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Television writer is for the Horde!


John Rogers résumé is long and varied. Physics graduate, television writer and avid online gamer. He's credited with writing an early draft of the "Transformers" movie and creating "The Jackie Chan Adventures" animated series. His latest endeavor is the new action series "Leverage," premiering tonight on TNT at 10/9c. Every week on the new show a group of professional cons takes down corrupt authority figures using their unique skills. And they're not above using World of Warcraft to get the job done.

Wait...what?

You see while reading John's blog, I saw a single line about an upcoming episode of "Leverage" having a WoW reference in it, joining the ranks of "How I Met Your Mother," "Big Bang Theory" and "Stargate Atlantis." I contacted him to find out more about his new show, his love of the game and further confirmation that WoW is the new golf.

WoW gets some Leverage

"It used to be geeks bonded over comics and Dungeons & Dragons, now it's online games."

John needed one of the show's main characters to bond with a co-worker while working a con in an upcoming episode. He wrote a scene where the character saw that the co-worker was a WoW player and when she asks him to join her in a meeting, he replies "For the Horde!" Rogers couldn't just do that freely. The dialogue had to be vetted by Blizzard first.

Why have the two characters bond over an online fantasy game? John confirms the growing belief that WoW is the new golf. In fact, John hired his assistant when he met her on the set of "Leverage's" pilot and saw "For the Horde!" emblazoned across her shirt. "It used to be geeks bonded over comics and Dungeons & Dragons," John tells me, "now it's online games."

John admits to baffling his own co-workers when he and his assistant talk about WoW while on the job. One particular instance John recalls is when WoW Insider posted the new Wrath Rogue talents during beta. The two were talking excitedly about it all day.

Rogers alt explosion
When asked about his playstyle, John admits to being a raging alt-aholic with ten to twelve characters in their 40s across multiple servers. He mostly plays Rogues and Warlocks and likes to spend his time indulging in the finely crafted lore and art design of the earlier zones.

When asked about his favorite faction, he freely admits to his characters being almost exclusively Horde, mostly Orc. No Alliance? "When you have Alliance on your ass [on PvP servers] you don't want to go to the other side," John explains. And of course, the other advantage of starting new Horde toons, "I just go back for the Barrens chat."

The upcoming WoW movie
We chatted about the in-development WoW movie and Rogers admits to having chatted with Blizzard about the project early on, but hasn't been involved since. I asked him what he was looking forward to when the film is released. He expressed hopes that Blizzard takes the opportunity to focus on non-human main characters. Or, as he said "Tauren shaman get their due."

John told me he would love to spend more time in WoW but his free time is at a premium these days. He recently co-wrote the Dungeons & Dragons guide book "Manual of the Planes" and is now prepping to write a movie. Still, he plays when he can and looks forward to diving into Wrath. If he can stop creating new characters long enough to level one up that far.

Filed under: Features, Interviews

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