From motion capture to Murlocs, everything Hollywood needs to do to get World Of Warcraft right on the big screen
It’s been in the rumour mill for over six years, but it finally looks like the World Of Warcraft movie will soon be going into production. Last week Blizzard and Legendary Pictures confirmed that Duncan Jones (that awesome guy who directed Moon and Source Code ) would be taking on the job as director. With a speculated $100 million plus for the budget, we can finally get excited about what might make the transition from game to big screen. Blood Elf Hunter and Horde Loyalist Bridie Roman talks us through 10 things we want to see from a WoW movie.
1 Completely ignore most of what you actually do while playing Warcraft
Duncan Jones knows videogames. He’s a gamer’s gamer (as anyone who follows his Tweets knows), so if anyone can finally make a good videogame movie, it’s him. That said, World Of Warcraft is full of all sorts of unique and fun experiences like running in circles for hours waiting for enough people to join your random dungeon group, or quests where you have to pick up X amount of poop for really poor pay. However, mindless repetitive questing does not a big budget film make. It’s hilarious when South Park does it, and The Guild gets away with it too, but watching a film about a struggling guild who wipe (die) all the time because the hunter of the group doesn’t pay attention just isn’t going to be worth the $100+ million budget.
2 Draw from Wrath Of The Lich King or earlier
Most agree that World Of Warcraft reached its story-telling peak with Wrath . Since a Cataclysm movie would be The Hobbit but with more world-ending peril and Mists Of Pandaria is… let’s say too recent and leave it at that, the only option is to look earlier in Warcraft ’s canon. Anything from Thrall’s backstory would be best because not only is he an utter badass (even when wearing a robe), but a story centring on him would mean seeing good and evil in both the Alliance and Horde and it’s about time the world saw The Alliance for what they truly are.
3 A whole new story line
If we can’t get some Orc liberation action then can we please have a new storyline? This could focus on a new race (with an in-game tie-in perhaps) or on the rising tension between the races. Something with the Forsaken (above) would ride nicely on the coattails of global zombie-mania, and those guys have been looking a little suspect for a while now. Alternatively anything that shows The Alliance to be the heartless bastards they truly are would be greatly appreciated (bitter, us? Never!).
4 Leeroy Jenkins cameo
Whatever the plot, whatever the effects may be, please Script Writing Gods, let us see a Leeroy Jenkins reference. Doesn’t have to be someone running around shouting “Leeroy Jenkins” and getting everyone killed, just some pithy reference to an old hero long past. Or an off the cuff “at least we have chicken” when things are going bad for whoever may be leading the action.
5 Motion capture where appropriate
Can you seriously see towering Orcs, Draenei or Tauren being played by humans in make-up? Or people in panda costumes? Sure there are some great prosthetics wizards out there, but why risk having laughable effects when you have $100 million to play with? With only one of the 13 main races being human it makes sense to use some of the budget on top notch motion capture. If Avatar could pull it off so can Warcraft , and our blue guys are bigger, better and they have horns.
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6 Murlocs… Murlocs everywhere
They’re cute; when they dance they have a top hat; and they go “rwlrwlrwlrwl” instead of talking. Their need to be in the film shouldn’t have to be explained further. But if you really want justification consider this: they’re obviously a sentient race, they have structures and villages next to most bodies of water across Azeroth and they seem to hate everyone. Just what are they planning? Maybe we should have been paying more attention when Level 90 Elite Tauren Chieftain sung that death will rise from the tides…
7 Music by level-appropriate Elite Tauren Chieftain…
…with Chesney Hawkes as the newest band member! Duncan Jones has featured Hawkes in both of his films to date and says he will find a way to fit him into Warcraft . Well here you go Duncan, you can thank us later. Blizzard’s own in-game band is perfectly capable of covering “The One And Only” and if Hawkes wants to pick an avatar to add to the band then the more the merrier. He could be a Goblin or Pandaren, since the new races aren’t yet represented in the Horde’s favourite musical group.
8 Keep it character-driven
Both Moon and Source Code kept their focus firmly on the characters, which allowed them to flourish despite their modest budgets. Now that Jones has ALL THE MONEY (as he humorously stated on Twitter) it’d be a shame to see this go out the window. There must be a real temptation for any Warcraft movie to focus primarily on the crazy world it’s set in, but then you risk losing not only the beauty of Duncan Jones’ unfussy direction, but the human drama that drives most of the conflict in WoW .
9 David Bowie to reprise his role as the Goblin King
The Thin White Duke is no stranger to miraculous career comebacks, and now that he’s taken care of the musical bit, we think it’s about time his movie career saw a revival too with a return to his most iconic character – Labyrinth ’s Goblin King Jareth. The goblins in World Of Warcraft might look nothing like Jareth’s slender cod-piece aficionado, but the other goblins in Labyrinth looked nothing like him either, so Warcraft is ripe for a Henson crossover. If anyone can talk Bowie back onto the big screen, it’s his son.
10 Duncan Jones becomes the next James Cameron…
…or rather, successful enough as a director to make whatever the hell he wants, so we finally get to see Jones’ mysterious science fiction thriller Mute on the big screen. Since exploding on the scene with Moon , Jones has proven himself capable of handling multi-million dollar blockbusters, and we’ve little doubt he’ll rise to the $100+ million challenge of Warcraft . If Jones gets it right, along with JJ Abrams, the geeks really will inherit Hollywood.