In a new interview, Warcraft director Duncan Jones describes the film’s messy behind-the-scenes situation, revealing that the movie simply wasn’t very high up on Blizzard Entertainment’s priority list. Expectations weren’t exactly high heading into the film’s June 2016 release. Nearly ten years had passed since the project was first announced, and early buzz indicated that the adaptation hadn’t exactly been faithful to its source material, the hyper-popular MMORPG World of Warcraft.
Unfortunately, Warcraft ended up falling short of its already low bar, drawing scathing reviews that criticized its overly formulaic story and bland character work. The film did manage to pull in over $430 million worldwide, over 2.5x its reported $160 million budget. But because nearly 90% of its haul came in from outside the United States (studios actually receive a far lower percentage of the money earned in theaters outside the U.S.), Warcraft was ultimately a major disappointment at the box office as well.
Duncan Jones has spoken previously about his frustration with the final product and the production process behind it, but in a recent sitdown with the folks over at Coming Soon, he gets a bit more specific. Jones describes the turmoil behind-the-scenes as “a very messy political situation”, and understandably so. Originally announced as a joint venture between Blizzard Entertainment and Legendary Pictures, the latter company moved from Warner Bros. to Universal Pictures before being bought out by Wanda Group — all while Warcraft was being made. And judging from Jones’ comments, it’s not as if he had Blizzard in his corner, either:
As far as doing a big studio film, I think more communication upfront about what it is we hope the project will be and agreeing on that upfront. Warcraft was a unique circumstance with no way around it. Too many voices, only because that was the nature of Warcraft. Blizzard are a company making a billion dollars a year just off the games. The movie was small potatoes for them. It really wasn’t their priority. The game is how they pay their employees, not the movie. So for them the movie really had to serve the game, as opposed to the game and the film being separate things.
Any movie that changes hands multiple times during production is asking for trouble, but the news that Blizzard wasn’t more supportive of the director’s vision is pretty disappointing. Warcraft represented the game developer’s first foray onto the big screen, so the idea that they were more focused on the movie serving the game rather than, you know, making a decent movie, is troubling. It certainly doesn’t bold well for fans hoping to see a Warcraft 2, or cinematic adaptations of Blizzard’s other big franchises (Diablo, StarCraft, and Overwatch), that’s for sure.
Are you still interested in seeing a Warcraft sequel, regardless of Jones’ reveal? Sound off in the comments.
Source: Coming Soon
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