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Video: A short history of the WoW movie

In light of the recent news about the WoW movie, WoW Insider thought we'd prepare a short recap of its history. We begin way, way back in 2006, when it was first announced that Blizzard and Legendary Pictures had agreed to collaborate on a live-action representation of the Warcraft universe. Since then, the movie has gone through several changes, in a six-year on-again-off-again saga. This is explored in more depth in the video above, but I'll summarize some of the key dates here:
  • 2006: Warcraft movie announced, Legendary and Blizzard collaborate
  • 2009: Writer Gary Whitta leaves, Sam Raimi is announced as Director with Chris Metzen.
  • 2009: Robert Rodat is announced as screenwriter
  • 2010: Announcement at BlizzCon that the script is "pretty much laid down"
  • 2012: In July Sam Raimi left the team
  • 2012: In August, Variety announced that Charles Leavitt was the new writer
  • 2013: In January, Duncan Jones is announced as the new Director
  • 2013: April sees the announcement that VFX will be handled by Bill Westenhofer
  • 2013: Slashfilm asserts that the film will release in 2015, filming starting in January 2014.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on all this, as I mention in the video, the script has obviously been a major stumbling block. What are you hoping to see? When are you hoping to see it? And will it be better than all the other video game movies?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Podcasting, Blizzard

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

Director predicts Warcraft film will break video game movie trend

Last week, Badass News posted an article detailing an interview with director Duncan Jones in which the Warcraft movie was one of the main topics of discussion. Jones is the son of David Bowie and director of the impressive science fiction flick Moon, as well as Source Code, another sci-fi title being released later this year. Though the interview reveals nothing about the production of the Warcraft movie, Jones thinks that the film is going to break the ongoing trend of terrible film adaptations of video games.

In the article, Jones says he believes it's possible to make a good adaptation -- it just has to be approached properly. "A good game adaptation is where you find the story or the emotional aspect that's at the heart of a computer game and you replicate that on film. It doesn't mean you need to have first person perspective or try and capture the mechanics of a game," he says.

Jones thinks the Warcraft film will be the film to break the mold because director Sam Raimi seems to be approaching the film correctly. "From the little I've read of interviews with him, the way he's approaching it makes so much sense. It's what I was talking about – it's not worrying about how the game plays, it's about creating the world of the game and investing the audience in that world."

Jones explains that he's a serious gamer himself and is skeptical about other directors who claim the same. He doesn't think most directors have the time to be both hardcore gamers and filmmakers. Jones, on the other hand, says he stays up all night to accommodate his gaming habit and cites titles like Starcraft 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops. He also says he's looking forward to Diablo 3.

Jones admits that he's "hugely jealous" of Raimi's getting the chance to direct the Warcraft film; the writer of the article goes so far as to suggest that Jones have a chance at directing it, since Raimi set it aside to work on The Great and Mighty Oz. That's not really quite how Hollywood works, though, so unless Raimi steps down from the project himself, I wouldn't count on his losing the project just yet.

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.

Read more →

Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

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