It’s no secret that video game film adaptations have fared poorly over the years, both critically and commercially. Whether there’s a hierarchical relationship between different forms of media or filmmakers try to stick too closely (or too far away) to the source material, the fact is video game movies are a hard sell.

One film that may break that mold is the upcoming Warcraft film. Based on Blizzard’s wildly popular, multi-platform franchise, the film promises to find the human element in a fantasy world where orcs and humans are at war. The adaptation is more closely based on earlier games in the Warcraft series, before the events that take place in the popular MMO World of Warcraft. Thankfully, Legendary Comics is prepared to help bring fans who missed out on earlier games up to speed.

Blizzard has announced that the upcoming Warcraft movie will be getting an official graphic novel prequel, coming from the folks at Legendary Comics. The graphic novel, titled Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood will be written by comics writer Paul Cornell (Knight and Squire, Demon Knights) with art by Mat Broome (Batman: No Man’s Land, Witchblade). The announcement was made at the Blizzard Entertainment Showcase panel at San Diego Comic-Con earlier today (July 9th).

Check out the first promo image from the upcoming graphic novel below:

Warcraft Bonds of Brotherhood SDCC promo image SDCC 2015: Warcraft Movie Getting a Graphic Novel Prequel

The prequel is set to release May of 2016 in the weeks leading up to the movie’s premiere. It’s worth noting that Cornell and Broome will be adapting a story idea from Blizzard’s own Chris Metzen. Metzen, who is responsible for creating much of the lore for the Warcraft franchise, is an experienced comics writer with the skills to successfully craft a complex story. The team will be working together closely to create a graphic novel worthy of the series’ reputation.

Though the branch was only launched a few years ago, Legendary Comics has been rapidly expanding their line with both film tie-ins and original properties. The company has previously released a prequel graphic novel to Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla, as well as Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim. Though Legendary Comics only does film tie-ins for their own properties, a successful Warcraft graphic novel has the potential to solidify the company’s standing amongst comic fans and earn them more readers for their original material.

Set in the world of Azeroth, the Warcraft film will be an origin story for the conflict between humans and orcs, one that ultimately plays out for decades in the game franchise. While it was initially assumed that the adaptation would focus on the human side of the conflict, the trailer reveals that there are heroes on both sides of the conflict. The film aims to capture the complexities of war and conflict while still providing a visual spectacle, one that will have been in post-production for two years when the movie premieres.

More information on the upcoming film will likely be revealed at Legendary Comic-Con Panel on Saturday, July 11th at 2:30 p.m. in Hall H.

Warcraft: Bonds of Brotherhood will launch in May of 2016 as a hardcover graphic novel. The Warcraft film – starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton and Robert Kazinsky – opens in theaters on June 10, 2016.

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