Legendary Pictures: 'We Don't Know How To Make A Movie Out Of Warcraft

Compared to other movie adaptations stuck in pre-production hell, I'd come to assume that the World of Warcraft movie was actually looking to be in good shape. I mean Duncan Jones was slated as Director: the man who made the incredible Moon and the 'also sort of good' Source Code. Surely things are going swell? Yes and no...

Yes, because it appears as though Legendary Pictures is quite happy to bide its time on the project and make the best movie possible. No, because they still don't really know how they want to approach making the movie to begin with!

Speaking to Slash Film, Thomas Tull, head of Legendary Pictures, explained the situation.

"So for us, it’s that we don’t know how to make a movie out of Warcraft, the video game," he began. "It’s the incredible story, the war, and these races, and everything these guys at Blizzard have come up with. They have 100 books, and just this incredibly rich world that they’ve created.

"And so having Duncan Jones realize that for us was exciting. We’ve taken our time [developing this property], because we absolutely don’t want to screw it up. And I think we’re getting close to a place where we’re ready to go. And when the script is finished, and when we feel like, 'Forget whether or not there’s a built-in audience. Does this stand on its own, and is it great?' Then we’ll start filming. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re under suspicion of going there. And Duncan is one of those directors that you just, 'This guy gets it.'"

So this means we'll probably have to wait it out for a movie based in the Warcraft universe, but it might be worth it in the end.

Thomas Tull On The Challenges of Making a Good Movie Out Of ‘World Of Warcraft’ [Slash Film]


    "We’ve taken our time, because we absolutely don’t want to screw it up."
    Very promising words there, shows they really care about the IP and aren't trying to push out another videogame cash-in :)

      The humorous thing about that though, Blizzard made the exact same reasoning for the delays with Diablo 3, and look how that was received by hardcore Blizzard fans.

        Yeah, there's a big difference between, "I'm working on this very intensely and taking my time with it because it's a labour of love and I want it to be perfect," compared to, "Management have forced some horrible, horrible, horrible creative decisions on us, and we're desperately trying to find a way for it to still be good despite that."

        I really have to wonder, given Hollywood's history, which of those two reasons the WoW movie is going to use. Hollywood is very, very formulaic and they are this way because they have had people sit down and figure out the science behind movie ticket sales. Anyone who thinks the WoW movie won't be facing similar studio pressures is kidding themselves.

    I would think they'd need to make it a saga in order to appease all fans. If they tried to condense all of warcraft into a single film it would be a mess.

    They don't need to tell everything. They could keep it simple, and another problem is that having too many non human looking creatures makes it hard for the audience to relate. Something like Of Blood and Honor would be a great fit. You could keep it to one orc, one human, and you still have the emotional pull of the family, of the tribe, of the race wars, everything.

    I don't know how this can turn out particularly well. Warcraft was kind of unique as a video game, because it was the first fantasy RTS that I can think of. There's nothing hugely original about the world, though. I can't really see it standing on its own as a good movie.

    By the time they do or if they do release a WoW movie, all the hardcore fans and players prob wont be playing it anymore. I was jumping up and down when they announced it years ago but don't play it anymore so not that excited anymore.

    Easy. Make it a trilogy. Part one and two are the Alliance and Horde factions gathering together, building alliances and armies to fight each other.
    Part one is focused on the Alliance. Part two covers the same time frame but focuses on the Horde.
    During both of those movies there will be moments where the Horde and Alliance cross paths. Part one would show the scene from the Alliance perspective. Part two is from the Horde.
    The thing about WoW is the Alliance and Horde are not defined as good or bad. They both see each other as the threat. Therefor they both need equal representation.
    Anyway, by the end of the second movie the two factions are on the brink of war, staring at each other across the battlefield until. . . part three. . . a threat like Cataclysm happens which forces the Horde and Alliance to band together. Fighting side by side to stop the onslaught.
    Write it.

      I agree with this, although I'd argue that WoW could be done better as a Game Of Thrones style series (10-12 eps per season, quality writing and production values).

      Last edited 04/07/13 1:29 pm

    Maybe they shouldn't try and turn 'Warcraft' into a film but instead weave a tale in the Warcraft universe. If they try the former, there's a massive chance of failure but the latter will give the film the ability to stand on it's own as a piece of lore within the greater story.

    If they choose to use existing lore though, the only story I could think of that fits the epic scale of Warcraft and can be turned into a movie (or 2) is the plot from Warcraft III. The Fall of Arthas would make a great film.

    Last edited 04/07/13 12:17 pm

      Exactly what I was going to say. Blizzard have created a context - why would the filmmakers limit themselves creatively by insisting on creating an EPICALLY MASSIVE MOVIE WITH ALL EXPENSIVE SPECIAL EFFECTS AND THAT, IN 3D!!!!(?) That was the problem with The Hobbit. At its core it was a very human (Hobbit ... Hobbitistic? I dunno) story. It didn't need an epic approach. It needed heart, and soul. They should take the world, create a smaller story within that world, and perhaps expand on it in sequels if the first should prove successful.
      To make an "epic" flick based on WoW would cost $150m, at least. I don't think there's an audience for such a niche license ... even if, within that niche, it's a huge deal. Particularly when you're guaranteed that whatever they make, a mojority of that niche will inevitably denounce it as heresy.
      The whole exercise is pointless, in my opinion.

    Hopefully what they're saying is that there's so much lore and material available, they're trying to work out which part of it to turn into a movie rather than "We don't know how to make a movie with completely new characters and not have to retcon anything in".

    Worse comes to worse, you make a movie about a kid that plays the game and gets bullied because of it but perseveres and becomes an international pro in Battlegrounds, earning the respect of his peers.

    Here's an idea - instead of making a movie out of that trash pile that is WoW why not make a movie actually based on the original Warcraft games?

      I'll bite.
      I am pretty sure the people behind the movie have always referenced it as a Warcraft movie, not World of Warcraft movie. The use of the WoW logo and saying "The WoW movie" is used on news sites etc due to the readers familiarity with it. It has always been slated as "A movie based on characters and/or events depicted in the Warcraft universe that Blizzard has created"
      10million people can't be wrong even if you don't agree with them =)

    The title of the article makes it seems like they have no idea what they're doing, yet they're basically just saying they're being careful.

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