Last year, video game fans everywhere thought Hollywood might finally break its long-running video game adaptation curse with the release of writer and director Duncan Jones’ Warcraft. Based on the online RPG game of the same name, the ambitious adaptation aimed to tell its own story of a war between the humans and the orcs with a combination of both new characters in the film and familiar ones from the game itself. But then Warcraft was met with lukewarm to mildly positive reviews from critics, but almost universal praise from fans of the original game, the latter of whom believed that Jones had managed to make an adaptation that remained faithful to the game and was cinematic enough in its own right.
Unfortunately, ever since Warcraft was released in early summer of last year, talk and news of Legendary Pictures or Jones working on a sequel has been practically nonexistent. The silence seemed particularly strange since — in the foreign market — the film was titled Warcraft: The Beginning, rather than its shorter domestic title.
Jones finally addressed the possibility of a sequel recently on his official Twitter account, and the news isn’t what fans were hoping for by any means. Responding to a fan question, Jones reiterated how much he’d love to make a sequel, but is currently still waiting on a final decision from Legendary:
This might seem strange considering the pure franchise potential that the Warcraft property has — the kind of potential that any studio would jump on if they had the chance. However, the silence makes more sense when looking at the box office totals from Warcraft, which despite performing well overseas and in the foreign market, bombed financially in the U.S. With a production budget of $160 million, the studio wasn’t able to amass enough hype for the film stateside with the little over $47 million domestic box office total, meaning it wouldn’t have even been able to break even had it not been for the $386 million foreign sales.
Those financial figures, in addition to the middling critical reviews of the film, are likely what’s led to Legendary’s hesitancy to greenlight a sequel up until this point. While the foreign interest in Warcraft was palpable upon its release, there’s no telling if the studio will be able to duplicate a similar response with the sequel, especially since talk of the Warcraft film has almost completely died out in American pop culture. Still, Jones’ continued passion for the property and fan demand could lead to a sequel being made at some point down the line, though there’s also the chance of Warcraft being a one-and-done experiment for Legendary. At this point, it’s future seems more mysterious and unknown than anything else.
Source: Duncan Jones