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Elric Movie

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  • #91
    As I see it...

    (cross-posted from the forum, did I post to the wrong place originally?)

    ------------------------------------------------

    This newbie is very interested in this topic.

    I too wish I were in on the decision making process for this movie, but I'm not. What follows then is a freely offered "wish-list" for Mr. M to use or ignore as he see fit. I agree that it's a pity that Elric is going to be a big studio production, at turns that may well prove to be a good and a bad thing. The good may well mean the budget to do the effects correctly -- with much attention to detail. The bad may well mean actors unworthy of their parts and some horrific music choices for the soundtrack. No matter what, it will probably be impossible to please all of us hardcore fans all at once with some of the choices that will have to be made in bringing this story to the screen. Just let out one big "Ugh!" now and get it over with...and don't forget that nothing changes the excellence of the novels. If a celluloid monster is unleashed and everyone hates it; the books will still be sitting there on your shelves, reassuringly, just as before.

    Much earlier in this thread, Paul said:
    "But if I know one thing, it's that Mike has never let his intellectual property be butchered in the past, and I doubt he's apart {edit; about?} to start now so I'm looking forward to it myself."

    Well, just keep in mind that the Jerry Cornelius film adaptation was very hit-and-miss. The first Elric film cannot afford that level of unevenness -- it must hit and hit strongly for sequels to get made. If the first film tanks, that's it. Sayonara...


    On actor choices...
    Unknown talent will be a plus here. They'll work cheaply and you then have money for effects done properly.

    Mr. M mentioned: Paul Bethany for Elric.
    Not a bad choice -- he could totally work in this role. He wouldn't obviously suck, but he's not spot on either. But what about Craig Parker who played Haldir in LOTR? (http://jmsstyxnyes.tripod.com/lotr/haldir/hal15.jpg) I thought the guy had a really amazing screen presence -- you absolutely wanted to know more about this ill-fated elf. On the plus side is his current near anonymity to a mass audience -- and you do really want Elric to be a near unknown so that the audience can just sink into the character and never think something like "Oh, look -- it's that Knight's Tale guy!" The tiny part in LOTR will just enhance his attractiveness in the role of Elric -- the role of an elf dovetails nicely with that of our anti-hero.

    Shaeve mentioned: "Joaquin Pheonix."
    I see him as a possibility for Yyrkoon. No problems there. He'd be a brilliant choice -- in fact, I think I recommend peppering known actors in the film, everywhere but in the starring role. The role is also small enough not to detract from that of the lead character. Crusader_of_Melnibone mentioned: "Rufus Sewell." And I see him as another excellent choice for Yyrkoon, or possibly Arioch.

    Cymoril -- I'm seeing Claire Forlani. There's definitely something unearthly and elfin there. Am I wrong?

    Moonglum -- no one really leaps out at me on this one, perhaps an unknown here as well. Johnny Depp might be nice as a swarthy Moonglum, but I bet his price is out of the question. He might be too hammy now too. I'll have to think more on this one...

    Dyvim Tvar -- seems crazy maybe, but how about Jأ¼rgen Prochnow? The guy looks like he has been blasted by Dragon fire a few times already. Is he too old for Elric's friend and mentor? If so, how about Everett McGill?

    Tanglebones -- I shit you not, David Bowie. I'm laying money that he loves these stories too...but who knows. Patrick Stewart? That guy could make any role seem spectacular.

    Dr. Jest -- How about Jeremy Irons? Like most classical trained British actors, he's amazing at the job and will work on any project provided the money is right -- and I suspect that his price is not actually that high. This guy could have been Elric if he were a bit younger: (http://www.spietati.it/archivio/imag...e-machine2.jpg)

    Zarozinia -- for a first movie this is totaly jumping the gun, but how about Thora Birch. It's been years since I read the series, but I seem to recall an age difference that should be at least minorly startling. Depending on the age of the lead that plays Elric, Birch will not seem so young after all.

    Lastly, Vin Diesel? Well, maybe he can voice-over for the Black Sword, eh? The Iron Giant meets Stormbringer!


