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Posts with tag film

Ben Foster playing Medivh in Warcraft movie

IGN spoke with actor Ben Foster about his role in the upcoming Warcraft film, and Foster revealed that he's playing none other than Medivh, the last Guardian of Tirisfal, opener of the Dark Portal, and later savior of the world. From the interview, it seems as though the story for the film -- which has never really been properly revealed -- may be a little more clear. According to Foster, "He came up in a time protecting an area, and the way he protected this area was through magic. As peace returned to this land he took a break. He hung up his staff, so to speak, or let his guns get dusty. We meet him as his friends are returning asking for his help in a battle."

If Medivh's friends are asking for help regarding a certain portal to another world, we could be looking at a modified retelling of Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, one created with a proper cinematic twist. It would certainly be a nice counterpoint to Warlords of Draenor, which is sending players to explore an alternate version of Draenor. Needless to say, Medivh's confirmed appearance, and confirmed actor in the film are a nice surprise -- head to IGN for more from Foster and his role in the Warcraft movie, hitting theaters in 2016.

Filed under: News items, Warcraft Movie

Get a first look at the Warcraft movie in Empire Magazine

It's not so much of a first look as it is a first glimpse, but the latest issue of Empire brings us the first photo from the Warcraft film set. Focusing on director Duncan Jones watching the filming, the photo doesn't give us much info on what we can expect, but the monitors do give us a tantalizing first look of the Stormwind throne room -- and if this is anything like what the finished product will look like, it's very reminiscent of World of Warcraft.

Filming started this January, but we've yet to find out much about the work in progress, which isn't due in theaters until March 11, 2016. But as filming continues, we're sure to find out more -- if nothing else, expect the movie to make a big splash at this year's BlizzCon -- - but in the meantime, we'll have to make do with this tiny, grainy image.

Filed under: Warcraft Movie

The drama! The suspense! The Leeroy!

It may be the "all your base" of the WoW world, but the Leeroy Jenkins meme will always be with us. Recently, the Worldwide Film Festival asked three directors to reimagine some of the world's most notorious viral videos as short films, and Finn O'Hara chose the Leeroy Jenkins video for his.

O'Hara's version of Leeroy Jenkins, featuring the raid members as bank robbers and Leeroy as, well, a Leeroy, is certainly faithful to the dialogue of the original. Sadly, O'Hara chose to leave out "At least I have chicken," but one could see how it wouldn't really fit in with the rest of the film.

Another entrant of note is Jeff Chan's Charlie Bit My Finger, which will result in flashbacks for anyone who's ever been overrun by zombies in a first-person shooter and totally ruined the cuteness of the original.

Interested in the wide world of machinima? We have new movies every weekday here on WoW Moviewatch! Have suggestions for machinima we ought to feature? Toss us an email at moviewatch@wowinsider.com.

Filed under: Humor

What's your dream cast for the Warcraft movie?

A few weeks ago, Hollywood headlines were filled with talk that director Sam Raimi is trying to secure Hilary Swank for his next film, Oz: The Great and Powerful. Now, I know that's not especially interesting to the Warcraft community, but it got me thinking about the Warcraft film again, since Raimi will eventually be directing it. Who will Raimi try to cast in the Warcraft movie?

Then around the same time, the WoW Insider team got word on the further developments of Michele Morrow's campaign to land the role of Sylvanas Windrunner. This sparked the idea that someone on staff should put together a dream cast for the future Warcraft movie. As the token film school dropout, I jumped on the assignment and promptly put together the most expensive movie cast list ever.

Be sure to let us know what your picks for the Warcraft film would be!


Filed under: Warcraft Movie

15 Minutes of Fame: Film follows fantasy of fighting Onyxia


Work Warning: Brief profanity in the video.

From Hollywood celebrities to the guy next door, millions of people have made
World of Warcraft a part of their lives. How do you play WoW? We're giving each approach its own 15 Minutes of Fame.

Just as Azeroth prepares to explode in all its cataclysmic glory, films on gaming seem to be exploding onto the scene. There's the documentary from LFG Productions (many of you may have seen them filming at BlizzCon and our reader meetup last month) that will be following leading raiding guild <Blood Legion> in a full-court press into Cataclysm. There's The Raid, another take on raiding life that we also saw at BlizzCon, and the "zanier" take on gaming culture of Gamers.

