The Warcraft community is all abuzz with news that the Warcraft movie, announced at Blizzcon back in 2006, once again has a director. The movie has had many ups and downs. some of the perceived downs likely resulting from the fact Blizzard announced the movie to the massive audience of World of Warcraft players, which peaked at over 12 million players. Many of the players don’t understand how long it can take to get a movie from the ‘let’s do this’ step to the finished on screen product.
I am sure our listeners in the movie business can tell you this can take years, and many prospective titles have died a slow death in this limbo. When you add to this the roller coaster of the names linked and then unlinked with the project, you can see why folks have grown cynical that we will ever see this movie in theaters. Robert Rodat was going to write, but then he wasn’t, and now Charles Leavitt is. Sam Raimi was going to direct it, then he couldn’t because of other commitments. Now we have Duncan Jones directing, and that renewed hope for the movie to get done soon.
This is, of course, beyond all the dream casting that every news and fan site in the world has done at length. Folks have been picking who they would want in the roles of certain characters, if they were to make it into the story told, since hours after its announcement. I don’t want to try to cast the movie, instead I want to take a look at what I think would make it work, or be a flop, once it is done.
The first thing that the folks in the production of the movie need to do is include characters in the story that players of the games will know. I am not saying to include Varian, Jaina, Arthas and all the characters we have seen so often, but I think people need to see characters they know. In order for this to be a blockbuster, at least one the players of Warcraft titles will support, we need characters we will recognize, from the games or the lore. I will not mind writing a piece explaining where we know a character from, but I need to be able to know the character to do so.
I do not think they will write the movie in the future timeline of Azeroth, or to cover any content in the current game we are playing. However, they could write the story about content between expansions, or to cover events mentioned in passing, but not experienced in WoW. I would actually encourage them to avoid stories and events that we have seen in any of the games, because I think people will have less desire to see a movie based on game events they already played through.
If the events are ones we have not seen before, with characters we recognize and have history with, it will encourage the maximum number of players to get into the theaters to see the movie, and experience the new story in a very different way than we are used to. I know for sure that I would be more interested in seeing a story in movie form that I have not seen before, and the mentions of the movie by Blizzard seem to agree with this thinking.
A few people I have talked to have expressed concern about what they can cover that will not have retcon or continuity issues with the official lore from Blizzard, but we have to remember that there are lots of stories in the Azerothian universe that we have not seen in game. They could take a story from the books, though those are fairly heavily weighted in the lore and changes that tend to happen in movies could cause a blacklash similar to, or worse than the ‘Draenei retcon’ furor against the movie’s Executive Producer, Chris Metzen.
There is the tale of Turalyon and Alleria, which ended for those who have read the lore when they went through a portal on Outlands, that they could tell, and that could lead to their reappearance in the world, and game. There is the further tales of Medivh, because many of the events in his life have not really been chronicled, not to mention the stuff that happened to him after his beheading. I could go on, but the number of stories we have heard of, but not seen or experienced are innumerable and have a lot of potential for the Warcraft movie.
What stories or events would you like to see told in the Warcraft, the Movie?