Today at BlizzCon 2007 we have heard our first solid and interesting information with regards to the Warcraft, or to some, the World of Warcraft Movie. This movie will be big, huge, EPIC even — in fact, Thomas Tull (producer of 300) stated a budget of over $100m would be committed, with a projected 2009 release date. Legendary Pictures are 100% committed to this project, it shall be a “tent-pole”, something to stand next to and say “we did that!” — whilst remaining true to the game and fan base.
The plot for the film will take place approximately a year before the start of World of Warcraft, including races you have played and lands you have wandered in, where lots of plot arcs are melded into a two and a half hour story. The film itself will revolve around a ‘badass’ new hero, with a theme towards conflict and culture — being a War Movie rather than a quest movie, from an Alliance’s perspective.
“It’s actually not like the great adventure. It’s not so much a quest movie. It’s more of a war movie. Well, okay, it’s absolutely a war movie. Cultures grinding up to a horrible moment where it just all spills over and gets out of control. Less of an adventure party quest-type situation. More of an armies building to an inevitable conclusion type situation.”
And w.r.t to the Alliance:
“While my heart lies with the Horde and Thrall’s an interesting character, from a movie making standpoint, a blockbuster movie its a little rough to try and tell it from the perspective of this green looking dude.”
No director or cast have yet been assigned to the project and Tull stated that recognizable actors to play main roles was not a necessity:
“We are starting those conversations. We’re going to be looking for someone of Zak Snyder (300) or Chris Nolan (The Dark Knight, Batman Beings) calibre,”
The not so good news — seems they are aiming for PG-13 content which claims to be a compromise. I personally miss the days of old when action heroes swore blindly.
“I can tell you that this is the one thing about running a studio and making these things that’s hard. You want to not compromise and have the right level of intensity. The story and the director’s vision is what’s ultimately going to dictate that. Personally one of my favorite movies of all time is Lord of the Rings, which has a PG-13 rating.”
The film is still in its scripting process, but Tull stated that they are currently working with something that they are very happy with.
And now for the first piece of concept art of the Teldrassil:
Other Q & A info:
Classes will be in the movie, but can’t give details since still in scripting process, not exactly clear and we don’t know yet, but we want many familiar elements in the movie as possible
What races will be represented? Not very easy to answer considering the timeline we’re talking about, so they are not sure about if the Forsaken have yet joined the Horde But not everyone can be in the spotlight in the first movie anyway
Warcraft has a lot of strong characters, would you consider going back to do another movie on Arthas? I would consider that, sure, but we haven’t talked about what other films might deal with. We have to get the first movie right first before you deal with franchises.
This is based on two or three major moments in the games, so it isn’t radically apart from the continuity, so it really holds together. We want it to taste like the World of Warcraft world. but it’s also really fresh. I understand the fear that you don’t want us to screw up the story, but we will be respectful of the continuity but will hold up as a killer 2 hour movie. It is a little modified.
There’s so much in this world to deal with, so you use that as a jumping off point to tell a kick ass story. They want the players to enjoy the movie experience, if they are too much a slave to the story that won’t be the case. They want to respect the world, but to translate it to the screeen and is great on film.
And here is an after-video from IGN:
Speaking at the Hollywood and Game summit keynote, Thomas Tull (Legendary Pictures Chairman) provided some rest-bite, ensuring us that the movie will be dealt with as necessary. He begins,
“We’re doing World of Warcraft, and making it into a movie. I have very strong feelings — from the movie side — that making movies based on games just because they sold well is a really bad idea. There’ve been some like that that weren’t up to snuff just out of the gate. It doesn’t matter to us if it’s based on a graphic novel like [Frank Miller’s] 300, or a TV show – if there’s a great universe and story, that’s what’s interesting to us.”
In the following Question and Answer session Tull stated that Legendary and Blizzard are working very closely together to get the storyline perfect by pinpointing what makes up the essence of the Warcraft universe:
“I think some of the stuff that makes a game translate well into a movie is a good story. If there’s a lore, if there’s a road and story and a world that’s been created, and characters that are interesting in a way that’s more than just point and shoot. You have to look at it and not make a novelty out of it. Not just look at sales records. Blizzard plays a very important role in this process. If you’ve created a game, be it Halo, Gears Of War, or Warcraft [each being transformed into a movie] — you came up with something that’s compelling enough to resonate with a huge number of people. There has to be a trust, and you have to at some point hand over the baton to people who know how to make films.”