In contrast to all those documentaries comes the short narrative film /afk. This live-action film, featuring extensive in-game footage produced by a whole host of well known machinimators -- Gigi, Teagen the Rogue, Baron Soosdon, the list goes on -- tells the tale of a WoW gamer whose psychiatrist informs him that he is gaming-addicted and should delete his character. Game over? Not quite. "The problem is that he always had this dream to solo Onyxia," explains creator Benjamin Dressler, "and he doesn't intend to leave without reaching that goal."

/afk debuts on YouTube later this week with a unique, in-game event that literally "unlocks" the premiere. On Nov. 19, Aventhor, the night elf character from the movie, will appear on Alleria (EU-A) at 7 p.m. GMT and Drenden (US-A) at 5 p.m. CST. Find him and unlock "/afk"! Players must find Aventhor on each server and perform his quests to unlock the movie on YouTube. For more details on the premiere event, see the video at the end of the article -- and join us after the break for a peek behind the scenes with creator Benjamin Dressler.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Sam Raimi discusses Warcraft movie

Sam Raimi revealed quite a bit of information about his work on the Warcraft movie in a recent video interview with Collider.com at the Saturn Awards.

Many promising things were said during the interview, but some points of interest include:
  • Raimi and scriptwriter Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot) are working on a treatment for the film. So far they've written a 40-page document.
  • Raimi is playing WoW to get a feel for the game world. He has a level 72 character.
  • Legendary Pictures (Batman Begins, Inception) is excited about the project and Legendary Pictures founder and producer, Thomas Tull is a big fan of the game.
  • The movie will be set entirely in the Warcraft universe. No video game component will exist in the film. (Thank Elune.)
Raimi also addressed where he is at with the Oz prequel, a project he signed onto last week. Raimi is now currently signed on to direct both films, and though he does not provide any confirmation on which film he will direct first, in the interview he seems much more invested in the Warcraft film at the moment. He says in the interview, "well, right now, I'm not really committed to Oz. We're going to have to wait and see how that all goes, but I did read it. I love the script. I think it's a great project. It's something I'd like to become involved with."

For the highlights from the interview, hit the jump.

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Filed under: Interviews, Rumors, Warcraft Movie

15 Minutes of Fame: Film pros shoot raiding lifestyle documentary


Video has NSFW language near the beginning.
15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft personalities of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, from the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

It used to be that any mainstream media coverage of gaming that didn't completely denigrate gamers rated rabid cheering and high-fives all around. Things have gotten better in recent years, but we're often left with a sense of lingering embarrassment when journalists miss the boat and ask all the wrong questions from all the wrong angles. It's with great relief, then, that we report on documentary project that's working hard to get it right. LFG Productions, the brainchild of two film industry vets who are also WoW players, is filming a behind-the-scenes look at the intersection of hardcore raiding and real life by following a top-ranked PvE guild through the post-ICC lull and into the coming expansion. (See a sample of some of the raw footage they've collected at last year's BlizzCon, above.) Documentary co-creator John Keating, aka Xod of <Royal Militia> on Bleeding Hollow (US-A), has been corresponding with us for months now about the LFG Productions team's efforts to put its finger on an accurate portrayal of the hardcore raiding lifestyle.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Fan-created documentary about BlizzCon: An event for fans

Reader Encifer sent us a link to this excellent fan-directed documentary short about BlizzCon. Just a few days ago, I kind of panned the LA Times for treating BlizzCon as such an alien thing, but this video kind of takes a different look at the same event -- instead of coming at it from an outsider perspective and treating it as if it's something 20,000 crazy people do over a weekend, it's much more about how exciting it is to be a part of an event this big. I don't know, maybe the difference is just something I see, but this fan documentary, I think, does a really great job of showing just why BlizzCon is so great, while the LA Times piece, in my view, kind of dismissed its subjects even as it was portraying them.