    On musical/soundscape choices...
    I want to be the first to utter the heresy that there should be absolutely NO Hawkwind or M.M. music in these movies. If you don't understand it, then so be it. That kind of soundtrack means commercial death on this one, you'll just have to trust me on that point.

    If anything, the music should have a more "period" feel to it, and generally avoid anything terribly modern sounding. If it must be modern sounding here and there, let it be something ethereal along the lines of Howard Shore's soundtrack for "Crash." If it must be guitars, let it be something so noisy that it disappears into a wall of noise -- say something like Kevin Shields of "My Bloody Valentine." BTW, I well realize that the "period" in question doesn't exist, it's a fantasy time and place -- but I think you know what I mean. Now, I don't intend to go all Celtic on you people either -- that's been done, and done to death. Although maybe a group like "Faith and the Muse" might be a good choice for when the credits are rolling. Something a little upbeat for emptying the theater and to satisfy audience expectation, even if only at the end when it doesn't matter any longer.

    You know what would be good here? Stuff like Dead Can Dance or Diamanda Galas. Not so much the vocal work (sorry Lisa, Diamanda!), but the background music. Consider a Brendan Perry score (again, no vocals), and stuff like that music playing in the back of Diamanda Galas' "Law of the Plague." Think of a Melnibonean choral! Right, that doesn't sound like Tears for Fears, or freaking Enya for that matter, now does it...?

    I've given a lot of thought to the sound of Stormbringer. It should be as if thousands of demons were speaking all at once, breaking through from another dimension. As if the space all around you were full of voices. My only possible model for this is the beginning segment of Throbbing Gristle's "Discipline" (live Manchester). Now, mind you -- that's not the voice of Stormbringer, but the background score. In terms of dramatic irony, the audience must be absolutely convinced that to bargain with this sword is to bargain with the worst of all possible devils -- and that even if our protagonist Elric fails to see the problem for what it is himself. The first shot is always the easiest...

    Notes on the mis-en-scene more generally...
    Book and chapter titles should absolutely be used somehow. Perhaps some clever methods of including titles into dialogue could be employed: "While the Gods Laugh" said Elric, smiling to himself. The lyric quality of the works must not be lost!

    Visually, I have a preference for the James Cawthorn Dragon helmet -- a thing of real beauty it is. For armor one could also not truly improve on the design of Yoshitaka Amano (http://www.artfx-kotobukiya.com/item/jpg/erlicall.jpg). Amano wouldn't be too bad for a costume designer either, but I don't know if he has the needed skill to go from designs in 2D to real world materials.

    Maybe Melnibonean dragons could also wear extensive leather armor, and seem almost machine-like. I did like the worm-headed dragons in LOTR.

    I disagree in part with Yolanda about the nudity and sex. I think there should be lots of character-driven nudity and sex where it makes sense -- I'd love to see real sex-magik type chaos magik in the film. I'd also like to see sequences where sex is a misused power, as in sex with a bad magikal outcome. That's just not expected and would be extremely refreshing dramatically.

    The minute the studio tries to tone this thing down to LOTR level, it might as well have been some fucking Disney cartoon. Elric's world of chaos and nasty consequences must needs be R, or possibly even NC-17. Seriously. And therein lies it's doom...

    Okay....


    That was fun!

    - Krunky

    Comment


    • #92
      Originally posted by Nizam
      My vote goes to Joaquin Phoenix to play Yyrkoon and maybe Brian Sewell a close second.
      I agree, both of them work for me as Yyrkoon. I have no idea who could play Elric, which leads me to hope for an unknown. If it HAS to be a star, I agree with the folks who think Brad Pitt could pull it off. He's very talented and usually makes good choices about the parts he plays. Another thought: Gary Oldman can do anything.

      Re: Animated. I'd LOVE to see it, but after seeing LOTR, I really want to see Elric in live action. In my mind, the world he exists in is more fantastical than Middle Earth, which would on one hand lend itself very well to animation. On the other, getting that fantastical look through design and effects in "real life" would be extremely cool! Then again, maybe that fantastical feeling is just me... It may come from having read all the Eternal Champion comics when I was a kid. Any chance of getting P. Craig Russell to do conceptual design? The Dreaming City graphic novel had a huge impact on me.

