Super Mario Bros. Street Fighter. Postal. Max Payne. When you hear these titles, it probably makes you think of the hours and hours put into playing classic games that have gone down in history. However, these titles are also games that have made the list of some of the worst movie adaptations to date. It’s ridiculous. All of them have straight-forward enough story lines that it took more talent to botch it than it would to make it great. Video game movies have a huge stigma surrounding them and the likes of Uwe Boll haven’t helped games expand into more cinematic adventures.
However, they aren’t all bad. Silent Hill was a great watch; the first Mortal Kombat is a delight; and hell, I even got a kick out of both Tomb Raider flicks. So it’s not impossible to make a fun, watchable adaptation.
This is why there is such high hopes for Warcraft. Not only is it a gaming franchise that’s been around since 1994, but the trailer sets up something that could fulfill our every want out of such a feature. Here are 10 things about the upcoming movie you should know about.
10 Graphics: Every Detail Matters
It’s not just the landscapes that will be beautiful. Industrial Light and Magic are yet again spot on with their work. From the insane detail of the Orc’s outfits and complexion to the feathers of a soaring Gryphon, every detail is lovingly crafted.
It’s really incredible the things that company can pull off these days. After seeing a few of the shots already previewed in the trailers, knowing what IL&M can do, and getting a rough idea of what’s going down in the story, it should make for a beautiful film.
9 World of Azeroth
For starters, one thing that has a lot of people stoked on this movie is the fact that we are going to be able to see a real imagining of Azeroth. While the warcraft games are good, they have always had a cartoonish look to them and it’s always felt like a video game, especially since the game's cinematics are so visually stunning. So now, with it coming to the big screen, we will get to see just how gorgeous the landscapes of Azeroth really are.
8 Not All About The CGI
Even with IL&M on board, it’s not going to be completely CGI. In fact, there is likely tons more practical effects than any of us realize. In an interview with io9, Daniel Wu talked about how they had an urn with legitimate green fire burning about eight feet high. Could they have done that with mo-cap and digital effects? Sure. But they didn’t. In this day and age, that’s saying something.
7 Blizzard Entertainment Involvement
In a lot of video game adaptations, the studio that owns the game just signs off on it and lets the movie studio handle the rest. Not this time. Blizzard is sticking around through production to make sure this is the best Warcraft movie it could be, working hand in hand with Legendary.
It’s not too often these opportunities arise, so thankfully Blizzard took it when they could. Word on the street is that Activision Blizzard will have its own studio soon, as well, for movies and TV shows.
6 Sticking To The Story Line
Since releasing in 1994, there have been 3 more Warcraft games - including WoW - and multiple expansions for each. Yet they are all connected, expanding the realm further with each new addition.
With so much to choose from, they should have no problem adding more to it. Whether this movie is a prequel or a stand-alone to the gaming universe, there’s enough originality to draw from to give us an entertaining fantasy film we haven’t seen before.
5 Diverse Cast
So a good cast doesn’t always make a movie. Look at BloodRayne for example. However, seeing familiar faces in unfamiliar worlds is something that drives us to the theatres. The cast of Warcraft is no different. Given some of the actors will be completely unrecognizable part from their voices, it will still be neat to watch. We’ve got Travis Fimmel from Vikings, Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga, who will be co-starring in AMC’s upcoming Preacher, and Ben Foster, known for Pandorum and 30 Days of Night. And that’s just a few of them.
4 A Special Kind Of Fanbase
One thing I’m sure of that got this adaptation made is the fan base behind Warcraft. Having been around for 20 years, there’s a lot of people who have grown attached to the world of Azeroth. This year alone sees 5.6 million subscribers to WoW. Now, that number has decreased over the years, but even if every current player went to theatres to watch this, they would still just barely break even. That might not seem like much, but for a video game movie, that’s a hell of a feat.
3 Action-Packed Fantasy Brought To The Big Screen
Who the hell doesn’t want to see Orcs and Humans duke it out with swords and shields? If you don’t, well then don’t go see this movie. Legend - with Tom Cruise, not Tom Hardy - taught us back in ’85 that fantasy could be done. Thus birthed a small teen of other fantasy films, but without the budget and technology, it was lacklustre and laughable.
However, Lord of the Rings changed that by showing us it’s entirely possible to have real elements in fantasy stories. Game of Thrones also proves this. Let’s hope Warcraft can join that team.
2 Warcraft Writers On Board
Ever heard of Chris Metzen? If you’re a true fan of Blizzard games, then you should. He’s been a writer with them since Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, and is responsible for the story of this film. Now, he didn’t write the screenplay - that was director Duncan Jones and Charles Leavitt - but with an actual Blizzard employee penning out what is going to happen, you know it’s going to remain as true to the content as possible.
1 The Right Director Is In Place
Duncan Jones. While he may only have two other full features under his belt, they are both phenomenal movies. Source Code may not have done extremely well at the box office, but it was a well-structured and enjoyable story. Moon was also an impressive display of storytelling through cinema. With his keen eye for detail and mastery behind the camera, it’s sure to be the final piece of this equation to make a stellar video game movie.