Friday, April 13, 2012

Characters That Should Be In Movies: "Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser."

I had the great good fortune to actually see the writer Fritz Leiber before he died. It was in Seattle and he had come to a science fiction convention. Time had not been kind to him. He lived in a small apartment in Chicago (with a closet filled with literary awards) and he his body was now trapped in a wheel chair.  But his mind was so sharp that he still remembered line for line EVERY line from the works of Shakespeare.  He was charming, and most interesting, and treated us fan boys better than we deserved.

Anyway the man was a genius and wrote some incredible stories.  He was one of the people that help to create the sword and sorcery genre and while we've seen a bit of Conan we have not seen Leiber's creation in the form of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser.   First off they are far more witty than Conan ever was.  They are something along the lines of buddy cop movie team if in stead of cops they were warriors in a strange magical world.  Fafhrd is a seven foot tall viking style warrior.  A man of the wild who is given to romantic gestures but is at heart a very pragmatic man.  His friend the Gray Mouser is a little man.  A urban fellow who was once a wizard's apprentice before fate turned him to a life of crime.  Together they fight against all odds an weirdness with intelligence and wit.

Seriously they would be perfect for the screen.  I could definitely see Jackie Earle Haley as the Mouser.  Shame John Goodman is a bit old or he'd have the perfect personality for Fafhrd.  The thing that would make it a good movie is even though they are buddies they sometimes work at cross purposes.  That's because each has a "mentor" a magical figure that is half wizard and half godling.  They often give the guys nearly impossible quests an often impossible to decipher advice.  Fafhrd's advisor is Ningauble of the seven eyes (he does indeed have seven eyes on stalks) and the Mouser has Sheelba of the Eyeless face.  A plot can be easily put together where these two are feuding and Fafhrd and the Mouser get caught up in the middle during an improbably adventure.

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