Blizzard Scribe Worried About “Screwing Up” Warcraft Movie

by Tim Turi on Apr 28, 2010 at 12:21 PM

It’s not uncommon for an author to fret their work being adapted to film. It’s understandable for that uncertainty to be even greater when dealing with a video game movie. Chris Metzen is the visionary who crafted Warcraft’s rich universe, and the man is being very careful with how he approaches the film.

When asked by VG247 if a “considerable” amount of time had been spent on the Sam Raimi adaptation, Metzen replied “I wouldn’t say 'considerable' at all just yet.”

“We’ve been through a number of story meetings, and we’re still kind of getting it together with Raimi and his team, and jamming on themes that we want to chase. We’re kinda getting a lot of  values together – what kind of story we want to tell, what do we want people to feel, what is the best way to look at this big franchise. We had had some script iterations previous to Raimi coming on board that were cool, that had some really good bits – sometimes a little too overcooked or a little too undercooked. We’re still trying to feel out that space, so as he came in he wanted to have fresh eyes and look at the content of Warcraft in such a way as to dig out what will most people feel: 'Oh, I get it, that matches my expectations when I played.'

“You can aim the camera in a hundred different directions in a place like Warcraft so it’s kind of finding that right one. But in terms of division of time, or whatever, it doesn’t take up a tremendous amount of time these days. It’s really just strategic phone calls or strategic meetings from time to time until things really get moving on the Hollywood side.”

Metzen was then asked whether he’s considering making the film an official part of Warcraft’s huge story. “The games are always going to be the core canon 'franchise' or whatever,“ Metzen explained, “but looking at things like Spider-Man or X-Men or films we’ve seen over time, especially based on ideas that  have been around a long time – since the 60s, or whatever – it’s kind of like a new expression. We’re still dealing with how 'canon' [the film] will be. And I don’t have a great answer for that yet, but I think the game side will always be the core experience of what Warcraft is.

“My intention with the feature is that it is as close as possible to what people have experienced and what they know of our canon, but we’ll have to see the way it plays out. And I don’t mean that facetiously – we’re still trying to figure it out.”

When asked whether he is concerned about disappointing droves of Warcraft fans, Metzen said “I don’t have specific concerns that weigh at this moment.”

“I have… from the day we decided it would be a good idea to have a movie in any shape,” he continued. “I worry about that stuff constantly. Hell, I worry about it on the games side. It’s all so complicated and fast moving – I have nightmares about screwing it up or just missing the mark. Even a movie that’s 85% good; that’s not 100% good, and our fans are very particular. But the point where we are today, with Sam and his crew – we’re still feeling it out and I think everyone shares that.

“Nobody wants to screw it up: we all want to hit it hard and have it be something that is as resonant and canonical as it can be. But given what Warcraft is, with all these moving parts, we’re going to have to take some liberties here and there. I’m under no illusions about that fact, but it’s the spirit in which you do that. You know – organic web shooters versus [Spider-man] Peter Parker’s science lab mechanical web shooters. Sometimes you have to break with convention, and I’m sure that we will. I don’t know where or how, but we’re still feeling that out. I don’t have any cause for worry right now, but I can tell you I’m fundamentally worried about screwing it up – but we picked the best partners we could find.”