Is there ever going to be a good movie adaptation based on a great video game? Well, with the next couple of years looking set to provide us with a bountiful mix of ‘video-game-come-movie-adaptations’ – with releases such as: Ratchet and Clank, Hitman: Agent 47, Angry Birds, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter and Splinter Cell – the odds are stacked in our favor that a good movie will come from one of these titles, so yeah! You still not convinced? Well, there is one game that has been laying low amongst the deluge of titles scheduled for release within the next two years, a game that came bursting onto the scene in 2014 at San Diego Comic-Con. This one seems certain to lift the video game curse. The game we are referring to; is, Blizzard Entertainment’s massive multi-platform game World of Warcraft, and this looks to have the biggest potential to live up to expectations of the fans.
The bar will certainly be raised pretty high for this one, as the movie adaptation will be based on ‘the-already-hugely-popular’ franchise that includes the computer games, tabletop games, card games, novels, and comics. The basic premise of the Warcraft movie will focus on the brutal conflict between the Human Alliance and the Orc Horde, which is set in the fantasy world of Azeroth. However, the story will not be based on that all-too-familiar good vs. evil scenario, but will hone in on the heroes of both sides of the conflict and how they are positioned against each other unwillingly by the actions of others.
Two of the main characters who will be playing heroes from each side of the conflict will be Toby Kebbell (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), playing Orc Chieftain Duroton, and Travis Fimmel (Vikings), who is playing hero of the Alliance, Anduin Lothar.
There had been talk of a Warcraft movie for years, and it had been I development for a long time before director Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) jumped aboard ship to take the reins of the tentpole movie. In an interview with Chinese movie site Mtime, Jones has been explaining how his ideas slipped in nicely with the team at Blizzard Entertainment. Here is what he had to say:
“When I went to talk to [producer] Chris Metzen and the guys at Blizzard, we both saw things the same way. A Warcraft film should not be about a good race of humans battling an evil race of orcs! Warcraft should be about heroes on both sides trying to avoid a conflict, when villains leave them no choice… I hope that with our film, the audience will get a chance to see past the Horde/Alliance divide and recognize the heroes on BOTH sides!
“From the moment I first talked to Blizzard, the plan was to start our film with the first time Orcs met Humans. First contact! I think that for a world with so much newness to explain, this was a wise choice, especially when so many people in our audience may not know anything about Warcraft.”
The premise sounds quite similar to Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Reeves’ film was a huge success both critically and commercially in the summer last year. In Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, characters on both sides of the conflict are eager to create peace, but there are those who are more interested in waging war on both sides, and this eventually undermines all peacekeeping efforts. Characterizations in this particular setting give the viewer a sense of ambivalence, as there becomes a vested interested in the fate of both sides of the conflict. Now, whether this deeply vested emotional interest will work onscreen with the Orc Horde remains to be seen, but it’s certainly possible.
As if the Warcraft movie isn’t going to become part of an already hugely established franchise, it is not long before the conversation turns to the prospect of a potential sequel. Subsequently, the only hurdle from creating a huge Warcraft movie Universe would be disappointing Box Office numbers (but given the massive built-in audience, this seems unlikely). Jones doesn’t hide the fact that part of his job as co-writer and director is to make a movie that will have sequel potential:
“I know that my job in this first film is to establish certain characters, places and culture while telling a story that a broad audience can be excited by. Hopefully, if I have done my job right, people will want to know and see more. There is certainly plenty more to tell!”
With two years having been set aside for post-production, that leaves plenty of time for the effects team work of visuals and have the movie looking great in time for its scheduled release in 2016. As for piquing the interest of normal punters who are unfamiliar with the source material …that remains a waiting game.
Are you looking forward to the World of Warcraft movie adaptation? Do you think this could be the film to break the curse of bad movies based on video games?
Warcraft opens in U.S. theaters on March 11th, 2016.
Via – ScreenRant