      And while I agree that adult animation can be successful, I doubt it can be successful on the level that I'm sure the studio is looking for. People are continually being sold the idea that "cartoons are for kids", making the only real blockbusters stuff like Shrek and Pixar stuff...

      BTW, is it really true that Final Fantasy made money? It cost a ton to make and totally flopped at the BO, although I wouldn't be suprised if DVD sales put it in the green.

      Comment


      • #93
        I hope...

        that Elric in the movie is more along the lines of the Elric from the old cover art by Whelan.

        I love that look and Stormbringer is simply evil looking (as it should be!).

        I love the cover of Sailor on the Seas of Fate. Those sailors behind him look terrified - for good reason. And the cover from Stormbringer is great.

        I always loved the idea of the anti-hero. Elric is the ultimate one. :twisted:
        When they had advanced together to meet on common
        ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
        and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
        each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
        mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
        killing, and the ground ran with blood.

        Homer, The Illiad

        Comment


        • #94
          I think the films should definately be live-action as it people tend to get more involved and I think it would look so much better that way.

          Regarding this whole unknown actor thing I don't really have problems with the bigger stars. There are certain individuals I only see as "Ahnuldt" or "Murray", but I don't think any of them will be in the running (shame though, I was rather hoping for a Bill Murray Elric <sigh>).

          Rufus Sewell, as I mentioned before is not a big name as such so he fulfills that criteria.

          Comment


          • #95
            another question, what about rahkir?
            who would play the red archer priest of phum?
            i think thas how its spelt?

            Comment


            • #96
              Jeremy Irons(sp?)

              I just came across a pic of Jeremy Iroms from the Time Machine and he almost looks the part of Elric.


              What do you think?

              http://www.jeremy-irons.com/news/arc...memachine.html
              When they had advanced together to meet on common
              ground, then there was the clash of shields, of spears
              and the fury of men cased in bronze; bossed shields met
              each other and the din rose loud. Then there were
              mingled the groaning and the crowing of men killed and
              killing, and the ground ran with blood.

              Homer, The Illiad

              Comment


              • #97
                Re: Jeremy Irons(sp?)

                Originally posted by VonWeiner
                I just came across a pic of Jeremy Iroms from the Time Machine and he almost looks the part of Elric.


                What do you think?

                http://www.jeremy-irons.com/news/arc...memachine.html
                I don't agree with you. To me it fits more a TV adaptation of "Legacy of Kain" (IMO Kain's characters with their appearance and their soul stealing abilities are not far from an Elric rip off) but not for Elric that I've always imagined THIN, and not so "UGLY" (sorry mr Irons). I think he got some relationships with ladies that did also like something else than just his (dark) charisma.??? That's my own opinion of course. I'm curious about what you guyz think. ps: I also see Elric more young, not that OLD. (sorry for a second time mr Irons)

                Comment


                • #98
                  Originally posted by Sparhawk
                  I think the films should definately be live-action as it people tend to get more involved and I think it would look so much better that way.
                  I tend to agree with this statement.

                  When I was a kid and finally saw Star Wars I was duly impressed. When I saw Star Wars recently, I couldn't believe how cheesy the SE were and I thought, ah, those were the 70's. The first time I saw Tron I was duly impressed. When I saw Tron recently, I couldn't believe how dated the CG looked and I thought, ah, those were the 80's. Terminator II was an event beyond all others, but a recent viewing had me thinking, ah, those were the 90's, give them a break.

                  So here we are in 200x and we have Matrix and LOTR. The first Matrix was dark and filled with some clean CG but it didn't help the Matrix 2 and 3. Both were destroyed by bad storytelling and awful acting. LOTR broke through with a Jar Jar, er, Gollum. I wonder what Gollum will look like in 10 years. Not much worse than he does today? :lol:

                  My opinion is that CG and classic animation always look dated eventually and much sooner than a well acted film. Think Heavy Metal. Even a well acted, B&W period film holds up to being dated better than a cartoon does. Consider The Seven Samurai.

