Several years ago, a film was announced, based on the Warcraft universe. Players began to get excited, but then as time progressed, the movie did not. Every once in a while, some new tidbit would be released, or there would be a new rumor about the status. This past week, a new director was announced, meaning another possible chance for this project to actually move forward.
Duncan Jones, director of the previous films Moon and Source Code, has signed on to direct this film, called at this time Warcraft. He replaces Sam Raimi, who had to leave the languishing project in order to make Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful. Legendary Pictures, the company behind Warcraft, is hoping that even though this will be Jones’ first “big-budget tentpole” film, his track record with his previous two smaller films in the sci-fi genre will make him a great choice for this project.
After Raimi left the project this past summer, Legendary signed Charles Leavitt as the new screenwriter, asking him to create a new script (either replacing or based on the original script by Robert Rodat, depending on which source you consult). Hopes are that filming could actually start this fall, with a release date of 2015.
One of the co-producers of Warcraft will be Blizzard’s own Chris Metzen, known to players and fans of the game as one of the primary people in charge of the lore and story of the Warcraft universe. Metzen’s involvement should mean that the overall story is in good hands, and will be true to the heart of the Azerothian universe.
There have been rumors that Johnny Depp is being sought as the “leading man” for this film, but this is not confirmed. Many believe that even if he were approached, he would have other commitments that would prevent him from taking a role. Personally, I’d have to know more about the story before I could say if he would be a good fit for this movie. There are so many directions that the story could take, and some of those would simply not have characters that would be right for him.
Players do have doubts about this film. Many have argued since the original announcement years ago that the choice to make this movie live-action is the wrong way to go, and that Blizzard should make it CGI and/or animated, more along the lines of the wonderful cinematic trailers that they have created for the World of Warcraft game over the years.
Some players doubt at this point that the project will every be completed. We have heard so many things for so long, it is hard to get excited at this point. If they actually start filming, then people might actually believe that it will finally happen. However, there is still a question of if the film SHOULD be made. Many players feel that with the decline over the years of players, and the fact that some believe that WoW may soon reach the end of the road, that this is the wrong time for this project. The perfect time could perhaps have been a few years ago, when it was much more popular. I think that people will still want to see it, but perhaps not as many as would have previously. Indeed, there is also the chance that this movie could bring some people back to WoW, or bring new players to the game. After all, sometimes films do reignite a franchise.
Will it happen? Will it be a success? Who will star, and what will the story be? I wish I had Chromie here from WoW so we could ask her the future, but for now we will just have to wait and see what happens. I hope that the project does finally more forward, and if it does, I’ll definitely give it a chance.