Michael Moorcock‘s Elric saga, which began in 1961 with the novella “The Dreaming City,” is one of the last prolific sword-and-sorcery book series to have not yet been adapted for the silver screen. But there have been a few attempts over the years, most notably back in 2007 when filmmaking brothers Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz (American Pie, About A Boy) optioned the rights to the Elric series with an eye towards making a trilogy of films based on the property for Universal Pictures, which we first reported on here.
The project was eventually put on the back burner as the Weitz brothers pursued other endeavors, Paul directing the comedies American Dreamz and Little Fockers, and Chris the fantasy novel adaptations The Golden Compass (the first of Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series) and The Twilight Saga: New Moon.
Recently at a press junket for his latest directorial effort, Being Flynn (being released March 2, 2012), Paul Weitz spoke to ComingSoon about his feelings about the Elric adaptation and the project’s future.
We wrote a very edgy script that was true to the anarchic spirit of the book, and then we had a heck of a time getting it made. We’ll probably take another run at it if we’re able to. It was certainly a dream come true to hang out with Michael Moorcock, who is one of our heroes.
It’s an utter anti-hero, and I believe that part of the book was a response to Tolkien, because Moorcock looked at that as sort of a hymn to the squireocracy and the class system in England, and this is a complete rock and roll nihilist anti-hero. I hope the movie gets made in proper fashion.
The Elric series followed the adventures of Elric of Melnibone, an albino warrior-king who wielded great powers and the mighty sword Stormbringer. The character has appeared in numerous short stories, novels, comic books, and role-playing games and served as a major influence on progressive rock bands like Hawkwind and Blue Oyster Cult and the underground fantasy comics scene. Elric has been referenced in many songs, movies, comic books, and television series over the decades. To date, the only film adaptation of a Michael Moorcock work has been 1972’s The Final Programme, based on the first book to feature another of the author’s famous ongoing characters, Jerry Cornelius.