Today marks the commencement of 2014's San Diego Comic-Con, and along with it the annual mid-summer deluge of news, previews, and teases of blockbusters to come. Driving that point home, Marvel and Warner Bros. have both come out swinging with (respectively) announcements of new projects on the horizon, posters for Ant-Man (and The Avengers: Age of Ultron alike), and the grand reveal of Ben Affleck's costume for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. All of this, and it's only Thursday morning.
But if the major studios are already getting busy on the convention floor, smaller brands are preparing their own return salvos to remind crowds that they're in the game, too - like Legendary, the company behind Warcraft, Duncan Jones' big screen interpretation of Blizzard's colossally popular Warcraft franchise. As some of us predicted, Legendary has come to San Diego bearing gifts for fans of the fantasy series (and Jones' body of work to date): first looks at the film's design work, as seen in a trio of props, and, most of all, the picture's very first title treatment.
If you've played any of the Warcraft games - whether Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, the RTS joint that started it all, or the colossally popular MMO World of Warcraft - there's a better than decent chance you'll recognize some of the armaments Legendary has made for Jones' movie. If, on the other hand, you've never popped a Hearthstone, raided Naxxramas, gone straight up the tech ladder to Gryphon Riders, or laughed at a Kael'thas meme, then the weapons won't have as much cachet for you, but they still look pretty darn nifty.
Scroll on down to see for yourself:
These hand-made beauties (that's right, hand-made) are characterized as follows, from left to right:
- Doomhammer - A savage orc weapon unleashed in the name of the Horde
- Dragon Sword - This gleaming blade is wielded in the name of the Alliance
- Lion Shield - Symbol of the strength of Azeroth
Note the great detail poured into all three weapons; reflecting the design palette of the games, there's a wide gap in the visual identity of the arms wielded by the Alliance (a faction comprised of traditionally "good" fantasy races) and the Horde (a faction comprised of traditionally "evil" fantasy races, though in Blizzard's vision they're actually misunderstood). Hopefully the excellent craftsmanship on each extends to the rest of production design, too.
It's worth pointing out that the Doomhammer is actually the ancestral weapon of Thrall, one of the orcish heroes of the game. While there has been no confirmation of Thrall's involvement in the film as of yet, the appearance of Doomhammer in Legendary's showcase could be read as a serious tell; maybe we'll see if the hint bears fruit (or not) as SDCC plows ahead.
Also seen in that image: that aforementioned Warcraft logo. You can get a pretty good glimpse of it just by looking at the weapons display, but for a closer look, draw your gaze downward (and click the link for a larger version):
At a glance, this actually looks remarkably similar to Blizzard's Starcraft logo in terms of the font type and color scheme; it's practically futuristic, at least if you ignore the smoldering upper halves of each letter. The burnt veneer applied here screams "Warcraft" far more pronouncedly than the sleeker sheen beneath, but as far as initial treatments go, this is a solid start. Hopefully, Legendary has much more to unleash on the Comic-Con crowds in the coming days.
Warcraft arrives on March 11th, 2016.