I know…I know…everyone’s like..”Who? What?”
Elric, the main character of ~14 novels, a product of the profound imagination of Michael Moorcock…is finally getting his chance on the big screen. Michael Moorcock has been publishing best-selling literature about the Eternal Champion for almost 50 years. The Eternal Champion (of which Elric is but one incarnation) is an entity bound by fate the bring the universe in balance in the eternal struggle between the forces of Law and Chaos. The Elric Saga is VERY recommended…this isn’t your colorful rehash of Dragons and Heroes. Elric is not the good-guy-hero of the typical fantasy novel. He is an Anti-Hero, was born weak of stature, and often wracked with a sickness that reminds my of what would be a supernatural and incurable case of tuberculosis. The wandering Emperor of a supremely powerful and decadent race quickly realizing it’s exodus from the world, Elric’s only respite from his horrible sickness lays within the not-so-benign graces of a Sword rumored to be as age old as the Gods, and rumored to be capable of sustaining the wielder regardless of injury.
With only this little tidbit…you may realize this isn’t the kind of story with happy endings…the one great thing about Moorcock’s work is that you can count on there never being a “Happily Ever After.” His sagas end with the hero’s end…and are in all respects tragedy.
So…now that I have touched upon the literary addiction of those Eternal Champions…I am very happy to have just found out (albeit late) that Universal Studios, in conjunction with producer Chris Weitz (screenplay writer of Pullman’s The Golden Compass), are beginning the process of bringing Elric to the big screen. This has been a big dream of mine…to see Elric through the eyes of his creator.
I have concerns though, Chris Weitz’ association with Golden Compass bought him the ire of a very large amount of Christian activist groups who were already on their own crusade against everything Philip Pullman has written. Even the Vatican got involved denouncing the film and novels (Golden Compass is the first of three) as directly and intentionally anti-Christian. The novels associate the Christian church with an all-powerful regime in a sort of alternate reality where the Church is the reigning power of the world, and is convinced that the existence of other worlds directly jeopardizes their power. Philip Pullman himself is a very vocal Atheist, and the His Dark Materials trilogy reflects a very different view on religion as a whole, with very obvious events of portent related to events from Christian biblical texts. Even though Weitz went so far as to utterly remove the references to the Church in the movie, the aforementioned Crusade denounced the movie, severely hurting it’s revenue in the box offices as Christian sheeple everywhere took the advice of all those groups and would not see nor allow to be seen the movie…it’s probably one of the biggest events of censorship I’ve ever seen. Note to all you would-be activists…regardless of your spiritual denomination, if your faith is threatened by a publication, your faith is already in question. If you count the contrivances of fictional theatre as a serious threat to your faith…it’s your choice not to see the movie, no one is forcing you to…but to forbid people from viewing or reading said content in any capacity is censorship.
Anyhow…back to my shiny happy thoughts…
If you’re interested, most of Moorcock’s works are actually out of print now…this will not last very long, as the movie promotion kicks in you can bet re-releases will follow, but for now it’s easiest to use Amazon to find good deals on the novels (there are like 40-50 novels by Moorcock). If you need a bibliography for Moorcock, I like to use fantasticfiction.com.
Happy reading, and a toast to what should be a truly powerful upcoming film!