Source Code director Duncan Jones' Warcraft video game adaptation is far enough along to have gained a leading man - Vikings star Travis Fimmel - and a list of potential leads, which include Colin Farrell and Paula Patton. We also know that screenwriter Charles Leavitt (Seventh Son) is basing the film's storyline on the first two real-time strategy Warcraft games, Orcs & Humans and Tides of Darkness. The film is set to begin production in January 2014 for a release in December 2015.
For such a relatively high-stakes potential blockbuster, we know quite a lot about Warcraft - as opposed to the secrecy surrounding similarly high-profile 2015 projects such as Batman Vs. Superman and Star Wars: Episode VII. Now, we have more information about Warcraft coming out of the just-wrapped BlizzCon 2013: some new plot details a batch of concept art, courtesy of Kotaku.
During a Q&A with Jones and his special-effects supervisor supervisor Bill Westenhofer (an Oscar winner for Life of Pi and The Golden Compass), Jones talked about his initial reaction upon reading the first draft of the script, which put too much emphasis on the human Alliance. It appears that Jones wanted an equal amount of time focused on the Orcs, saying “It’s about both sides. It’s going to be red and blue.”
After speculating about the rumored plot details, we have a solid storyline (which we already basically knew):
It's the story of Anduin Lothar versus Durotan, Human and Orc heroes from the original real-time strategy games.
Along with the recently cast Travis Fimmel (with Farrell and Patton still in a holding pattern as far as we know), we've heard about a possible of shortlist of actors for supporting roles - Paul Dano (Prisoners), Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) and Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels). With the start of production coming so soon, Jones was asked if he has all his actors locked. His only response to that was "Yup!" He did, however, reflect on the difficulty of casting the Orc leader:
"It's been hard to find an actor who looks like Durotan," said Jones. "Every time I meet an actor I just try to squish his face."
As for Westenhofer, he's a long-time player of the Warcraft games and likened the tone of the film to Gladiator, stating: “The swords that are being built are the biggest swords a human being can wield.” Which sounds suitably epic.
Along with these details, we also have some concept art. Here is a rendition of Draenor, the home of the Orcs:
This is Dalaran, a magical floating city:
You can also see Ironforge, the city of Dwarves (behind the panelists):
And finally, Stormwind, the center of the human Alliance:
Video game movies have proven to be the one genre that eludes Hollywood in terms of both critical and commercial success, but this could soon change. We here at Screen Rant have maintained that video game movies could be the next breakout genre - like comic book movies were in the past decade. The Assassin’s Creed movie has attracted A-list talent in the form of Michael Fassbender and The Wolverine‘s Oscar-nominated screenwriter Scott Frank, with Duncan Jones and his creative team easily on the same level.
An impressive attention to detail appears to be going into the making of Warcraft and while Peter Jackson has set the bar for high fantasy good and high with his Lord of the Rings trilogy and the on-going prequel series The Hobbit, Warcraft might just be able to surpass it. Expect more news - including casting confirmations - to surface in the weeks leading up to the start of production.
Warcraft is slated to open in theaters on December 18, 2015.