‘Warcraft’ Comic-Con Trailer Impressions

Published 9 months ago by

There’s currently a growing trend amongst Hollywood studios to put directors of hit low-budget & independent sci-fi films at the helm of big-budget blockbusters. Gareth Edwards (Monsters) recently scored a hit at the box office with Godzilla and has been put in charge of one of Disney’s Star Wars spinoffs. Josh Trank (Chronicle) has graduated from a found footage superhero movie to the reboot of Fantastic Four. Matt Reeves (Cloverfield) directed this year’s critically-acclaimed sci-fi sequel/prequel Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Then, of course, there’s Moon director Duncan Jones and his long-awaited World of Warcraft adaptation, Warcraft.

The first full-length trailer for Warcraft made its debut during Legendary’s presentation at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, and Duncan Jones was also present to talk about how far the film has come since the short teaser that was shown at Comic-Con in 2013. Jones discussed the fact that the film was designed to have appeal to more than simply the core players (World of Warcraft‘s 7.8 million subscribers represent only a small fraction of Warcraft‘s potential audience), since it will be an origin story about the start of war between Humans and Orcs.

The trailer itself was split into two roughly equal halves, focusing on the humans and orcs by turns and painting neither side as the “bad guys.” There is still a lot of post-production work to be done on Warcraft, and this definitely showed. All of the footage featuring orcs looked like it had been plucked straight from a video game cinematic, while all of the footage featuring humans looked like it had been taken from a live-action swords ‘n’ sorcery fantasy movie.

World of Warcraft light and darkness Warcraft Comic Con Trailer Impressions

The jarring difference between the humans and orcs ended up being somewhat distracting, but there was a definite sense that Warcraft will be touching upon similar themes to this year’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, with both sides of the conflict being shown as sympathetic in their own right. Particularly reminiscent of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was a scene in which the orc leader’s wife is shown in labor, and he talks in voiceover about his fears regarding fatherhood.

From the perspective of someone who does not play World of Warcraft (and therefore a member of the broader audience that Jones is hoping to reach), this trailer for Warcraft was honestly not all that engaging. It’s possible that it was particularly geared towards a Comic-Con audience, who were likely to be more familiar with the source material, but it’s easy to imagine that the average moviegoer might be put off a little by the heavy fantasy tone and CG orcs. Judging purely by the response from the Hall H audience – which was nowhere near as enthused as the response to the Godzilla 2 teaser - it seems that I wasn’t alone in being slightly underwhelmed.

That’s not to say that mainstream audiences can’t be enticed into watching weird movies – Guardians of the Galaxy is an example of a film whose humor and well-cut trailers have managed to balance out the fact that it has a talking raccoon and a sentient tree in it. Right now, however, Warcraft looks to be in need of a similarly grounding element, or it will risk being a fan-pleaser that fails to reach beyond its built-in audience.

Warcraft is set for release on March 11th, 2016.

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  1. So? Dawn of the planet of Warcraft? lol. Either way this sounds like a step in the right direction for videogame adaptations.

  2. This is going to start a wave of Game to film adaptations done properly! The footage sounds awesome about time we got a proper fantasy film!

    Can’t wait for this want to see some on screen magic going all out. There’s no creativity left in the film industry and it’s good to see things like this being made! I hope it does well, because frankly I’m sick of Marvel and Superhero films!

    There’s needs to be a new change.

    • These kinds of changes are like oil tankers man, a long time to get up to speed and a long time to stop.

      It’s taken since about 2000 to get to this quality of Superhero film. Don’t expect it to come to a complete stop till Marvel is burned out. Also, expect it to take just as long for the game film to get up to speed, maybe longer given that hero films had always been pretty successful while game adaptations have always been mostly crap.

