A couple weeks ago, Warner Bros. released a brief but exciting “tone” trailer at Comic-Con for Duncan Jones‘ Warcraft. There were no story details whatsoever, but it gave the audience a sense of what Jones was going to do with the beloved video game franchise, and the crowd was enthused at his take. Filming is set to begin early next year, and now some more details may have emerged about what Jones has in store. According to Bleeding Cool, Jones’ movie is unapologetically a “full-blooded fantasy” movie in the vein of John Milius‘ Conan the Barbarian and The Lord of the Rings. Far more surprising is that even though Warcraft became an international phenomenon when it transformed into the MMORPG World of Warcraft, the upcoming adaptation will focus on the events from the real time strategy iterations from the mid-90s in order to leave room for future installments to go to the stories presented in later games.
Hit the jump for more including a breakdown of the main characters.
Sources tell Bleeding Cool that the main character is “Khadgar, a young consul to the Kirin Tor senate, rulers of the city of Dalaran.” So straight off the bat: consuls, rulers, and unpronounceable names—Yep, that’s fantasy. Khadgar is tasked with investigating a series of crimes, but his journey will take him beyond the city.
One of the juicy roles could be Khadgar’s mentor, Medivh. Bleeding Cool describes the character as “Not quite Gandalf meets Captain Jack Sparrow, he’s actually a more morally complex character than will be at first revealed. Expect him to be a scene stealer, too.” Medivh’s enemy is Lothar, “The Lion of Azeroth, leader of the King’s Army.” BC says that they could see Dwayne Johnson in the role, but that a less burly actor like Mark Strong could still “carry just the right amount of pride and gravity.” As for the other major human roles, there’s the King and his Lady in supporting parts.
Of course, no one is going to see a Warcraft movie just for the humans. They want the orcs and other fantasy races. BC reports that there are plenty of orcs, and “their story will be intimately entwined with that of Medivh.” Fans can also expect to see dwarves, trolls, elves, revenants, and wraiths.
Again, this is going to be on the die-hard fantasy side with mentions of magic, prophecies, and ancient artifacts. The question is: are audiences going to want this kind of movie? It’s the Warcraft name that sells it beyond Duncan Jones fans such as myself. To just say, “It’s a fantasy movie!” isn’t good enough. People can go see that in January with Seventh Son, and there’s not a lot of buzz around that picture. I like that Warcraft has no qualms about its identity, but I wonder if it’s an identity that will appeal to those who wouldn’t normally go out for a fantasy picture.