World Of Warcraft Film Will Tell The Origin Story Of The Human And Orc Conflict
At Blizzcon today, members of Blizzard, the World of Warcraft film's director, Duncan Jones, and others took the stage to talk about creating the upcoming movie.
The movie recently received a December 18, 2015 release date and shooting begins in January, so nothing from the actual film was on display, but some details about the film and the creative team were revealed.
Both Duncan Jones and his special effects supervisor, Bill Westonhofer (Life of Pi), are massive World of Warcraft players. Both Jones and Westonhofer have been playing the game since the beta ages and have high-level characters. Jones read the original script, which was very Alliance focused, and when he met with Blizzard he immediately began interjecting changes that would focus the film equally on the Horde and the Alliance. Blizzard embraced his ideas and work began.
Jones' goal for the film is create a war film that will follow the first encounters of the warring factions, with both sides of the conflict representing empathetic ideals featuring characters like Lothar and Durotan. Often in war films, one side is shown as the correct side that the audience is meant to side with, but Jones wants both sides to be represented equally, leaving it up for the audience to decide allegiances – much like the game. When asked if any casting for the film had been worked out, Jones simply replied, "Yup," unwilling to expand.
The film will be shot in a style similar to Avatar with human actors and on-set motion captured characters interacting with one another. The panel referred to it as Avatar meets Game of Thrones. Jones wants the film to be accessible to non-fans, but is planning on injecting Easter eggs everywhere that hardcore Warcraft fans can find and appreciate.
In regard to the films rating, Jones said that the movie will likely be PG-13, but followed up by saying, "You can get away with some sh** with PG-13." When asked by the audience what the battles will look like, Blizzard said to expect something closer to Gladiator than something like the Chronicles of Narnia films.
Nothing from the film was shown as shooting has not begun, but four pieces of concept art were shown, which you can see in the gallery below.
Everyone involved in the film (or at least those who appeared on stage) are clearly passionate about the project, and perhaps more importantly, huge fans of the source material. Jones specifically sought the opportunity to make the film saying that he turned down opportunities to direct other franchise films. His film making track record (Moon, Source Code) are both quality films, and it makes me optimistic about the end result. I would not consider myself a fan of the Warcraft franchise, but I am excited to see the final result.