Exclusive: The Weitz Brothers Still Want to Do an Elric Movie

When it comes to the world of fantasy and sword and sorcery, you have your fans of Tolkien and Burroughs, Robert E. Howard and C.S. Lewis, and then you have those who love Michael Moorcock’s Elric of Melnibon√©, a tough sword-wielding albino warrior whose adventures were far more gritty and bloodier than some of those others.

The character inspired a series of comics in the ’70s and ’80s, first appearing in Marvel’s “Conan the Barbarian” then in his own series of comics published by First, as well as graphic novels by P. Craig Russell. He was also a huge influence on “Cerebus” creator Dave Sim, who included a character inspired by Elric in the early years of the series. Moorcock himself revived him for his ’90s comic series “Michael Moorcock’s Multiverse” and again in the pages of Alan Moore’s “Tom Strong” plus Boom! Studios recently revived the character in a new comic series. (Elric’s influence on ’70s prog rock led to an album by Hawkwind and songs by Blue Oyster Cult, as well.)

Roughly five years ago, Paul and Chris Weitz picked up the movie rights to Moorcock’s “The Elric Chronicles” with plans to adapt them into a series of movies, but we hadn’t heard anything about it directly since our interview with Chris Weitz later in 2007.

At the junket for Paul Weitz’s upcoming movie Being Flynn (out March 2), we asked the writer/director what was happening with that project, and this is what he told us:

“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.”

In the meantime, things are getting closer to happening for Paul Weitz’s adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz’s Admission, which would team him with Tina Fey as “[a] college admissions officer who begins to have a relationship with one of her students.” Fey’s involvement with the project was first mentioned last year, though there’s been no word since, but Weitz has been writing that with Karen Croner (writer of Uma Thurman’s upcoming Girl Soldier), hoping that might happen next for him in terms of directing.

Look for our full interview with Paul Weitz sometime before Being Flynn‘s release on March 2.

(Elric painting by Chris Quilliams found on epilogue.net.)

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