‘Warcraft’: Ben Foster Reveals His Character & Discusses the Film’s Themes

Published 11 months ago by , Updated May 31st, 2014 at 6:25 pm,

Ben Foster in 30 Days of Night Warcraft: Ben Foster Reveals His Character & Discusses the Films Themes

[WARNING: This post contains potential SPOILERS for the Warcraft movie.]


Director Duncan Jones’ 2009 indie sci-fi Moon was a fascinating debut film and an impressive achievement on a low budget. Jones’ follow-up, Source Code, had a much larger budget and a considerably broader scope, and now he has moved into a truly epic universe with his upcoming video game adaptation, Warcraft.

The film, which wrapped principal photography just over a week ago, is based on the video game which spawned the wildly popular and immensely lucrative World of Warcraft massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), the various iterations and expansions of which are still being developed. This first film is said to draw its storyline from the first installments of the series, which followed a war between orcs and humans.

Plot details have trickled down in the past few months, with Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger) stating that despite the high fantasy trappings, the film will actually tell a very human and relatable story. Now, Cooper’s castmate Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma) backs up Cooper’s assertion about the relatively serious themes of Warcraft, while speaking about the character he’s playing.

Foster recently spoke to IGN about his role, which is straight out of the game’s universe. According to Foster:

“The character in ‘Warcraft’ that I play is named Medivh. He’s a mage, which is essentially a sorcerer. 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.”

Magus Medivh from Warcraft III 1024x449 Warcraft: Ben Foster Reveals His Character & Discusses the Films Themes

Medivh first appeared in Warcraft I, and from Foster’s comments it sounds like the film’s plot could be quite close to that of the first few games, given that Foster’s character’s involvement was predicted in a report by Bleeding Cool. Still, in the game universe, Medivh was a guardian against the forces of the Burning Legion, but was possessed by a demonlord and used in an attempt to conquer the land of Azeroth. This version of the character appears to adhere to his morally complex nature.

Foster went on the praise his director’s vision for the film, echoing previous sentiments from Cooper as well as Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull. Foster stated:

“What’s exciting about Duncan Jones’ take on this video game is that it shows both sides of the war. It shows both sides of a conflict, which is exciting to me. It’s not just a video game turned into a movie. It’s asking, hopefully, an important question of, where do we limit our compassion for what we consider to be the bad guys?”

Foster also had some glowing comments in regard to the effects work by Industrial Light & Magic, specifically the motion-capture work. Foster remarked:

“The way that they’re pushing motion-capture – I just saw some of the test footage – it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s performance-capture. It pushes it to the next level. It’s going to be one helluva 3D event.”

While Foster’s character will not be digitally rendered, he said that some of the other characters who he interacts with will be. He went on to say that “there are a lot of different kinds of creatures in this picture that I interact with.” 

World of Warcraft light and darkness Warcraft: Ben Foster Reveals His Character & Discusses the Films Themes

While we do not yet have any confirmation of who the rest of the cast will be playing, it may be safe to assume at this point that Vikings star Travis Fimmel is taking the role of warrior Anduin Lothar, but what of co-stars Clancy Brown (Sleepy Hollow) and Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol)? Brown may well be taking the role of Khadgar, a powerful wizard who is also Medivh’s mentor.

With a highly praised director and a cast of talented character actors, Warcraft is poised to be one of the slate of upcoming video game adaptations (like Assassin’s Creed) that are striving to push the genre into the realm of commercial and critical success. With HBO’s Game of Thrones seeming to prove that a fantasy setting with mature themes can pull in a crossover audience, will Warcraft echo that success on the big screen?

As the film is now wrapped and entering its lengthy post-production period, expect more plot details, as well as some early looks at the character design to surface soon.


Warcraft will opens in theaters on March 11th, 2016.

Source: IGN & Bleeding Cool

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. They could literally pull any character or plot line out the hat, and I wouldn’t know who they are or what it means. And neither would the general audience. Of course they’ll want to appease the long time fans of the franchise, but they’re gonna have to make this appeal to the wider audience. Which means a few things are bound to change to fit the film adaption.

    • If you know who Duncan Jones is, you’d know he wouldn’t pander to anybody.

      • I actually don’t. I’ll see the movie, of course, but I’ll be going in completely blind.

        • He’s David Bowie’s son (originally known as Zowie Bowie until he legally changed his name to have his dad’s real last name and his own choice of first name). He also directed Moon and Source Code.

