‘Deadpool’ Director & ‘Deus Ex’ Writer Aren’t Sold on a ‘Warcraft’ Movie Story

Published 2 years ago by

World of Warcraft Movie Criticism Deadpool Director & Deus Ex Writer Arent Sold on a Warcraft Movie Story

Although details on the upcoming World of Warcraft movie – now simply titled Warcraft – have yet to surface, those present at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 were not only treated to an appearance by an openly exuberant Duncan Jones, but the first teaser trailer.

But prior to that announcement, director of the upcoming Deadpool film Tim Miller and Deus Ex co-writer C. Robert Cargill took part in a panel on the growing trend of game-to-movie adaptations. Unsurprisingly, Warcraft came up in the discussion – and they’re not as optimistic as fans might hope.

As the head of special effects house Blur Studio, Miller has overseen the creation of several jaw-dropping cinematic trailers in recent memory, while also working on high-profile projects like James Cameron’s Avatar (2009). The studio has made no secret of their ultimate goal of producing feature films, and have turned numerous heads due to their action-packed and brilliantly-choreographed video game trailers, changing the world of games marketing along the way.

One of Blur’s more recent cinematic shorts for ‘Elder Scrolls Online’

Given that experience, Miller revealed, he was brought in to give his two cents when word of a live-action Warcraft movie was first circling. The decision makes sense, since few directors had as much experience with converting games to cinematic short films as Miller’s team, but the meeting didn’t turn out the way Blizzard expected.

Upon hearing the pitch, Miller was left with unnamed individuals who asked what he thought about their plans. Regardless of whether the plot was, or is, the one being carried by Duncan Jones, Miller’s reply was as concise as it was damning:

“They asked me what I thought, and I told them: ‘give me ten minutes in the washroom alone and I’ll come up with a better dark fantasy story than Warcraft. Warcraft is just a big ripoff of [tabletop and video game series] Warhammer, and Warhammer is just a big ripoff of Lord of the Rings.'”

While Miller’s comments sent a mixture of reactions through those in attendance, fellow panelist Cargill – co-writer of Sinister and the upcoming Deus Ex game adaptation – spoke up in agreement:

“I don’t think World of Warcraft should be a movie… I’d want to see a movie from the point of view of the Horde – with Orcs, Taurens, Dark Elves – but we won’t get that.”

Even fans of Warcraft would admit that the basic plot elements (an Orc Horde vs. the world of men, with elves and dwarves thrown in for good measure) are fairly well-tread in the fantasy genre, with The Lord of the Rings one of the few properties able to garner the attention of anyone other than devoted fans. It’s no secret that a Warcraft movie would be made to capitalize on the brand recognition, but as Cargill and Miller point out, more substance will be needed.

Duncan Jones Warcraft Movie Deadpool Director & Deus Ex Writer Arent Sold on a Warcraft Movie Story

After piling on the prospects of a Warcraft movie, Miller drew laughs from the audience when he restated his confidence in Duncan Jones as the film’s director:

“To be clear: I think Duncan Jones will make a great World of Warcraft movie. But he would make a great dark fantasy story whether it had that name or not.”

This was before the first footage of Jones’ World of Warcraft teaser was revealed, and while it may be too early to pass judgement, Miller’s confidence seems to be well-placed. Duncan Jones wouldn’t give any details on which characters or ‘sides’ of the Warcraft mythology the film would focus on – although the credited writers are reason for optimism – but Blizzard certainly isn’t hoping that fans of the film will place more stock in its director than its title. How that goes over with mainstream audiences… well, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Where do you land on this issue? Do you share Cargill and Miller’s concerns about adapting only the most successful, not the most interesting video games to film? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Warcraft is set to begin filming in 2014.


Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
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  1. Being a huge fan of Warcraft franchise and as well as of the film Source Code i have my hopes high :)

  2. Have to admit, what he said about World Of Warcraft is what I’ve felt since I first heard about the game series. Never understood the popularity of sitting in a chair for 14 hours a day watching polygon rendered orcs do whatever it is.

    I had a friend into this kind of stuff and whenever I went to hang out at his place, he’d just sit there in silence for hours while I got bored and ended up watching videos or playing on one of his consoles.

    • I play WoW. I have for nearly 8 years.
      I’ve very rarely spent “14 hours a day” doing so.

      But if people ARE willing to spend hours playing the game, for years on end, isn’t that a sign that the game is much more fulfilling and satisfying than your very limited experience with it allows you to see?

      There is a rich lore in the game, there are stories, there are characters to meet, get to know, and engage with, and sometimes the relationships change with those characters as the game progresses through the years.

      Tim Miller sounds like an a**hole. All fantasy shares common elements. Just like all sci-fi does. And it didn’t all start with LotR, as he erroneously believes.

