. Ms. Stanley is also producing Monster Love, which was penned by Greg Pak and will be directed by Joe Dante.

I’m not familiar with the work of these women, but the fact that women will be in charge has got to be a good thing, and will hopefully mean that the gender issues the Darkover stories confront will remain intact. And if Game of Thrones and Battlestar Galactica are the templates, quality is clearly a goal.

Still: So many things can go wrong between here and the screen! Let the wringing of hands and the gnashing of teeth begin.



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