One of the most anticipated panels of Blizzcon 2014 was the “Warcraft” movie panel, hosted by the Nerdist’s and @midnight’s Chris Hardwick.
Legendary Pictures and Blizzard Entertainment teamed up together on the project, set for release in March of 2016. Director Duncan Jones, Blizzard Entertainment Senior VP of Story and Franchise Development Chris Metzen, and special FX director Charles Leavitt. Both Jones and Leavitt are self-proclaimed huge World of Warcraft nerds and were adamant from the get-go about getting it right. Hardwick joked that you need to get something of this magnitude right, as the Blizzard fanbase is, to put it kindly, “passionate.”
Metzen reassured the crowd that the film is everything they would want and more. “Warcraft” is set to take place during the Warcraft 1 game, where orcs (the Horde) and humans (the Alliance) were at each other’s throats. The creative team wanted to start at the start, which is a promising beginning to what is being built as a potentially huge franchise.
“This movie needs to be 50% Alliance, 50% Horde,” Metzen recalled from his first meeting with Jones and his team. As stated in the opening ceremony, Legendary Pictures has launched two websites as early marketing promotion for the film:
Principal photography has wrapped, but with the 2016 release date there is a long road ahead for editing and special effects. Metzen reminded the crowd that Blizzard fans are used to waiting.
Despite the long wait for the final product, attendees of Blizzcon can actually watch exclusive early cuts of the film elsewhere on the convention floor that showcase the setting and feel of what Warcraft will become.
Cast announced for the film:
Paula Patton as Garona Halforcen
The team showcased two in-character shots: One of King Llane in full plate armor, which was also featured live on stage, and one of the orc Orgrim, revealing for the first time to the general public the level of detail they put into the motion capturing of the orcs. Garona, the unaligned half-orc character, will not be motion capture.
Actor Rob Kazinsky entered the stage wielding Orgrim’s famed Doomhammer. Kazinsky is a huge Warcraft buff, going all the way back to the Burning Crusade expansion. He has since logged over five years’ worth of play time. To play Orgrim has been a dream come true for him.
At the end of the panel, Jones and gang had a treat for the audience in attendance. They invited the crowd to record three chants (one for the Horde, one for the Alliance, and a united one for Azeroth) which will actually be used in film.
The most reassuring feeling walking away from the panel was the level of passion everyone on stage has for not only the film, but of the source material. Each person on stage was or is an active player of World of Warcraft and deeply care about the lore. They are definitely not taking a project like this lightly.
In 2016, which side will you choose?
(For the Horde!)