“We are working very closely with the designers and writers, and they’re very involved. I think on the bigger [films] you have to have that. They’re sitting right there at the table with us as we develop the story and the script, and I think we’re nailing the story and what’s compelling about it.”
Via Gamasutra where you can find more news from the Hollywood and Game summit.
Blizzard is hot right now, what with Starcraft 2 on its way and WoW continuing to dominate. Now we are hearing rumors of a Diablo adaptation for the big screen. These rumors came about when “Diablo” was spotted in the “In Development” section of Legendary Pictures’ website. This notice has since been removed and Blizzard have been characteristically silent on the whole matter. Coming from an official source this is hard to classify as merely rumor, though lack of an official press statement and the notice’s removal does warrant this labelling.
Nobody really knows what’s going on at the moment — except that the Warcraft Motion Picture is still in development.
We’ll keep you tuned should any developments arise.
… and they asked him a little bit about the World of Warcraft movie. Itzik Ben Bassat is the Vice President of development and he says these few words:
There’s a World of Warcraft Movie in the works, do you expect that to enjoy similar success?
We’ve been working on that movie for years! If people only knew how many years we put in to closing this movie deal. We’re very happy with our progress though, it was really difficult for us as a company to find some we trusted to work with. With Legendary, well, they did Batman Returns and the new Superman so we knew that was a company we wanted to work with. Bringing Warcraft to the movies is the next step for us, we want to let people bring World of Warcraft into other aspects of their lives. After all, we’re competing for people’s entertainment time, whether it’s listening to music watching TV or going to the cinema. Our goal is to provide the best entertainment out there.
Any news on when we can expect to see the film?
Hollywood has it’s own pace but we’re working as hard as we can to push it forwards.
Check Empire for the full text.
An undisclosed source at a news site called “The Instance” claims to have insider information with regards to the Warcraft movie adaptation. At such an early stage any information like this is most certainly false and this has been classified as a rumor — which is giving this far too much credit. Im not even sure actors are involved in the process yet — firstly a director needs to be named.
If you see this information repeated anywhere, know that this was an April Fool’s joke/prank. People have been talking about these details as if they were facts and I am dispelling them now.
“I’m a personal assistant for a very well-known actor, and I’ve just handed him a complete script treatment for the new Warcraft movie. It’s going to be called “Warcraft: The Fall of Quel’Thalas”, and it looks like it may be the first of a proposed trilogy, with a second part called “The Caverns Of Time” and the final installment called “The Battle Of Mount Hyjal”.”
With the success of LotR though, everything seems destined for a trilogy these days.
Come May 8th 2006 Blizzard Entertainment made an announcement that their Warcraft franchise/universe would be adapted into a silver screen feature length movie. Legendary Pictures, a relatively new production company behind Superman Returns and Batman Begins, are to develop the live action film with distribution likely falling to Warner Brothers as part of an existing agreement.
Paul Sams, chief operating officer for Blizzard had this to say, “We searched for a very long time to find the right studio for developing a movie based on one of our game universes. Many companies approached us in the past, but it wasn’t until we met with Legendary Pictures that we felt we’d found the perfect partner. They clearly share our high standards for creative development, and because they understand the vision that we’ve always strived for with our Warcraft games, we feel there isn’t a better studio out there for bringing the Warcraft story to film.”
Whilst Thomas Tul, CEO of legendary pictures stated, “One of our goals at Legendary Pictures has been to bring heroic stories to life in groundbreaking ways, and it’s inspiring to work with a company such as Blizzard that takes that approach with each of its products. The Warcraft universe is possessed of such a rich mythology and, as such, serves as an ideal platform as we go about translating that universe into what we intend to be a major event film.”
With regards to the adaptation, Legendary Pictures’ Jon Jashni said, “We are intending to approach this as we would the adaptation of a best-selling novel: respect the essence of all that it is but also build upon that fertile base while translating it into a new medium.”
The official announcement can be found here.
As of the moment IMDB has penned a 2008 release date which is of course subject to change.