At any rate, Chris Nguyen did a terrific job on this -- he says that he created the short film to prepare for a few doc film classes he's going to be taking, as well as challenge his doc-making skills, and it seems like he did just that. He interviewed two of his former guildies, as well as the winner of this year's costume contest, as you can see in the video. And he says the whole thing was shot over the two days at BlizzCon and then took about eight more days to edit. Definitely a fun little film to watch, and if you've never been to BlizzCon before, it'll give you a nice look at just what it's like to show up in a hall with thousands of people who play the same games that you do every day.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, BlizzCon

Rumorbuster: David Wenham might play Arthas

There's a rumor going around that Australian actor David Wenham (who you'll probably know as Faramir in Lord of the Rings, though he was also in 300 and Van Helsing) is supposed to play Arthas in the upcoming Sam Raimi-directed Warcraft movie -- but not so fast. The whole thing appears to stem from a listing over on the Internet Movie Database's listing for Warcraft (which, by the way, seems to have a working title -- a few days ago, it was just called "Untitled Sam Raimi Project"), where Wenham's name was inserted as rumored to play Arthas. That in and of itself means nothing at all -- the IMDb can be updated and edited by almost anyone that comes to the site, and while it could be that Wenham's agent is trying to get his name out there for a certain part, it's just as likely that some overzealous Lord of the Rings fan is trying to do some casting of their own. Wenham's name under there as "rumored" has about as much validity as a mention on Wikipedia: not much.

Oh, and there's one more issue -- as discussed in this forum post, Arthas himself probably won't even be in the Warcraft movie, if what Blizzard told us at BlizzCon a little while back is to be believed. Back at the BlizzCon 2007 movie panel, we were told by the panel (including Chris Metzen) that the movie is supposed to start a year before WoW begins, which means Arthas is sitting up in Icecrown doing a whole lot of nothing. When fans specifically asked about Arthas, we were told that while the movie would certainly reference him, it likely wouldn't focus on him at all. So while Wenham (or his fans) may be angling for the part of Arthas, even if he got it, he probably wouldn't get much screen time anyway.

Of course, that's assuming that what we were told two years ago still holds. Gary Whitta, who worked on a screenplay for the film, says that Sam Raimi has his own ideas about the movie, so, as BlizzPlanet points out, maybe he wants Arthas front and center. But for now, the David Wenham rumor is still just a made-up rumor, and a really thin one at that.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Rumors

Blizzard cinematic team appears at Chapman University



Nick Markham is a student at Chapman University , and he recently dropped us a tip about something special that happened there. Chapman University is fairly close to Blizzard's Irvine headquarters, which could be why they were able to take the time to drop by. One of their film classes had a treat when six members of the Blizzard cinematic team came by to give a three hour presentation about what they do, how they do it, and other miscellaneous film-related issues. So what's the news?

The most crushing news is another confirmation that we shouldn't expect to ever see a gnome in an official World of Warcraft cinematic. The quote from Jeff Chamberlain, the director of the cinematic team, is "Not if I can help it!" Apparently, while gnomes are arguably one of the coolest races in WoW, the director doesn't feel that they're "epic" enough. I can see that viewpoint, I guess, but that just means we'll have to rely on Baron Soosdon to brings us the gnome love.

The Wrathgate animation, of course, was a significant topic. According to Nick's report, the cinematic team and Blizzard both consider Wrathgate to be a complete success. We should expect to see a new, similar animated event with each significant content patch, though it's going to take a little bit to get that going.

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Filed under: Gnomes, Analysis / Opinion, Machinima

Beyond the Game examines the lives of Warcraft III players

This isn't about World of Warcraft, but it will be familiar to some of you who spent hours building up bases and creating Spirit Towers. Beyond the Game is a new documentary from the Netherlands about two world-famous Warcraft III players and how the game has affected their lives and the people around them. It looks intriguing -- having been to a few gaming tournaments and interviewed a few of the top players myself, I agree that these guys are living some really strange lives. Even if you're not a Warcraft III player, this kind of esports is getting more and more popular around the world (from the old Counterstrike to WoW's Arenas, of course), and even though it hasn't quite hit the mainstream yet, more and more players are finding this kind of existence.

The film is set to be released in parts of the EU mid-March, and is being shown at a few gaming tournaments in various places around the world. There's no word on a US or DVD release yet, but we'll keep an eye out for it.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, PvP, Interviews, Fan art, Battlegrounds, Arena

WoW Moviewatch: The Adventures of Thaddius Gallina - Part 1


The Adventures of Thaddius Gallina - Part 1 had me at "Hello." Or, rather, it had me at its production swipe, emblazoned with the logo for "Drunken Dwarf Productions." You can't go wrong with that kind of production title. The six-minute movie is a teaser/introduction to sterivers's machinima film, "The Adventures of Thaddius Gallina."

