‘Warcraft’ producers promise this isn’t your typical good vs. evil high fantasy

It”s been a long time coming “Warcraft” is on the way! Which means tons of new information from the set. Back in the beginning of 2014, HitFix Harpy was among those who got to visit the set and see everything Duncan Jones and his team were doing to bring the world of Azeroth (and Draenor) to life. 

With over a decade”s worth of lore at their disposal – including the games and authorized books and comics – the creators of “Warcraft” had a delicate line to walk. The film needed to be instantly recognizable to fans of the universe but not so dense that it came off like The Silmarillion and scared off the general populace.

Luckily not only was director Duncan Jones a fan of the series, but producer Stuart Fenegan as well. Along with fellow producer Jillian Share, Fenegan laid to rest any fears fans might have that “Warcraft” would dumb down the complex political landscape.

Image Credit: Legendary Pictures

First of all, is the Alliance (humans) the heroes of this story with the Orcs (Horde) cast as the villain?
Stuart Fenegan: There”s good and evil on both sides.  And, you know, I think that”s the essence of what made Warcraft so successful. Rather than the good guys versus the bad guys. We really want to make sure that an audience – whether they know what the hell the Alliance and the Horde are – when they leave to think, ‘He was a good guy. And that guy was a good guy, too.”

Understanding of a perspective from both sides [is important]. Without getting too deep into it, “Warcraft” is an allegory. Both sides of every conflict always think they're right. You know?

Jillian Share: “Warcraft” is different from a lot of video games because you can be on both sides. The audience [will be] on both sides in the movie, too. When you”re watching it, you can really root for – you know, I don”t think it”s a secret. We”ve already come out and said Lothar and Durotan. You can see both of their plights. You can really relate them. Both of them have families. Both of them have needs and people that they need to protect. That”s sort of the unique experience of the movie, which I don”t think you”ve necessarily seen before.

So it”s more gray than casual audiences might expect?
Stuart: The lovely thing about it is from Duncan”s perspective, it”s about character. It”s about emotion and empathy. So, if we do it right, it shouldn”t matter whether they”re CG or human characters.  It”s being driven by a human actor”s performance […] If you look at Duncan”s two preceding movies it”s about character for him. I”ve always enjoyed developing things with him because that”s what really makes a difference. Whether Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) was on a moon base or an oil rig it wouldn”t have mattered. It was about the experience that he was going through. Same with Jake in “Source Code.”

I think the mindset coming into Warcraft has to be exactly the same thing. You”ve got Lothar. He”s going through all of this stuff on the human side. You”ve got Durotan dealing with very similar things but from a totally different culture and a totally different framework on the orc side. And it”s about viewing those characters with humanity so people can engage with them. 

But we”ll be focusing mostly the Frost Wolves clan and Stormwind humans?
Jillian: There”s certainly [many] perspectives. There”s Lothar, who”s very strong on the human side. There”s Durotan, who”s very strong on the orc side. But you also have Garona, who”s really trapped in between both worlds – being half human and half orc – trying to figure out where she belongs. And you have Khadgar, who is sort of the audiences way in, experiencing it because he”s experiencing everything for the first time. He understands magic, but he”s been studying and learning about these things his whole life and all the sudden it”s all in front of him. So, I think he”s a really strong hook for the audience to be experiencing the world with him because he”s the one who”s in awe.   

“Warcraft” arrives in theaters on June 10, 2016.