Comic Con: Warcraft panel with director Duncan Jones
One of the most anticipated titles at Legendary's Hall H Comic-Con panel was WARCRAFT, of course based on the massively popular series of role-playing games of the same name. The film's director, Duncan Jones, was in attendance, and although the panel was fairly short, the audience got to see an early glimpse of what's in store. (Last year they brought along a short teaser before casting had even commenced, but that's Legendary's style.)
- Jones name-dropped two films - AVATAR and LORD OF THE RINGS - in reference to WARCRAFT, and based on the teaser, that's fairly accurate. The movie seems to take place, fittingly, from two different perspectives: man and orc. The two sides are at war, and the movie is presenting us two opposing sympathetic heroes.
- Jones said the film is an origin story, and it's meant to appeal to people outside of the gaming world in addition to the hardcore fanbase that has made the games so popular.
- The trailer begins with voice-overs from both main characters - although to be honest I wasn't quite sure which actors' voices were being used. - A voice-over from a man: "I've spent more time protecting my king than my own son. Does that make me loyal, or a fool?" - An orc voice-over: "I've led thousands of warriors into battle, yet I fear being a father. Does that make me a leader, or a coward?" - Man again: "Some think death is having some greater purpose, but when it's one of your own, it's hard to grasp any good that comes from it." - An orc again: "Our home is destroyed, there is nothing to go back to." Long pause, and then "Is war the only answer?"
- The answer is yes, apparently, because then we're shown a montage of fighting and epic-scale creature mayhem; a flurry of CG action. One stand-out moment is a griffin swooping down from the sky and grabbing someone. Some of the human footage brought "Game of Thrones" to mind, while the orc stuff definitely looks like a video game. Though the footage seemed finished, some of the CG was dodgy, in my opinion, but the film doesn't come out until March 11, 2016, so they've got time. Plus, it's entirely possible that the producers are intentionally keeping the film's style a bit cartoon-y. Either way, I'm not going to judge what I saw too harshly at this point.
- LORD OF THE RINGS is certainly the one thing that springs to mind while watching the WARCRAFT teaser, and though I'm not a player of the game, it seems to me fans of the series will be pleased. (The preview enjoyed an enthusiastic response, though not as euphoric as the best panels regularly receive.) Jones is a very talented guy and it's clear he and Legendary want to do right by this beloved property; I'm sure next year they'll bring the house down with a 100% polished preview.