The nominal hero barely shows up in this bit, since this is a prologue piece. It's setting the tone for Thaddius's world and genre, prepping us for the comedic film. In summary, the Horde were doing pretty well and in charge of things. Then, the Alliance got together, and through rigorous "Questing," have been driving back the Horde.

This prologue really sets up the Alliance to be a bunch of silly, jingoistic dorks. They show up to an Undead's cave to retrieve a stolen artifact. The Undead apologizes immediately, claiming he'd just bought the porch light from a Goblin. He even offered to give it back with no hard feelings. The Alliance completely ignore him, and hijinks ensue. I look forward to seeing the Gnome get punted after this behavior.

The next part should be out fairly soon, and hopefully it can continue the good work.

If you have any suggestions for WoW Moviewatch, you can mail them to us at machinima AT wowinsider DOT com.

Previously on Moviewatch ..

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Machinima, WoW Moviewatch

Activision exec: Videogames will eclipse other entertainment

Activision-Blizzard exec Mike Griffith also made a showing at last week's CES, crowing about an industry that he and his company are heading towards the top of. He said to a crowd there that videogames would "eclipse" "movies, recorded music and TV" as forms of entertainment in the future. He claimed that media such as films and music were passive, and that games are moving ever closer to becoming "a legitimate story-telling medium that rivals feature films."

Which all seems true, except that it's coming from someone who stands to make a lot of money off of just that happening. Still, for all of the bluster of Activision-Blizzard's hotshots, they've got a few of the most popular franchises in gaming behind them -- Blizzard (of course), the Call of Duty franchise, and Guitar Hero, which has made over a billion dollars for Activision. Especially in a time of declining CD sales, Griffith's words ring truer than ever.

But let's not forget, of course, that you can't have great stories without great storytellers, and the folks at Blizzard are definitely that. For all of Activision's bragging, they can't forget that these franchises, all of them, came from strong and talented studios -- Call of Duty was crafted by Infinity Ward, Guitar Hero by Harmonix, and obviously all of Blizzard's properties were put together by the company formerly known as Silicon and Synapse. Griffith can brag that his media is taking over the world, but we hope Activision doesn't forget who helped them get there.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Economy, Making money

Breakfast Topic: Warcraft movie casting call


So the Wrath cinematic is out. It's gotten mixed reviews, with players like Mike Schramm generally unimpressed and disappointed there aren't any Gnomes, and other players, like myself, really liking it. In fact, I think it's the best World of Warcraft cinematic trailer to date. Whatever anyone thinks, though -- love it or hate it -- the cinematic has stirred thoughts about the World of Warcraft movie. Some people, impressed with the CGI, have even suggested that the movie should be done as a full-length animation a la Advent Children.

It's almost unsettling not to have any news on the movie, despite Blizzard's modus operandi of keeping everything under wraps until "it's ready". In fact, the last news we heard was how Blizzard laughed off B-movie hack Uwe Boll. While that's certainly good news, it's been quite some time and we're quickly approaching Legendary Pictures' pegged release date of 2009. While I trust Legendary Pictures (behind Superman Returns, 300 and The Dark Knight), let's take matters into our own hands this morning and cast the movie.

Even if it were done as an animation, you'd still need some actors for their voices. WoW player and Blizzard fan Brandon Routh expressed wanting to be in the movie, so why not? He'd make a good... uh... human, I guess. Varian Wrynn, maybe? We'll hear more for sure in the upcoming, sold out BlizzCon, but for now we can play casting directors and imagine who should play who in a Warcraft film. Who would you cast in the Warcraft movie?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: How to make WoW work on the silver screen

I'm really enjoying the Heroes coming in this summer's movie lineup. I absolutely loved Iron Man, I'm stoked about Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and I can't wait Christian Bale's encore Batman performance in The Dark Knight. There's been noise since Blizzcon 2007 that there will be a World of Warcraft movie. The synopsis on IMDB reads:

Thrall will be in the movie. It will be told primarily from the Alliance point of view The time of the movie is set about 1 year before World of Warcraft begins. The film is mainly about cultures in conflict. It won't be an adventure movie like LoTR, more of a war film.

But it has little other information about what may be included. One thing we know for sure is that Uwe Boll (of BloodRayne infamy) will not be receiving the movie rights. I expect any WoW movie to be as abhorrently bad as the as the campy but quaint Dungeons and Dragons film of 2000. To be successful, a Hollywood movie would need to appeal to a larger audience than WoW fans.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, BlizzCon, Back In The Day

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