Two films slated for arrival in 2016 - Warcraft and Assassin's Creed - aim to kickoff the long-awaited video game movie genre renaissance - by doing justice by the intricate mythologies and complex story elements that've long made the original game properties popular among gamers, on the big screen and in live-action. The filmmakers behind both of these projects have been working closely alongside the source games' original developers (Blizzard and Ubisoft, respectively), providing all the more reason for these games' fans to remain hopeful about how their cinematic adaptations will turn out.
Warcraft, for example, is being co-written and directed by acclaimed cult sci-fi filmmaker Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) - who previously unveiled official casting and character details for the movie at the 2014 BlizzCon; Blizzard Entertainment's big annual gaming convention. The 2015 BlizzCon kicks off this Friday, November 6th, and the first Warcraft trailer will drop online in coordination with the event.
Legendary and Universal Pictures have confirmed the launch date for the first official Warcraft trailer (through the official #WarcraftMovie Twitter account), in conjunction with the release of a new poster for the film. You can check out the one-sheet, below:
— #WarcraftMovie (@warcraftmovie) November 2, 2015
The Warcraft movie screenplay, as crafted by Jones and Charles Levitt (Blood Diamond, Seventh Son), draws heavily from the storyline for the 1994 game Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and revolves around the war between two factions in the movie's fantasy setting: The Alliance (humans) and The Horde (orcs). Warcraft has thus been described as a tentpole that resembles the 2014 sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, in the way that it uses genre tropes (here, swords and sorcery) to explore a timely narrative and themes about warring tribes residing in the same place - something referenced by the film's poster tagline, "Two Worlds. One Home".
In terms of its artistic qualities, Warcraft has a good deal of potential - and based on the details about and images of the film's cutting-edge visual effects released thus far, it seems that Jones and his many collaborators may deliver on that promise. However, while such fantasy epics as Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit have become massive commercial successes over these past ten to fifteen years, the concern is that Warcraft's mythology might be too esoteric and complicated for the film to recreate anywhere near the massive cross-over appeal of Peter Jackson's Middle-earth blockbusters.
The Warcraft footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con 2015 reportedly impressed pretty much everyone who saw it - though, even many of those same hardcore geek types have admitted that they struggled to keep up with all the terminology, names, and mythos that the preview tossed around. Hence, it will be up to the official Warcraft trailer to find a way of presenting fresh material from the film in a manner that's compelling, but also leaves Warcraft newcomers intrigued rather than scratching their heads in confusion.
Warcraft will feature actors in both costumed and motion-capture performances, with a talented cast that includes Travis Fimmel (Vikings), Robert Kazinsky (Pacific Rim), Dominic Cooper (Preacher), Ben Foster (Lone Survivor), Ben Schnetzer (The Book Thief), Ruth Negga (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.), Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), Toby Kebbel (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Clancy Brown (Sleepy Hollow), and Daniel Wu (The Man with the Iron Fists). Check back here on Friday to see many of them - and more - in action in the official Warcraft trailer!
Warcraft opens in U.S. theaters on June 10th, 2016.
Source: Legendary/Universal Pictures