The Warcraft movie‘s trailer has been released at Blizzcon today (US time). The film is set to be in theatres June 10, 2016. My thoughts are below the video – I’ll be rambling a little bit as I’m just writing out my thoughts as they come, so I’d like to apologize in advance.
Warcraft (film). Legendary Pictures & Universal Pictures. Directed by Duncan Jones, written by Charles Leavitt and Jones. Starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Rob Kazinsky, Daniel Wu.
I actually hated playing World of Warcraft every time I tried it, but I did play a bit of Warcraft III over the years and enjoyed the game, so take my comments with a grain of salt.
The premise seems interesting: It’s supposedly meant to be set in the Azeroth from the Warcraft books, “Rise of the Horde” and “The Last Guardian”, and perhaps the first Warcraft game, but I’m not sure how canon the movie will actually be as I haven’t read the books. Orcs are also the invaders here, which ties in nicely with the game lore as they’re the humans’ enemies who invade through a portal. However, there exist the “good” orcs who just want to save their people from the “bad” orcs. It seems like a way to get the audience to sympathize with orcs, and also to perhaps blur the lines of morality a little bit so that the movie isn’t totally one-sided. I’d also guess that a lot of the story is made to be more accessible to a general audience, which I think is reasonable (even if there are lots of angry hardcore loreheads on YouTube and the like).
The film looks like it’s 80% animation and 20% live acting. There doesn’t seem to be much emotion on anyone’s faces, orc or human, and most of the voices sound dark and brooding. I’m not sure how I feel about the combination of stony-faced live-action humans with stony-faced CGI orcs – it’s a little bit of an awkward mix, because it feels a lot like the Avatar movie to me (the blue people, not the element-bender). Still, you can recognize Paula Patton’s face as orc-lady Garona – and she looks a lot like Imogen Heap with those dreads.
There’s also a reference to the Book of Exodus in the trailer: Besides the mass exodus of orcs to get away from other oppressing orcs, an orc baby gets dropped into the river in a reed basket, just like baby Moses. Orc babies look kind of silly, but hey, they’re kinda cute in a cartoony way. It’s also actually pretty cool that they kinda kept the aesthetics of the game and built the adult orc bodies like the broad-shouldered character models.
It seems a fair amount of people involved with the film, including actors, play WoW as well. Daniel Wu’s in it! And I’m still waiting for Mila Kunis’s cameo. (Is she not there because there aren’t any gnomes?)
I’m not really sure what to expect when it comes out, but I do hope it turns out to be good. And I really, really hope they polish up the animated facial expressions during this post-production period so we can get some emotional orcs. But actually.
I wanna know your thoughts – comment below!