Adapting video games has yet to be a fully successful option for movie studios. There are fans of Prince of Persia or the Resident Evil films, but as a whole the genre has produced some very bad movies (Silent Hill, Tomb Raider, Max Payne, Hitman, anything associate with the name Uwe Boll, and many others). While comic books have been given the respect needed to create a wide array of movies showcasing different tones and styles, video games have yet to have a well-received breakout hit. Enter Warcraft.
After being delayed from December 2015 to a big summer release next year, Warcraft is aiming to be a new franchise from Legendary Pictures (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Godzilla). With the first official poster released this week, Legendary has rolled out the first trailer:
Warcraft will be the third film from director Duncan Jones. His movies Moon and Source Code have been wonderful sci-fi pictures, using strong characters to connect with big fantastical concepts. With what looks to be one of the most fantastical movies released by a major studio, here’s hoping he can work the same magic with Warcraft.
In an interview with producer Charles Roven, Collider confirmed that the original Warcraft screenplay was only from the side of the Alliance, most likely a standard fantasy movie. The film did not move forward until Jones came aboard to rewrite the film to majorly feature the Horde side of the conflict. Both Jones and other producers have said time and time again that Warcraft’s story will be told from both sides of the conflict.
That mindset is definitely on display in the trailer here. We spend the first half of the trailer with the Alliance, worried about an incoming threat made up of “monsters.” Then we switch perspectives to that of the Horde, we see their sympathetic cause as they simply want to live. The biggest comparison here would be that of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — a film that used a sci-fi concept to explore themes like war and loyalty.
Compared with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Warcraft looks to be a harder sell for general audiences. The Planet of the Apes franchise has pushed the boundaries of motion-capture performance — i.e., there is something to connect to when you see Caesar’s facial animations portrayed by Andy Serkis. With Warcraft, there is a lot of CGI work that the audience will have to buy into in order to receive the story. Of course we are still seven months from release, so the visual effects will only get better until that time, but for now the entire Horde side looks like a video game and not a major motion picture.
Luckily for Warcraft, a stellar crew working together to make the film a success. As mentioned, Duncan Jones specializes in character work, and the studio is confident in his rewrite of the script. And Toby Kebbell, who is portraying the Horde’s leader (and who incidentally portrayed Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) should be great at bringing that human connection to the main Orc.
As seen in the trailer, there is a big ensemble cast at work here bringing both humans and orcs to life. Rounding out the cast will be Travis Fimmel, Dominic Cooper, Ben Foster, Rob Kazinsky, and Clancy Brown.
Warcraft will be released in theaters on June 10, 2016. Official Synopsis below:
The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home. So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.