Earlier this year, during San Diego Comic-Con, Legendary brought out new footage for a number of their upcoming features but the one property that didn’t have the walls shaking with the vibrations from a cheering audience was Duncan Jones’s directorial effort, Warcraft. Considering the absolutely stellar resume that Duncan carries, however, the lack of cheers didn’t seem to be cause for concern; after all, millions of people across the globe immerse themselves in the Blizzard Entertainment franchise on a regular basis, so this one is a sure fire hit, right? If you’re laughing, you understand that video game adaptations rarely succeed, even when the games have sold millions of units and if you have doubts, you are not alone. It was recently revealed that Universal, a huge investor of the Warcraft film, also has a few doubts about the project. Well, before you write the mostly CGI film off, Duncan Jones has a bit of a point to make.
The news of Universal’s in-house friction when it comes to a few collaborations between the famous studio and Legendary Pictures really shined through recently when it was announced that Skull Island, a picture that Universal had been developing alongside Legendary, was being given to Warner Brothers (with Universal’s approval). Since then, THR reported that things were a bit more tense than the public perceived, and that Jones’s $100mil+ project was being considered one of the “problem movies” of the collaboration. When a fan tweeted Jones about the issue, Jones quickly shrugged off the notion.
@CLAWX I wouldn’t worry about that. Universal moved us to the same date as Jurassic World, so we must have done something right!
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) September 16, 2015
Hold on, Duncan! After all, Jurassic World also tops this year’s list when it comes to movie mistakes, according to Movie Mistakes, so don’t get too confident there.
Currently, the film is slated for release on June 10, 2016, two days less than a year after this year’s box office breaking Jurassic Park, so that much is true. As to whether or not Jones and Co. have done something right, however, that remains to be seen. When Jones revealed the SDCC footage to a packed crowd of almost 7k, the cheers were definitely divided. For fans of the franchise, the footage revealed plenty of treats but for those unfamiliar with the games, the footage was less than impressive. As mentioned above, the film contains almost pure CGI but rather than using artists and techniques of, say, Disney caliber (you DID watch that Jungle Book trailer, right??), the animation seems to be drawn directly from the video game franchise which, while interesting for those who play the games, doesn’t quite live up to the expectations of audiences that are hoping for a better experience. Of course, that was all back in July, which, at the time, gave Jones almost a full year to continue to work on it, so perhaps the final product will be more appealing. We can only hope.
Are you ready to enter the world of Warcraft? Do you think Universal’s comments are more sour grapes than words of legitimate concern?