                  I would expect to see CG dragons, cityscapes, seascapes, human bodies (Toby McGuire's Spiderman CG body in numerous scenes), chaos creature bodies, ships in battle, Stormbringer's soul sucking, Yrkoon and Elric's elemental friends and other magic making and I suspect the list goes on.

                  I agree with others who have said something akin to, "Don't let it turn out like the Dungeons and Dragon movie!" A CG Elric that would cause the "Jar Jar Effect" would be an Elric movie I couldn't enjoy.

                  SE = Special Effects
                  CG = Computer Graphics
                  Jar Jar = CG creature in the 4th Star Wars movie (Phantom Menace)
                  Jar Jar Effect = The state of rage a viewer experiences that will cause them to throw a tub of popcorn at the screen for having been cheated out of $13 ($8 for admission and $5 for the popcorn).

                  Edit: Hey, I know we don't get a killer movie without CG.
                  The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                  Comment


                  • #99
                    What sets Michael's characters and the Saga apart from others, in my opinion, in the fantasy genre is that the characters are well developed and the Elric saga is driven by the characters and not by the setting or world that the characters are in. Tolkien's strength and focus in LOTR is making an entire world of Middle Earth, developing histories, cultures and languages as where Michael writes from the standpoint of strong character definition and interaction being the central focus of the Saga. An emphasis should be placed on real actors and real human actions. The focus should be on the characters and not how cool the CGI's can be. The effects should compliment the characters and the storyline but not be the central focus of the film saga. I believe Berry hits the nail right on the head with his comments. I have a similar view of the films he mentioned and how dated they look today. The Elric Saga should look as close to timeless as possible because after all it is the multiverse we are talking about now isn't it?

                    Comment


                    • yeah the sound of stormbringer will be important. i would suggest a terrible sound, like the scrathing of nails on the chalkboard! with lots of reverb of course... that will teatch em not to anger the blade, and the viewer make wish to have bought the earplugs at the cinema entrance.
                      :D

                      Comment


                      • What sets Michael's characters and the Saga apart from others, in my opinion, in the fantasy genre is that the characters are well developed and the Elric saga is driven by the characters and not by the setting or world that the characters are in. Tolkien's strength and focus in LOTR is making an entire world of Middle Earth, developing histories, cultures and languages as where Michael writes from the standpoint of strong character definition and interaction being the central focus of the Saga.
                        I agree with this, it's kind of the trademark of MM's literature; his stories are narrated speedily but with great relish and they're very intense as a result. The lack of dawdling was highly exhilarating when I first started the Elric saga, what with me being quite into multi-book tomes like Robert Jordan's collosal Wheel of Time Series (ten books and counting, averaging 600-1000 pages each!).

                        Being on the second book of Corum right now (that kerazy Lake of Voices, eh?) I'm experiencing a similar headrush. I hope this translates well to the big screen, though it occurs to me that when the story is so focused, very little can be cut in the interest of time without altering the story.



                        Saw A Knight's Tale at last. I didn't really see the raucous character of Chaucer as Elric; is there something else that inspired the choice of Bettany? Sewell made a great villain; I wouldn't be totally unhappy if he landed Yyrkoon, but I stand by him as Elric.

                        Re. Jeremy Irons: Good actor, but the albino moorlock looked rather camp I thought.
                        Re. Orlando Bloom: Don't think he could do brooding, it'd come off as sulky I feel. He just hasn't got the face for it.
                        Re. Rackhir: Maybe Daniel Day Lewis, wearing his hair as he did in Last of the Mohicans?

                        Comment


                        • Just a quick note. Nobody seems to have spotted the piece in USA today
                          for Tuesday (Jan 20) called 'More of the Rings magic' which discussed upcoming fantasy movies in the wake of LOTR. The article discussed the Lemony Snicket, Artemis Fowl, Dark Materials and Narnia children's books being filmed and also The Elric Saga, which appears to be the only adult movie currently in the works.

