As the fifth Transformers movie hits theaters, we’re reminded of all the promising though not perfect films of the past that were far more deserving of sequels. The Man from U.N.C.L.E., John Carter, heck even King Arthur: Legend of the Sword established a fun universe. Another big example from the past few years is Warcraft. Filmmaker Duncan Jones poured his heart and soul into the adaptation of the popular video game franchise, but unfortunately audiences didn’t really show up. The pic scored a measly $47.3 million domestic, although it did gross $386 million overseas. And sure, the movie had issues—the casting was pretty off and there were a couple of perplexing narrative leaps. On the whole, however, Jones did a pretty great job of building that universe, introducing promising concepts, and fleshing out both the humans and the orcs as relatable species.
It’s no secret Warcraft was intended to kick off a franchise, and while there’s always a chance Universal looks at that international box office and decides to move forward with a follow-up, Jones already has some really solid ideas in place for where the franchise goes next. After a screening at Prince Charles Cinema in London’s Leicester Square (via Flickering Myth and The Playlist), Jones laid out what would happen in Warcraft 2 and beyond:
“This first film is about establishing the world, and showing Durotan helping his son escape a dying planet,” Jones said. “So to me the idea over the course of three films would be for Thrall to fulfill that vision of Durotan to create a new homeland for the Orcs. So in [the sequel] it would be the adolescent years of that baby, and anyone who does know their Warcraft stories would know it’s very much a Spartacus story that goes on with that character. I would basically follow that through. And with the human side of it, which is a little less clear of how that would follow, but basically there is an aftermath to this film which would need to be completed. And on the Orc side you’re very much following that baby, Go’el, known as Thrall in the universe, and how he eventually creates the Orc homeland.”
This sounds fun! And again, Jones absolutely nailed the world-building of the first movie, so he’s already established a pretty great universe in which to play. The visual effects, too, were downright stunning, so I’d be mighty eager to return and see what else Jones has up his sleeve.
As of now it doesn’t sound like Universal has any imminent plans for the franchise. Jones recently completed production on a more small-scale sci-fi film called Mute with Alexander Skarsgard and Paul Rudd, but I do hope he gets the chance to work on a big canvas again. Warcraft isn’t perfect, but it’s far more coherent and character-rich than a Transformers movie.