Promotional poster from Legendary Pictures
|Directed by||Duncan Jones|
|Story by||Chris Metzen|
by Blizzard Entertainment
|Music by||Ramin Djawadi|
|Edited by||Paul Hirsch|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Warcraft is an upcoming epic fantasy film based on the Warcraft video game series and set in the world of Azeroth. The film was first announced in 2006 as a project partnership with Legendary Pictures. Filming began on January 13, 2014 and wrapped-up on May 23. The film is scheduled to be released by Universal Pictures on March 11, 2016.
Duncan Jones is set to direct the film with a screenplay by him and Charles Leavitt. Producers include Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Tessa Ross, Charles Roven, Alex Gartner, Stuart Fenegan and Chris Metzen. The film will star Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell and Rob Kazinsky.
The film portrays the origin story of the initial encounters between the humans and the orcs, with an emphasis upon both the Alliance's and Horde's sides of their conflict. Featuring characters such as Durotan and Lothar, the film will take place in a variety of locations established in the video game series.
- Ben Foster as Medivh
- Travis Fimmel
- Paula Patton
- Dominic Cooper
- Toby Kebbell
- Rob Kazinsky
- Daniel Wu
- Clancy Brown
- Burkely Duffield
In a May 9, 2006 press release, Blizzard Entertainment and Legendary Pictures announced that they would develop a live-action film set in the Warcraft universe. Legendary Pictures acquired the rights for film adaptations, with Blizzard assisting with the film's development. At BlizzCon 2008, Mike Morhaime stated that a script was being written. Chris Metzen mentioned that the film would be action-packed and violent, stating "we're definitely not going to make a G or a PG version of this. It's not PillowfightCraft."
The film was originally set in the era of Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. This was scrapped, however, as there were notions that it would be too similar to Lord of the Rings and that Warcraft had reached its current level of popularity through World of Warcraft, rather than the previous real-time strategy games. At BlizzCon 2007, Chris Metzen stated that the movie would be primarily told from the Alliance's perspective, with the main character being a new hero described as being the negative of Thrall.
Uwe Boll made a bid to direct, but was turned away by Blizzard, who he claims to have said, "We will not sell the movie rights, not to you… especially not to you. Because it’s such a big online game success, maybe a bad movie would destroy that ongoing income, what the company has with it."
The live-action film was set for release in 2009, but was later rescheduled to 2011. On July 22, 2009, Blizzard Entertainment announced that Sam Raimi would serve as the film's director, but in July 2012, he told Crave Online that he had withdrawn, due to committing to the movie Oz the Great and Powerful. At San Diego Comic-Con 2011, Chris Metzen said the movie was not dead, but gave few useful details saying it was still in the "treatment stage". In mid-March 2012, Nethaera said the movie is "still on the radar" with no other update.
In late January 2013, Legendary Pictures announced that director Duncan Jones had been attached to the production. The previous Director, Sam Raimi, explained why he left the project in 2013. He revealed that a lot of pre-production work was done by him and the script writer Robert Rodat, but Blizzard effectively vetoed their work, and he largely blamed it on their mismanagement.
Starting in February 2013, there was a flurry of news from the director Duncan Jones. In April 2013, Legendary Pictures producer Thomas Tull stated that production status, script, and release date announcements were coming "soon". At San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2013, a concept trailer was presented, featuring a battle between a human and an orc.
At BlizzCon in November 2013, four pieces of concept art were unveiled, and Jones announced that the plot would focus on the initial meeting of humans and orcs, with Lothar and Durotan being the central characters. Jones said the orcs would be portrayed as empathetically as the Humans, in line with their representation in the games. He also said that with regard to how "gritty" the film will be, it will be on the same level as Gladiator. He suggested the film will likely be rated PG-13, but noted that this would not prevent the film from being dark and serious, pointing to Christopher Nolan's Batman film trilogy, which was also rated PG-13 but was not regarded as a light series of films. Jones described the film as being Game of Thrones mixed with Avatar. It was confirmed that the film will be a mixture of computer-generated imagery and live-action, with orcs being physically portrayed by actors in order to make them "as emotive as any human character", according to visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhofer. Jones also hinted at strong female roles in the film, explaining that the story being told does involve important female characters.
On September 23, 2013, it was also reported that actors Paul Dano, Travis Fimmel, Anson Mount and Anton Yelchin were on the shortlist for the film, In October 2013, Fimmel was announced to be the lead character. On December 4, 2013, the main cast of the film, consisting of Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell and Rob Kazinsky, was announced. On December 14, 2013 Universal added Daniel Wu and Clancy Brown to the cast of the film. In early March 2014, newcomer Burkely Duffield joined the cast in a major role.
Filming began on January 13, 2014, with Warcraft having a set release date of March 11, 2016. The film was originally scheduled to be released on December 18, 2015, but following the announcement of the coinciding release of Star Wars Episode VII, the release was pushed back to the following year. On May 23, 2014 filming ended after a 123 day shoot, with twenty months of post-production expected to follow.
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