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"Legend" by David Gemmell

Posted by old bluffer 
"Legend" by David Gemmell
November 29, 2005 11:55PM
Legend by David Gemmell

This story of a legendary warrior is unique in that all of the hero's exploits and accolades have already been won by the time of the story. Druss the Axeman has sent literally thousands of enemies to the afterlife. He has feasted with emperors, fought in countless wars and his name is known wherever he goes.
Now, in his twilight years, all he wants is to live peacefully for the rest of his days. This isn't the fate the gods will him though, and he finds himself helping to defend a fortress against overwhelming odds.
Being a Gemmell book, the tone of the story is gritty and dark. This isn't a story about succeeding in adversity, with a happy ending where everybody survives. The fortress, Dros Delnoch, is doomed, and it is clear the attacking force will eventually overrun it.
For the few men and women that stay inside it though, all that matters is that they strive to defend it as best as they can. It is in this context that Druss proves his worth as a living legend, inspiring his comrades to new heights of bravery. His body is wracked with rheumatism and his eyesight is failing him, but he can still swing an axe, and he has an almost inhuman sense of the ebb and flow of battle, effortlessly killing any that face him.

A film of Legend would be eminently possible, and should be relatively cheap to make. The cast could be largely made up of less known actors, and the CGI would mostly be based around the design and defense of Dros Delnoch's six perimeter walls. Some epic battle scenes would be required, but only to show tens of thousands of Nadir assaulting the defences. The story generally doesn't focus on the wider battle, but on individual skirmishes amongst the ramparts.

The only essential "name" actor would be Brian Blessed for the role of Druss. Even Gemmell himself has admitted this was who he based the character on. With his barrel chest, booming voice and face lined with personality, he would be perfect as Druss. He is even the right age now, but sadly won't be for long...

For other cast members, Ken Watanabe would seem to be obvious as Ulrich, the Nadir Warlord.
Regnak would also probably have a famous actor, and Hollywood would probably want to build the character up as the "star", as they would assume he is more screen-friendly than Druss.
Regnak would be fairly difficult to cast though. Someone like Val Kilmer would bring far too much baggage to the role. Regnak isn't especially skilled at fighting, and he isn't fearlessly brave. In fact, he spends most of the early story frightened and feeling inadequate. In his opening scene, when in a moment of madness he defends a woman against a gang of bandits, the audience needs to sense that he truly has no chance against them should they decide to attack. By contrast, once he takes on the responsibility of leading the Drenai as the Earl of Bronze, he needs to show a nobility of spirit and a touch of class. One actor that could possibly do this role justice is Colin Firth. He has an "everyman" look about him but can have a commanding presence when required.

Finally, It would make me smile to see Mako (of Conan fame) as the Nadir shaman, Nosta Khan.

Buy "Legend" now and help this site (and also read a fantastic book)
Re: "Legend" by David Gemmell
May 02, 2006 10:26PM
So nearly 300 people have seen this thread now.
Has anyone read Legend as a result? It's a cracking read so I thoroughly recommend it, as well as the other Drenai novels - Waylander (and sequels), King Beyond the Gate and recently the "Skilgannon" one.

Re: "Legend" by David Gemmell
August 08, 2006 12:46PM
Well if Legend *is* ever made into a film, the great man will never see it sad smiley.
Gemmell was for me, the finest author of Heroic Fantasy and will always be missed.

BBC News article: [news.bbc.co.uk]
Re: "Legend" by David Gemmell
September 04, 2006 05:34PM
I have thought this work of brilliance should have been made into a film years ago, when I first read Legend!! If it isn't obvious to all that have read it or maybe will after reading this, you clearly don't understand what the majority of film goers look for in a major motion picture, this has it all, violence, bloodshed, love, lost love, colorful characters, an exciting story of huge unmanageable odds overcome, deep characters with flaws that are painful to read that has you cheering them as they grow and understand each other, 2 major hero's from totally different backgrounds, lots of peripheral hero's, magic, myth, a rich new world yet not to different from our medieval past, an adversary of deadly proportions that you can sympathize with yet hate all at the same time, truly an all round masterpiece yet so simplistic you think, ( Why didn't I write this!) No one could have of course only David. To cap it all the perfect bitter sweet ending!! PERFECT. I picked the book up as a last resort as I was just heading on some holiday or other, I forget where but not what brought me to the holy grail of fantasy writing. It seemed a smaller less mature book than my usual fantasy novel, yet I was running late for my plane, so what the heck. I read the book twice during my hols plus managed to pick up lion of Macedon and sequel, whilst away, another great couple of books I was hooked, a Gemmell convert. This also introduced me to Alexander the Great, what a missed opportunity Oliver Stones' attempt was!! Legend the movie though with a big budget, far sighted and intuitive direction (Jackson, Cameron maybe) with true quality actors a few well known "stars" it wouldn't fail to be a smash, the book reads like an epic film of old as it stands, Spartacus, Ben Hur, El Cid or the more recent, Gladiator!! The characters are flawed and likeable and Druss alone could become a better known an easily more identifiable character than Conan (poor films made little sense) It would hardly be a big risk for a film producer and with the mouth watering prospect of prequels to boot, I see it as an obvious and exciting move.

I have championed this idea on other forums since the gut wrenching news that my favorite fantasy writer has moved onto the next world, R.I.P. David Gemmell a true Great, amazing and engaging all your books sit proudly on my shelves and I await the finale to the troy trilogy with reverence and anticipation.

Re: "Legend" by David Gemmell
September 05, 2006 01:25AM
2000+ views and yours is the only reply. I salute you as a gent that obviously talks a lot of sense!

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