TotL – 5 More Fantasy Universes Ripe for a TV Series
The new has broken that there’s a rumor that Amazon and/or Netflix may be bringing an animated or live-action Lord of the Rings television series to streaming services at some point in the near or far future. Yeah, that’s a whole lot of What and Only Ifs right there. We know so much less than we know for sure, and the only thing we do know with certainty is that a Lord of the Rings TV show is a big possibility. And why shouldn’t it be? Thanks to Game of Thrones the fantasy genre is huge right now. Things have even spun off into the relatively successful Shannara Chronicles over on MTV, but with an announcement including LotR as a show, this isn’t a fluke. Lord of the Rings is the most celebrated and important fantasy franchise in history, with much of modern-day fantasy finding its roots in the novels, the celebrated dual trilogy of blockbuster films, and name recognition that is in and of itself a promotional gold key. It’s easy to create, promote, and succeed with a Lord of the Rings series, but there are plenty of fantasy universes that could make for amazing TV shows. They may not have the name recognition in most cases, but the source material is full of awesome! So, without further ado, we hit the obvious, delve into the obscure, and still have faith in video game adaptations, in Outright Geekery’s Top o’ the Lot: 5 More Fantasy Universes Ripe for a TV Series.
Honorable Mention: The Elder Scrolls
TES only makes the Honorable Mention spot because there really aren’t a lot of people who are going to care. If you’ve spent dozens of hours running around Tamriel like I have, however, you know that The Elder Scrolls would make for a terrific TV series. Sure, it may draw from a lot of tropes and plots that have already been seen in other shows and films, but for fans of this video game franchise it just doesn’t matter.
An Elder Scrolls series would make for a solid, straight-forward, nearly no frills fantasy series, because there’s simply so much to pull from. There’s been like 5 games, spanning 10s of hours of gameplay with a fun environment to explore and full of interesting characters. But maybe a Fallout show would be better…
5. Magic: The Gathering
Players of this “cardboard crack” card collecting game already know of the rich and deep lore that goes along with the wildly popular Magic: The Gathering franchise, but just about no one else does, and that’s kind of too bad. Every revision and new set of Magic Card releases comes with its own backstory of settings, heroes, villains, monsters, items, etc. so there’s almost a limitless supply of story to build a TV universe in. But who really cares?
There’s no name recognition here. Even if you’ve heard of Magic you likely don’t care all that much. At least not enough to get excited for a new streaming show. But if the audience was there the synergy between players and viewers could help the game find an even broader audience…but I doubt it.
4. Harry Potter
What an easy choice, but it’s almost too easy to make it a good one. Everyone knows Harry Potter and the Wizarding World. There’s a fanbase out there that would ravenously eat this anything that even resembles an HP series. There’s already big studio backing to make this happen, and the constant release of films ensures that no one will soon forget that Harry Potter is still a thing. But where do you go?
There’s almost too much to the Harry Potter universe to do a series. Before Harry was born, during the war, after the war, or they could go way, way back to the ancient magical times of the Wizarding World, or even (yes!) they could go way into the future with the Potter grandchildren. It’s almost too much, but it’s an easy way for a studio to have a successful series. Good luck getting the go-ahead from the owner though.
3. World of Warcraft
The only problem with the World of Warcraft movie is that America hated it. And that’s ok, we hate lots of stuff. Otherwise, judging by the international box office number, the World of Warcraft movie was a hit. Again, lots of name recognition with so many players, but the big time budget needed for a live-action WoW series certainly pushes it back on this list just a bit. But why go live-action?
I want an honest-to-goodness serious take on an animated World of Warcraft series, and I want it now. I’ve seen a few things here and there, but the best way to get this done is to have Blizzard’s own animation department overseeing things. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Just do what you do best! But if that is the case we’ll likely get an Overwatch animated series any day now.
Live. Action. Zelda! Why have we not gotten this before? It’s a no-brainer that I can’t quite figure out. Why hasn’t Nintendo taken advantage of something that has so many fans around the globe? A live-action adventure that sees Link adventure through the land of Hyrule, through time every so often, and meet up with timeless characters as he attempts to save a princess who truly doesn’t need rescuing almost writes itself, because it’s already been written.
Now, the Legend of Zelda games can be quite off-putting when looking at the overall continuity of the various games. But of you ignore that, and just look at the cool parts of the series, there’s at least 5-6 solid seasons of adventure story to tell. This should already be a thing, and I’m not sure why it’s not.
1. The Novels of R.A. Salvatore
Author R.A. Salvatore has written a series of ongoing novels set within the Dungeons & Dragons universe of The Forgotten Realms, a robust and brilliant fantasy universe chock full of everything you’d expect from a DnD fantasy universe. Beyond that, though, Salvatore created a series of characters so rich and real that they feel like actual people you know. Drizzt Do’Urden, Bruenor Battlehammer, Regis the Halfling, Wulfgar the Barbarian, and more are such great characters who have such marvelous adventures. So what’s the catch? There is none.
Besides Lord of the Rings, R.A. Salvatore’s novels are without a doubt some of the best fantasy writing out there, and it would adapt to the screen so very easily. The stories are full of adventure with odd characters, but the audience can relate to them so very easily, and it’s that sort of story-telling that truly sells fantasy stories to the masses. They may think they are reading about crazy tales of odd creatures, but really they are reading about themselves. That’s the magic of this franchise, and we should all email Netflix right now to make this show happen.
See a mistake? Disagree with the choices? Let us know what you thing!