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World of Warcraft Movie Release Date Pushed Back to 2016

by Suzanne Kelsey

Fans are in uproar over the further postponement of the much anticipated movie. Back in 2006, Legendary Pictures and Blizzard Entertainment first teamed up and started the ball rolling for a movie based on the favorite World of Warcraft game. They hoped for a 2009 breakout film, but as we all know, 2009 came and went without a WoW movie. The studio claimed actors and directors continued to dip out of their contract for bigger and better things. The next hope was to snag Sam Raimi (director of the original Spider-Man Trilogy) and shoot for a 2011 release, but again, that fell through when Raimi was asked to work on Oz the Great and Powerful. Finally, Duncan Jones signed on as director earlier this year, and things began to take off. The original release date, December 18, 2015, coincided with many other big blockbuster releases, including Star Wars: Episode VII and Batman vs Superman, so Universal and Legendary Pictures just announced the release date will be pushed back, yet again, this time to March 11, 2016.

WoW

2016 Becomes World of Warcraft Movie Release Year

Warcraft, as the film is currently titled, has been largely under wraps until recently. New plot details and some of the artwork were released at BlizzCon ’13. To draw more attention to the game and movie, Conan O’Brien made a guest appearance and attempted to play WoW. The production crews plan filming to begin next month, which is probably why more and more information about the movie is being leaked daily. Travis Fimmel (known for his role in Vikings) has just confirmed he is, as had been rumored, playing one of the lead male characters. Unfortunately the word about Colin Farrell and Paula Patton starring in the film has still not been verified. The storyline of the film will focus on the first two Warcraft games (Orcs & Humans and Tides of Darkness), hence the dropping of the “World of” in the movie’s title. At BlizzCon, it was officially announced that the plot will be about Anduin Lothar versus Durotan, with equal emphasis on the human Alliance and Orcs. Reports have also been circulating that there will be “time travel” and “alien worlds,” though these reports have not been confirmed and are just speculation as of yet.

All those involved with the film, that we have confirmed so far, are known for having many other credits to their name. The director, Duncan Jones, is known for Source Code and Moon; screenwriter Charles Leavitt for Seventh Son; and the special-effects supervisor, Bill Westenhofer, worked on The Golden Compass and recently won an Oscar for his work in Life of Pi. With all of these great minds collaborating, the movie is bound to be a hit…but many fans disagree. Tons of avid World of Warcraft fans claim that no movie should be made. They insist the time of WoW’s popularity is over. Perhaps if the movie was made several year ago, back when Warcraft was still the newest hype, it would be less likely to flop. The game has been out since 1994, beginning with three games entitled Warcraft (I, II, and III), followed by the more well-known World of Warcraft, released in 2004. While expansions of WoW are continuing to come out, the fifth just announced at BlizzCon 2013, the game is certainly not making headlines anymore what with all the Gears of War, Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto versions being released.

Fans also voice concerns about the quality of the CG effects, and how that will transfer to the big screen. So many past movies involving trolls, goblins, elves, and even werewolves, just have dreadfully poor special effects. Legendary Pictures posted on their Facebook page that the film will be “an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict.” With an estimated budget of over 100 million dollars, and recent fantasy movies (coughTheHobbitcough) for inspiration, I doubt Warcraft will have any trouble meeting that claim. Fans needn’t worry about the nature of the weapons either; Westenhofer brags that the swords are the biggest swords a human being can carry. Which leads me to believe they will be epically large. A teaser trailer was previewed by select attendees at Comic Con 2013, and they all reported that the movie has the potential for greatness.

I have read several of the books based on the game, and if the script is anything like those, I think it will be fantastic. The books were interesting and easy to follow, though not dumbed down. I found the storylines exciting, with a little bit of mystery over just what was going to happen next. I wonder if the movie will be more like the books, in degree of description and backstory, or if it will be a straight action flick. Everyone keeps comparing the movie to LOTR and how it will be just as deep, just as big…but they haven’t even begun filming yet.

My only hope for the movie is that everyone on the production team works together so we don’t have another Leeroy Jenkins.

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