          • No he was born Duncan Zowie Jones(his father’s real name being David Jones). As a kid, for obvious enough reasons, he was known as Zowie Bowie.

        • Yep, me too, but it sounds like “Warcraft”, not “Warcrap”, so I will definitely give it a watch.

    • If you dont play the games of course you wouldnt know anything about which characters which and Im sure they know what kind of audience to aim for.

  2. Uh…..yesssssssssssssssssssssss!

  3. Hell yeah!

  4. This could possibly the first legitimately good video game adaptation. If we’re living in an age where superheroes are the most successful films today, I honestly don’t understand why video games aren’t.

    • Wreck-It-Ralph already exists. That’s it’s not based on a videogame doesn’t detract it as a loving homage to videogames. Probably why it’s so successful.

  5. I wonder if he will return to the X-men films and become Archangel, or maybe be recast?

  6. I’ve never played any games in the franchise, but I enjoy Duncan Jones’ work. I’m excited for this project.

  7. This movie sounds like it’s gonna be great, I can’t wait for more details.
    P.S. Khadgar isn’t Medivh’s mentor, Medivh is Khadgar’s mentor.

    • And he’d be 17 at the time of the First War, so I doubt that who he’ll be playing. I can see Clancy as Gul’dan or Ner’zhul.

  8. great to see Ben Foster joining a potential new franchise. Hoping his role is badass, like most of his roles to date, if not more

  9. Medivh didn’t first appear in WC3. He appeared in WC1 – he was a bad guy and you were required to storm his dungeon and kill him.

    • Thanks for the catch!

      It’s been corrected.

  10. This movie is steadily climbing my ranks of most anticipated!

    They had me at Duncan Jones, Ben Foster, and Ragnar Lothbrok! lol

  11. Diehard Warcraft nerds will recognize the characters. Some World of Warcraft players might, at least those into the lore. Medivh doesn’t play any significant role in the mmo, just his old raid keep Karazhan and he’s not even there other than a couple phantoms of him.

    Beyond that no one else will recognize and relate to a single character or storyline in this movie. It’s built in audience is very small. Yes, there are lots of Warcraft player relative to gaming population, but they are still a drop in the bucket compared to the general movie going population. Mass appeal isn’t there.

    Tis going to flop.

    • I’m in two minds whether to agree or not.

      On the one hand, it has a fanbase rabid enough to go see it in droves. It could also appeal to those who never played the games but became fans of fantasy thanks to LOTR, The Hobbit and GOT.

      On the other, Warcraft has a certain stigma against it, even in the gaming community. There are still masses of people who don’t play videogames and think they’re for the sad and lonely but the gaming community looks down on the Warcraft players (and players of any other similar MMORPG) as truly unworthy of attention and friendship. Warcraft players tend to get the same amount of hate as bronies do from what I’ve seen around the gaming world.

    • All that means is the general public won’t even know it’s a video game adaption.
      You don’t have to have a built in audience to be a hit, just have a damn good movie.

      Avatar, Matrix, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, ET, Independence Day, Inception, Pretty much every Pixar film, etc
      None of these had “built in audiences” and they all made a killing.
      Do you REALLY think everyone of the millions and millions of people who go to see LoTR or Hobbit movies are Tolkien “nerds?”

      Not saying it’s a sure fire hit, but your logic is flawed.

  12. Guys, I’ve been up in Vancouver hanging out on set. This film is going to be so bad ass. I just wish I was directing this Warcraft film! I know I can do it! Maybe I’ll start with a short film that will only cost several million and win an Academy Award. Then everyone will know that I’m the real deal and should be directing these Blizzard films. Yes, that is what I will do. I will plan it during my weekend trips in Las Vegas.

  13. Clancy “It’s better to burn up than to fade away” Brown was supposed to voice the Orc chieftain Thrall in the cancelled game “Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans”.

    My bet is that he will voice one of the Orcs, or maybe the voice for the dragon Deathwing.

  14. Whatever they do they had better do everything in their power to make sure it doesn’t turn into a cheezy project like the Dungeons & Dragons movie.

  15. just something nerdy : Khadgar is NOT the mentor but the pupil to mighty Medivh, Son of Aegwynn and tainted by Sargeras the dark titan, wielder of the broken blade.

    as to the movie itself : I like.

    Should be interesting and even if its just loose story based it should be a good evening filler. and there is potential for a whole saga. highly anticipated