      I’d love to see a well-written WoW film. There is SO much story to tell. There are over a dozen races, each with a massive wellspring of lore from which to select material.

      What makes a fantasy universe rich is the depth of the lore. It’s entirely inconsequential whether the idea of doing fantasy is “original” or not. It’s like saying “Jules Verne wrote a book about a giant submarine, so it’s totally pointless to write any more stories about submarines.”

      The problem with making a World of Warcraft film is the director and writers are going to insist on writing their own “original” story to tell, instead of respecting the source material. I can smell it a mile away. They are going to f**k up the lore something serious.

      • I’ve spent years on a game, just not that long every day and generally on games with stories and characters I enjoy immensely like the Legend of Zelda series.

        I just switch off when it comes to WoW. I was interested in Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 as a kid until I saw a rulebook and another book about the lore and factions in the game world and just got immensely bored within a few pages.

        I love when something holds my attention for ages but WoW just doesn’t do it for me.

  3. wait Dead pool Director so Dead pool is being made? Confused.

    • He’s been attached for a while now. No movement on the project tho.

  4. If David Bowie doesn’t voice a goblin, then that’s one serious missed opportunity.

  5. Half-Life 3 confirmed.

  6. These guys actually state their bias against the Warcraft universe, then demonstrate their ignorance by mentioning Dark Elves, what aren’t even in Warcraft.

    Warcraft is absolutely NOT a ripoff of Warhammer or LOTR. What a lazy and cynical criticism, just because there are Orcs and Elves doesn’t mean it’s a ripoff of Tolkien. Blizzard has created a vibrant and interesting universe that stands on its own.

    • Im not 100% sure of this but, when Blizzard was making the first Warcraft RTS game, it was going to be a Warhammer RTS game. They wanted to change somethings & add in there own idea’s but Games Workshop ( the people who own the rights to Warhammer) said no. So Blizzard changed the name to Warcraft & the rest is history. :)

      • That story is true. However, that was two decades ago. The lore and world has expanded so much that it shares literally nothing with Warhammer and its Cockney orcs.

  7. I think I’ve said this on every other Warcraft article, but please make this based off of the RTS story line. Don’t try to make a WoW movie. A MMORPG isn’t something that can be adapted to film. Warcraft, if anything, is more of a rip off of Raymond Feist’s Riftwar Saga. I loved the original RTS games. A movie trilogy could be made simply by adapting Warcraft 1, Warcraft:Tides of Darkness, and Warcraft:Beyond the Dark Portal. Make it a hard R like Braveheart. If you find success with the first trilogy you could have a spin off about Thrall. Then you could make a whole other Trilogy about Warcraft 3 and Warcraft: The Frozen Throne. None of that will probably happen though because I’m just a RTS fan boy ranting. lol

  8. “and Warhammer is just a big ripoff of Lord of the Rings.”

    No offense there Miller but you are an idiot. This statement proves you have not clue one about the Warhammer universe.

  9. lemme try that again to avoid a moderation….

    “and Warhammer is just a big ripoff of Lord of the Rings.”

    No offense there Miller but you are completely and utterly ignorant. This statement proves you have not clue one about the Warhammer universe.

    • Yeah, isn’t Warhammer basically based off of Hell coming through because of space travel or something like that? More Sci-fi. I’ve always heard that Event Horizon is supposedly a Warhammer film.

  10. I like the idea of a World of Warcraft movie, but I think they should add more MAGIC into the movie (literary), because World of Warcraft has about 6 classes that use MAGIC and 5 that dont, the story should focus on a MAGIC user (Mage, Druid, Shaman, Priest, or Warlock). I think if they made the Main character a MAGIC user, it would differ from Lord of the rings, ( being that the lord of the rings had little to no magic) plus who wouldn’t want to see more MAGIC in movies with all the cool things it can do to the some beautiful visual effects, a MAGIC enriched World of Warcraft movie would dominate the box office (along with good actors, writers and director of course).

  11. “director of the upcoming Deadpool film…”


    “You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means”

    • Why is your last statement in quotes?

      And the movie is technically “upcoming”. It’ll prob get made…. eventually

      • Because it is a quote. From a very funny movie, I might add.

  12. I think if they are going to make this warcraft film then they should take a story from the books, I personally would love to see the rise of the lich king as a movie, but that will never happen

  13. As video game movies go, I think it would be easier to do a Halo film. Alot of people want one. I do know both games have alot of fans. Halo is probably more do-able; Mortal Combat came from a game as well, many years ago.

    • Instead of Halo, how about a movie based on Ringworld.. that thing that Halo copied?
      At least it has numerous books, written by an award-winning author, and would make a PHENOMENAL movie.