I wasn’t too enthused about Warcraft when it was first announced, despite it being helmed by the highly talented Duncan Jones [Moon, Source Code], but it seems like this fantasy epic, which is based on the popular video game series, could at least better Peter Jackson’s second middling Tolkien trilogy, if not his first. At BlizzCon at Anaheim, California, some fresh announcements have just been made, just shy of one year since Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell and Rob Kazinsky officially joined the cast. It’s now confirmed that Kazinsky will play warchief Doomhammer, Cooper is portraying King Llane, Patton has been cast as Garona, Foster is the prophet Medivh, Fimmel is ‘Lion of Azeroth’ Anduin Lothar, Kebbell is Durotan, Ben Schnetzer is wizard Khadgar, Clancy Brown is Blackhand and Daniel Wu is Gul’dan. I’m sure if you’re a fan of the games all these names will mean something to you!
Speaking at a panel at BlizzCon, director Duncan Jones said he won’t paint the orcs as villains, and will allow audiences to choose a side as they do in the games.
“There was an approach in my opinion which didn’t put the orcs in the best of light. On a narrative level, trying to emphasise with both sides which is difficult in war films alone, let alone a fantasy film. With orcs we really wanted them to be a group that people wanted to care about.”
When asked whether it was difficult to make a film out of Warcraft, Jones replied:
“World of Warcraft has got a problem, because it’s got so many stories. Our challenge was to drill down and find a story that would work as a single film, with so many characters and stories in there.We went back to the beginning and looked at the start – what was the story of orcs versus humans, and this conflict that was absolutely unavoidable.
Blizzard vice president of story and franchise Chris Metzen described the film as the “ultimate version” of the first Warcraft game’s events, allowing the film to “start from the start” of the story.
Warcraft finished shooting earlier this year, and it already has a rough cut, though it won’t be ready for over a year.
“We have so many special effects,” Jones said. “It’s Lord of the Rings and Avatar at the same time. It’s a big, big film. It’s going to take a while”.
Warcraft is directed by Duncan Jones from a screenplay by Jones and Charles Leavit. It is due to hit cinemas on 11 March 2016.