Well, of COURSE they did the first big reveal for “Warcraft” details at BlizzCon.
It's only fitting that they would speak directly to the most actively engaged fans of everything having to do with the universe that's been created and carefully tended by Blizzard Entertainment. They have been very careful about the way they've exploited that fanbase, the way they've spun things into other media. They've taken their time. They have not rushed to get to this moment, so this sort of reveal is designed to speak directly to people who love this and take it seriously. Duncan Jones, the director of 2016's big fantasy epic, was at the convention today along with Chris Metzen (Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development for Blizzard Entertainment), VFX legend Bill Westenhofer (VFX supervisor for the film), and Rob Kazinsky, one of the stars of the movie.
The thing I find most interesting about the film that Duncan Jones is making is something that I'm looking at as someone who has never played the game. I've never really even looked at shots of the game or footage of it. I have the broadest sense of understanding of what it is. My entire visual reference, I am sorry to say, is the infamous “Leeeeroy Jenkins” thing. When I'm approaching “Warcraft,” I'm only looking at it as a movie. So I think there's something provocative about proposing a blockbuster in which both sides are given equal weight as being right.
Earlier today, we posted a piece about the Alliance and Horde posters that were released, and that's the big idea that they were pushing on the panel, with actors from both sides being revealed so there's a sense of how the film is going to treat them as equals.
On one side, you've got…
Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel)
The lead protagonist for the Alliance, Lothar is a war hero who has sacrificed everything to keep the people of Azeroth safe.
King Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper)
King Llane is the leader of the Alliance city of Stormwind and a beacon of hope to its people in a time of darkness.
Medivh (Ben Foster)
Known as ‘the Guardian,” Medivh is a mysterious and reclusive protector who wields formidable power.
Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer)
Khadgar is a gifted young mage, embarking on a daring search for the truth.
Lady Taria (Ruth Negga)
Taria is the royal Queen of Stormwind, King Llane”s great love and most trusted counsel.
Garona (Paula Patton)
Caught between the Alliance and the Horde, Garona is a strong-willed survivor who must decide where her true loyalty lies.
Then there's the other side of the conflict, and they've put together an equally interesting cast…
Durotan (Toby Kebbel)
The lead protagonist for the Horde, Durotan is the noble Chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan, battling to save his people and his family from extinction.
Orgrim (Rob Kazinsky)
Orgrim is Durotan”s right hand and a brave warrior destined to wield the Doomhammer: a weapon of orc legend.
Blackhand (Clancy Brown)
Known as ‘The Destroyer”, Blackhand is one of orc-kind”s most fearsome and titanic warchiefs.
Gul”Dan (Daniel Wu)
Gul”dan is a supreme orc ruler, fueled by a dark magic that even he cannot control.
I'm curious to see how they make Orcs empathetic. I've logged many hours lately playing “Shadow Of Mordor,” in which you become very, very good at killing hordes of Orcs without mercy. That's not the approach in “Warcraft.” This is a film that is designed to show you how a war develops from both directions.
Fans can decide which way they want to enter the movie, and they can either Fight For The Alliance or Fight For The Horde. You will get specific updates about the film based on which of those sites you choose to register with, and I'll be curious to see if there's one side or the other that people choose, or if it ends up being somewhat balanced.
It's a fun different interesting way into a fantasy story, and I'm excited to see what Duncan Jones and his collaborators have come up with.
“Warcraft” will be in theaters March 11, 2016.