Someone thinks they can make a television show about a demon-worshipping, god-killing, inbred albino warrior-wizard with a drug habit and incestuous lust for his cousin, who slaughters his family in dynastic warfare? That would be awesome.

Of course, it’s only at the stage where some writers have bought the rights and are shopping it around. At some point, the networks will recognize how deeply weird and heretical the source material is, and they’ll reject it from further consideration or they’ll butcher it beyond recognition.

Maybe they should try selling Moorcock’s Behold the Man around. That would be a hoot. The heart attacks in network boardrooms would clear a lot of deadwood, anyway.


  1. larrylyons says

    Personally I’d rather see a series based on his Runestaff series. That would be much cooler. Elric got boring very quickly.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    HBO’s Watchmen is coming out pretty well, and it’s sort of heretical and super weird.
    My first choice of TV adaptation is the Amber series by Zelazney. Shadow walking is much more VFX oriented.
    – : – : – : – : – : –
    Elric would be awesome, and the [bibble belt] needs a series to boycott for being religiously heretical.
    I say we need this, to counter all the propaganda the bible thumpers put on the air.

  3. Porivil Sorrens says

    It’s a little more close to like, classic pulp fantasy than GoT. Elric is more or less the archetypal “Nice guy from evil culture who travels with a magic sword and helps people” character. If you’re familiar, he’s the inspiration for characters like Drizzt from Forgotten Realms.

  4. Bruce Fuentes says

    I used to love Moorcock’s books when I was a teen and in college in early ’80’s. Don’t really have much of a memory of the books themselves. I wonder how well they have aged. I might have to pick one up and give it a new read through almost 60 year old eyes. I should do that with Philip Jose Farmer too.

  5. says

    Elric was the first set of books that made me think about the epistemology of “evil” in fiction. Elric was described as “evil” but generally he was actually boring. The only “evil” thing he did was talk to some demons and sword a few people. You know, just like the “good” guys do. So I began to wonder what the difference was and then I re-read Tolkien with a sympathetic eye for the orcs. I realized that it only required minor changes to make the orcs tragic victims of a vicious power-play by the elves. And thus I came to realize that all politics is bullshit.

  6. says

    That’s why it reminded me of Pern. Can’t say I’m very interested though. Most of the old sword and sandal fantasy stuff is pretty boring to me. Big dude, big sword, dash of magic. I’d much rather see a Xena reboot. At least that would change it up a bit.

  7. says

    Those editions introduced me to the amazing art of Michael Whelan, though. He has made me happy for decades with his lovely covers (he even made John Carter look like it was worth reading)

  8. Andrew G. says

    and then I re-read Tolkien with a sympathetic eye for the orcs. I realized that it only required minor changes to make the orcs tragic victims of a vicious power-play by the elves

    This is very nearly a description of Jacqueline Carey’s The Sundering duology.

  9. says

    Moorcock never seemed to dwell on a character — he’d write a short series, then he was off to another one, just lightly linked to the previous. That’s good, as people have noted, Elric is not something exciting enough that you want a lot of long novels about him. It’s bad for a series, though. Writers would draw it out to a painful degree, far beyond what the source material warrants.

  10. Akira MacKenzie says

    A couple of years ago, they started to publish a new graphic novel adaptation of the original books. The illustrations are beautiful and really show the dark, depraved, deying decadence of the Melniboné. I highly recommend them.


  11. drivenb4u says

    I suppose it would be cool to finally see Elric on screen, but it’s worth noting that Michael Moorcock has licensed the film and TV rights many times before (and for a pretty penny) but nothing has come of it yet.

  12. scarter00 says


    Except that Elric was never a big dude – he was a sickly, weak dude who could only wield his big sword because it wanted him to.

  13. brucegee1962 says

    The best Elric story is “One Life, Furnished in Early Moorccock” by Neil Gaiman. Maybe semi-autobiographical?

  14. Mario Romero says

    I first learned about Elric of Melniboné in Cerebus the Aardvark graphic novels by Dave Sim, as Elrod of Melvinbone, the Albino, with his sword Seersucker, and the speech-patterns of Foghorn Leghorn. Abxolutely hilarious, and completely different from the actual character. Maybe they are thinking about doint something like that, destroying the source material.

  15. Porivil Sorrens says

    Personally, I’d be significantly more interested in a series about Moorecock’s Corum series, I think the world was somewhat richer and Corum more approachable as a protagonist.

  16. Rob Grigjanis says

    Want a great story with a sword-wielding hooligan? Can’t do better than Iain Banks’ The Bridge. The Barbarian is basically GM Fraser’s McAuslan on steroids and meth.

    Dunno about Amber. You know they’d fuck it up. Jack of Shadows would make better telly, IMO.

  17. Wounded King says

    If you want something hereticalish from Zelazny surely ‘Lord of Light’ is the obvious choice? Admittedly the gods it is heretical about aren’t the ones folk in the US usually get worked up over.

  18. christoph says

    @#3, #11: The Amber series (the first five) is awesome! Roger Zelazny is one of the best SciFi authors ever. If not THE best.

  19. Rob Grigjanis says

    Wounded King @22: Creatures of Light and Darkness and Isle of the Dead (maybe my favourite Zelazny) would also qualify.

  20. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Re Lord of Light
    Love it. I’d recommend it being given to the production team behind The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, who seem to have presented Indian culture honestly.
    I would initially distrust an American production of it, which I would suspect of distorting the mythology away from its roots. Zelazny seems to have researched it thoroughly and avoided distorting it.
    What do I know?

  21. Anton Mates says

    Skybound Entertainment optioned the Chronicles of Amber in 2016, with Robert Kirkman as producer, but no news has come out about that in the last two years AFAIK.

  22. brianl says

    Finally, a series for people tired of the likable characters and relentless optimism in Game of Thrones.

  23. birgerjohansson says

    Zelazny’s “Eye of Cat” is more thoughtful, centering on the alienation of a main character who is also an indian, and does no longer fit into any culture. :
    Also, he made a novel where one of the character is a GM dog raised to human intelligence, and thus suffers isolation.

  24. says


    So I began to wonder what the difference was and then I re-read Tolkien with a sympathetic eye for the orcs. I realized that it only required minor changes to make the orcs tragic victims of a vicious power-play by the elves.

    That story’s been done, and done well. Check out The Last Ringbearer by Kirill Yeskof.
    It made me rethink the entire story.

  25. Stuart Smith says

    I just hope that the people behind the show intend to drop as much acid making it as Moorcock did writing it.

  26. mikeyk says

    Moorcook is one of my fav authors, probably my favorite from my teen years, and Elric one of his best creations. The series did suffer at points – you could tell when he was writing for the sake of meeting a deadline rather than creating a more cogent piece of fiction. Watching the Lannisters of GoT, I would think “diluted Melnibonéans.”