Official teaser poster
|Directed by||Duncan Jones|
|Produced by||Thomas Tull
|Screenplay by||Charles Leavitt
|Story by||Chris Metzen|
by Blizzard Entertainment
|Music by||Ramin Djawadi|
|Edited by||Paul Hirsch|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
Warcraft (to be released internationally as Warcraft: The Beginning) is an upcoming 2016 American epic fantasy film directed by Duncan Jones and written by Chris Metzen. It is based on the Warcraft video game series and novels set in the world of Azeroth. The film stars Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Daniel Wu, Ruth Negga, Anna Galvin and Clancy Brown. The film portrays the origin story of the initial encounters between the humans and the orcs, with an emphasis upon both sides of the conflict, and will take place in a variety of locations established in the video game series.
The film was first announced in 2006 as a project partnership between Legendary Pictures and the game's developer, Blizzard Entertainment. Filming began on January 13, 2014 and concluded on May 23, 2014. The film is set to be released by Universal Pictures on June 10, 2016.
Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization, led by the humans, faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying world of Draenor to find their place in another. As a portal known as the Dark Portal opens to connect the two worlds, the humans face destruction while the orcs face extinction. Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel), leader of the humans, and Durotan (Toby Kebbell), leader of the orcs, are then sent on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home, in which war has many faces and everyone fights for something.
- Travis Fimmel as Sir Anduin Lothar, the lead protagonist for the Alliance. Steadfast and charismatic, Lothar is a knight who has sacrificed everything to keep the Kingdom safe.
- Ben Foster as Medivh, the current Guardian of Tirisfal, a mysterious and reclusive protector who wields formidable magical power.
- Dominic Cooper as King Llane Wrynn, ruler of the human Kingdom of Stormwind and a beacon of hope to his people in this time of darkness.
- Ben Schnetzer as Khadgar, a gifted young mage embarking on a daring search for the truth during his apprenticeship with Medivh.
- Ruth Negga as Lady Taria Wrynn, Queen-consort of Stormwind, King Llane’s great love and most trusted counsel.
- Dylan Schombing as Prince Varian Wrynn, son of Llane, who looks to his father for answers.
- Callum Keith Rennie as Moroes, the castellan who manages Medivh's arcane stronghold of Karazhan.
- Toby Kebbell as Durotan, the lead protagonist for the Horde. Durotan is the noble orc chieftain of the exiled Frostwolf Clan, battling to save his people and his family from the vengeful Shadow Council and the destruction of their world.
- Robert Kazinsky as Orgrim Doomhammer, an orc who is Blackhand’s right hand man. Extraordinarily cunning and tactically brilliant, Orgrim is also a brave warrior destined to wield the Doomhammer, a weapon of Blackrock legend.
- Daniel Wu as Gul'dan, a sinister orc warlock and leader of the Shadow Council. Wielding powerful fel magic and driven by his ravenous desire for power, he orchestrates the actions of the Horde from behind the scenes.
- Anna Galvin as Draka, Durotan's wife.
- Clancy Brown as Blackhand, a fearsome orc chieftain who rises to become the first Warchief of the Horde.
- Terry Notary as Grommash Hellscream, chieftain of the Warsong Clan.
- Paula Patton as Garona Halforcen, a strong-willed orc/draenei hybrid survivor caught between the Alliance and the Horde. Believing she is half-human and half-orc, she must decide where her true loyalty lies.
- Burkely Duffield as Callan
- Dean Redman as Varis
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. Tencent Pictures is an investor in the film. 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 Duncan Jones had been attached to the production as the director. 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 complexity of the film as being comparable to 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.
The film's visual effects are provided by Industrial Light & Magic, with over 1,000 visual effects shots. The ILM team took photographs and scans of the actors playing orcs and integrated the images with concept art created by Blizzard's artists.
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 Fimmel, Ben Foster, 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. At a panel presentation during BlizzCon 2014, many of the casting announcements were made.
The film was originally scheduled to be released on December 18, 2015, but following the announcement of the coinciding release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the release was pushed back to the following year. Warcraft has a set release date of June 10, 2016.
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