About a decade ago a discussion emerged at Michael Moorcock's Miscellany forum regarding a series of pictures based on the Elric Saga (aka Chronicles of the Black Sword). If I recall correctly, this was sparked by an interview by the Weitz brothers stating they were adapting the saga to the big screen. There was a lot of speculation about it but nothing concrete came about. The Miscellany forum, which was the only reliable source of information on this matter has since been brought offline.

There was an article in 2012 claiming the Weitz brothers were still working on an Elric script at that time, but nothing else has emerged since.

Is there any further information on this picture series?

  • Stuck in 'development hell' I expect. Have you tried twitting at the people who run his fansite (www.twitter.com/moorcocksmisc)? – Valorum Jun 7 '16 at 12:07
  • There is no entry for Elric on IMDB, this could suggest that the project is abandoned. If it'll be a script on development or a preproduction phase it'll pretty probably be recorded at IMDB. – Bardo Jun 7 '16 at 12:58

The book series was re-optioned in 2019.

New Republic Pictures’ Brian Oliver and producer Bradley J. Fischer acquired the exclusive rights to all works in Michael Moorcock’s seminal fantasy-horror series The Elric Saga. They are beginning to shop the property for series, with Glen Mazzara (The Walking Dead and The Shield) and Prison Break and Star Trek: Discovery‘s Vaun Wilmott attached to adapt the sci-fi fantasy tale.

Hot TV Package: Michael Moorcock’s Fantasy Novel Series ‘The Elric Saga’ With Glen Mazzara & Vaun Wilmott

Moorcock is quoted in Ansible #395 as stating that (as of 23rd May 2020) that there had been little or no interest in converting it into a show, citing the similarity with other genre shows.

Michael Moorcock reports: ‘Heard today that some companies are turning down Elric project because it reminds them too much of GOT and The Witcher. A pretty irony. So much for “homages”....’ (23 May)

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  • Argh. I hate having to upvote depressing news. :-/ – DavidW Oct 1 at 22:29
  • I guess we will never see Elric on the big screen. Similar story to Hyperion. Meanwhile the keep rolling the "super-hero" series that no one really likes. – Luís de Sousa Oct 3 at 13:27

My recollection is that Moorcock was kind of having a laugh at getting the option checks, and then collecting more of them later as the options expired and no actual project emerged. You'd think with today's special effects and the success of stories with "anti-heroes" that there would be a great audience out there, if a movie stayed true to the story.

I did see an entry show up on the Internet Movie Database a few years back, from some of the other comments it looks like that fizzled out.

I can't find the specific quote, but here is a reference from 2014 (when the projects referenced in the question were still considered possible) about how long the idea has been kicked around. (The Weitz brothers project referenced in the question was one talked about way back in 2003, where Universal Studios optioned the stories, and those were the specific option checks that my recollection was about) -

With this much emphasis on the visual aspect of the character, it might be wondered if the time was finally right for Elric to transition into movies, following more than two decades of failed attempts. “There have been a few scripts done, but until relatively recently I wasn’t keen on the idea of a movie,” Moorcock admits.

Hollywood Reporter: Michael Moorcock Talks the History of 'Elric' and Its Future in Film

In an ironic twist, the success of other series and improvements in special effects made the prospect of a film or TV series more possible, but also seems to have torpedoed the most recent efforts.

(from November, 2019)At long last, Michael Moorcock’s Elric Saga could be coming to TV! Deadline has reported that “exclusive rights to all works” in the series have sold to New Republic Pictures’ Brian Oliver and producer Bradley J. Fischer, who are currently shopping a potential TV series around, with The Walking Dead’s Glen Mazzara and Star Trek: Discovery’s Vaun Wilmott signed on to adapt.

tor.com: Michael Moorcock’s Elric Saga Optioned for TV

(from June, 2020)Michael Moorcock, creator of the infamous sword-wielding albino Elric of Melnibone, has reported (via Ansible) that TV and film interest in his creation has dried up due to the success of Netflix's The Witcher and HBO's Game of Thrones.

"Heard today that some companies are turning down Elric project because it reminds them too much of GOT and The Witcher. A pretty irony. So much for “homages”...."

thewertzone: Michael Moorcock rules out an ELRIC TV show or movie in the near future, citing similarities to THE WITCHER

EDIT: When I say "laughing" it was not in a "gotcha, suckers" kind of way. Just kind of rolling his eyes at it.

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  • 5
    Could you provide some citations for this? – Adamant Jun 7 '16 at 16:53

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