'Carrie Diaries' Favorite to Star in MTV's 'Shannara' (Exclusive)

Austin Butler has nabbed the male lead in the drama based on Terry Brooks' best-selling book series
Austin Butler  AP Images

Austin Butler is going from playing a 1980s heartthrob to portraying an elf. 

The Carrie Diaries alum has booked the high-profile male lead in MTV's adaptation of Terry Brooks' best-selling series Shannara, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Shannara explores a world set thousands of years after the destruction of civilization as we know it. The 10-episode drama explores the Shannara family, whose descendants are empowered with ancient magic and whose adventures reshape the future of the world. The first season is based on The Elfstones of Shannara, the second title in Brooks' series.

Read more 'Shannara' Ordered Straight to Series at MTV

Butler will star as Wil Ohmsford, who is half human and half elf . Self-conscious, he has spent his life trying to hide his pointed ears. Kind, thoughtful, and likable, he has an appealing self-deprecating manner, but his easygoing life is about to be turned upside down when he learns that he is the last of the legendary Shannara family. Charged with finding the Druid who will guide him to his destiny, Wil realizes his dangerous journey is just beginning. When Calls the Heart's Poppy Drayton stars as Amberle, the elfin princess.

The Shannara series began in 1977 with The Sword of Shannara and encompasses multiple trilogies and a prequel, totaling more than 25 books. Shannara takes place thousands of years after the destruction of our civilization.

The Shannara books are estimated to be the highest-selling un-adapted fantasy book series in the world. Brooks is considered to be the second-highest-selling living fantasy author, trailing only Harry Potter mastermind J.K. Rowling. MTV's hope is that Shannara will do for it what Game of Thrones has done for HBO and Outlander for Starz.

Miles Millar and his Smallville cohort Al Gough will serve as showrunners and executive produce alongside Jon Favreau, Jonathan Liebesman, Brooks, Dan Farah and David Blocker. Liebesman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) will direct the first two episodes of the series, which also hails from Gene Stein and Sonar Entertainment.

Butler, who most recently has been recurring on The CW's Arrow as Thea's love interest, is repped by WME and Anonymous Content. He starred for two seasons as a young Carrie Bradshaw's love interest on The CW's Sex and the City prequel The Carrie Diaries, with credits also including Life Unexpected and Switched at Birth. He next stars opposite Johnny Depp in Kevin Smith's Yoga Hosers and recently appeared in the Geffen Playhouse's Death of the Author.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit

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