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                          Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                          Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
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                          Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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                          • Movie

                            As my first post on your site and a long time reader and fan I must express my joy in hearing of the possibility of an Elric movie.

                            The cinematic tools needed to accurately render the Multiverse on film are now available. I dearly hope that an accurate and respectful film rendition of the Elric saga can make it to the screen.

                            If I may ask, in your opinion has the success of the LoTR series made it easier for an author of substantial works of science fiction/ fantasy to bring his works to the studios on his own terms?
                            I imagine the eyes and ears of hollywood are now more finely tuned to the possibilites of great fantasy literature turned film; this in marked contrast to the endless parade of post-Conan flops of the eighties.

                            Regards,
                            -M

                            Comment


                            • Why bother?

                              Hey, movies can be fun. No doubt about that.

                              Movies are fun to watch. To think about. To argue over. Soundtracks can be cool too. Of course, you want your movie tie-in lunchbox...

                              But Mr. M has already succeeded where it counts many times over -- he has written at least several very good novels which adorn many of our shelves. Am I right?

                              The only reason to want to get your book made into a movie is more money, although interest in the film can sometimes lead to more interest in the source material (e.g. the books). I'm not knocking it, I'm just recognizing it for what it is.

                              In essence, I don't see getting one's novel made into a film the goal of a proper author. Should a film get made, that's just icing on the cake. The real goal is met once the author and reader have connected via the written word.

                              I don't know what Mr. M might say on the subject, but I think everyone concerned are best served when everybody well understands their respective roles. An author writes novels, he doesn't make movies -- that's the job of other kinds of creative people.

                              I'm not saying there can't be overlap. And I'm not saying that the icing can't be nice. I just hate to think that we aren't respecting the written word as an end to itself.

                              And you know how it is, the book is always better than the movie because you, the reader, have to help the author in the creative process with the cinema of your own mind. That's why most novels made into films suck -- it's just someone else's idea of what the novel is...

                              So while Mr. M apparently has some creative imput and say in the finished product, there are many other hands on the project at the same time. Financial backers not the least of those hands.

                              Anyway, a novel can be successful on its own terms as a novel; regardless of it's movie status. That's my main point.

                              Comment


                              • Well, it's not the only reason for wanting books to be made into a film, to be honest, or I could have sold the Elric stories years ago. I've turned down some very good offers. Chris Weitz was telling me that people had been surprised I'd sold them the film rights because it was 'well known that Moorcock never sells film rights'. I really liked what the Weitz brothers had to say and liked the seriousness with which they approached the idea. Also we are all agreed we want to write movies that while complementing the books are not slavish versions of the books. This gives me a chance to rewrite the sequence as I might have written it if I'd thought about it for thirty years, rather than written it over thirty years!
                                If anyone can find (I can't) the USA Today site that talks about 'movie successors' to LOTR, they'll note that Christ Weitz is saying that he sees the Elric stories in relation to LOTR the way The Matrix is to Star Wars -- i.e. they are more 'thoughtful' in some ways, though still with plenty of action, marvels, adventures and so on.
                                If anyone finds it on the web, let me know. If not, we'll try to post the bones of the USA Today story here.
                                I am having input into the Elric movie and have an Associate Producer credit, since the Weitz brothers want to make the movie (s) with me
                                involved and I'm happy to be involved for reasons given. Anyone who has seen the film version of The Final Programme or the movie I wrote with Jim Cawthorn (whose Elric logo I note you're using -- good isn't it?)
                                The Land That Time Forgot will understand why I've been hesitant to have my work turned into movies. After FP I almost stopped working!
                                The films have to make me excited and happy, too, or they just aren't worth making. That's not everyone's view, I know. But it is mine.
                                I want Elric on screen to be better than the books!! That's the pleasure I get from it. And life for me is more about pleasure and conscience than it is about money and fame....
                                :D

                                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in Europe:
                                The Whispering Swarm: Book One of the Sanctuary of the White Friars - The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction
                                Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles - Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - Modem Times 2.0 - The Sunday Books - The Sundered Worlds


                                Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
                                The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
                                Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

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