  3. well Gambit, since your sick of Marvel they should just close the doors!!
    This sounds like a JOKE and it wont even get all of the WoW gamers to go see it! It really sucks for Duncan Jones but it sounds as though he should have picked a different and more well known property to Dir. cuz this might just ensure that he will be directing small budget and ind. films for the rest of his career! Too bad cause I liked Moon. But this just sounds SILLY and to me, this just wreaks of NO CREATIVITY! Its a GOD D**N GAME, and THAT is being creative to you Gambit? if so then I think you need to look the word up! Marvel is BY FAR MORE CREATIVE than this… at least they are using their OWN property and adapting that, and not some silly ass game played by 38 year old virgins in moms basement.

    • Is your mom dying of cancer?

      • isn’t that u ?

    • Nobody is going to take you seriously with comments like this. Since it is so clear that you seem to just be a World of Warcraft hater.

      You don’t have to go see it. You seem to know NOTHING about the film industry if you’re going to take what this article says as fact. Which it sounds like you’re doing. It’s one viewers opinion.

      The CGI wasn’t even completed but they wanted to have something to show. Who knows whether it will work or not. What does it matter? If the movie has average success it will pave the way for more video game adaptations. If you’re a fan of video games you should want that, even non-video game fans should want that because there are a lot of rich worlds and stories to tap into.

      Grow up and go find something better to do with your time.

      • +1

  4. Oh look, yet another trailer impressions of some people to sell a movie that has slim chances to grab money. At this point they try hard to knock in the non gamers doors to get some attention not building hype around geeks.

  5. I suspect its more along the lines of a general feeling of apathy towards World of Warcraft. The only people still clinging to that game are people who continue to play because they fear missing out on something if they don’t, that and all the years they wasted for their in game status is more value to them then reality.

    I played it for a few years but the game doesn’t interest me at all. Nor does a s***** movie based on the game which is what most of them turn out to be.

    • The ignorance in this comment…

      This is a movie of the original acclaimed RTS series, NOT World of Warcraft. It’s the same timeline and lore but not the same game.

      I’m sorry you are so salty over your WoW experience.

    • So did you play Warcraft 3 or WoW? Because WoW is garbage by comparison and a totally different TYPE of game….this is based on the RTS games not the MMORPG.

  6. It will never be the next Lord of the Rings.
    I don’t see it being the next D&D, because it actually has someone who cares about the source material behind it.
    It could, however, very well be the next John Carter.

  7. now ive never been a fan of Warcraft, in fact i dont play PC games but is Warcraft kind of like Skyrim and does anyone think it will be similar to the lord of the rings and the hobbit?

    • Warcraft isn’t like Skyrim; this movie is based off of the original RTS “Warcraft” series, which started with “Orcs & Humans” – the game whose story is the basis of the film.

      World of Warcraft is (was?) something like the 6th or 7th addition in the series, where it transitioned from RTS RPG into an MMO RPG. Somewhat cartoony/steampunk graphics, open world but set within the confines of the game’s mechanics. Combat is based on cooldown abilities and casting with a target, rather than hack’n’slash without. At release it was groundbreaking, and even now it remains the most popular MMO game in the world and despite what you might read in the salty comments here, shows no real signs of slowing down or heading the way of the dodo.

      Finally, the storyline is very different from Lord of the Rings (although naturally some stylistic inspirations where drawn by the devs here and there, yet they are relatively few). The hint with Warcraft is in its name – it’s primarily about the continuing, endless war between two factions (Alliance and Horde) and other entities/galactic evils that interfere and threaten their way of life (the Burning Legion, the Old Gods, the Lich King, etc), contrasted to LOTR which is more about the narrative of the Hobbits. There is a video link in Aknot’s comment below that goes into way deeper detail, if you have the time. Hopefully this helps somewhat.

      • thanks for the post…doesnt really sound like my kind of game but i love sci fi and fantasy action films like the hobbit, LOTR, avatar so id prolly like this film and it has a great cast so i look forward to it

  8. POSSIBLE SPOILERS….. /rolls eyes

    Its a decent watch if you have 41 mins….


  9. It’s still too early to judge since they are still working on things so I will wait until the full length trailer comes out to really judge

  10. What a waste of time and money guna make a movie from a computer game diablo is a no brainer classic good vs evil, sigh instead we get this bs. Sorry folks LeRoy Jenkins aint guna save this movie