Warcraft (film)

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Warcraft movie logo.jpg
Official film logo
Directed by
Produced by
Written by

Charles Leavitt
Chris Metzen

Music by
Editing by
Distributed by

Warner Bros. (formerly)
Universal Studios (proposed)

Release dates(s)

March 11, 2016[1]

Running time

120 to 150 minutes[2]


United States




Expected to top $100 million[3]

Warcraft is an upcoming fantasy epic film based on the Warcraft series and set on the world of Azeroth. It is planned to be released on March 11, 2016.[1] It is expected to be rated PG-13.[4] Following a 123 day shoot from Jan 20 through May 23, the film is currently in post production.[5]


The film is set in the era of the First War, and stars Anduin Lothar of Stormwind and Durotan of the Frostwolf clan. The two were chosen because they both represent the ideals of their races.[6] Strong female characters are also to feature.[4]

Concept artwork of Draenor, Ironforge, Dalaran, and Stormwind City were shown, implying they all may make at least some sort of appearance.[6] Lion's Pride Inn and Elwynn Forest will appear.[4] A piece of concept art depicting the construction of the Dark Portal in the wastes of Tanaan was given to a fan at San Diego Comic Con 2014.[7]

Chris Metzen has compared the film to Marvel Comics' Ultimate line, in that the broad story is what fans know and love but the details are different.[6] The Ultimate line is non-canon for the core Marvel universe per the Marvel wiki, so therefore the film is not canon for the core Warcraft universe.[8] The movie has been described as a war story, but one told from the viewpoints of both sides.[4]

Cast and crew



  • Director - Duncan Jones[13]
  • Executive Producer - Stuart Fenegan[14]
  • Co-Producer - Chris Metzen[15]
  • Producer - Charles Roven[14]
  • Producer - Alex Gartner[14]
  • Producer - Thomas Tull[14]
  • Producer - Jon Jashni[14]
  • Writer - Charles Leavitt[14]
  • Visual Effects Supervisor - Bill Westenhofer[16]


In a May 9, 2006 press release, Blizzard Entertainment and Legendary Pictures (makers of Batman Begins and 300) announced that they will develop a live-action film set in the Warcraft universe. Legendary Pictures has acquired the movie rights for the game universe, and both companies are now focused on translating the Warcraft experience to the big screen.[17][18][19]

New details about the movie were reveled at BlizzCon 2007.[2][20]

On July 22, 2009, Blizzard Entertainment announced that Sam Raimi would become the Warcraft movie director. Sam Raimi is the famed director for the blockbuster series, Spider-Man, and has generated 5 Academy Awards nominations in his career. Raimi also wrote and directed the cult classic The Evil Dead and its two sequels, and produced 30 Days of Night. He also recently wrote and directed the thriller Drag Me To Hell. In addition to film, Raimi has worked in television, producing such fantasy series as Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.[15]

The live-action film was set for release in 2009, but was later rescheduled to 2011.[21]

Uwe Boll attempted to apply for the job of director, from which Blizzard CEO Paul Sams replied "We will not sell the movie rights, not to you…especially not to you."[22]

According to IMDB, the manuscript writer will be Chris Metzen. (Jesse Wigutow was mentioned, but has been removed).[23] IMDB information on pre-release movies should be taken as suspect, though. IMDB generally only removes false information if someone reports it.

According to Mike Morhaime, there is a draft script.[24] Chris Metzen mentioned that the film will be action-packed and violent, stating "We're definitely not going to make a G or a PG version of this. It's not PillowfightCraft."[20]

During Blizzcon 2010, Chris Metzen said that they have the story ready and that Raimi and his team have agreed to it and that Blizzard is just "waiting for the big green light in the sky". Nethaera said in March 2012 that "It's still on the radar. We just don't have any current updates to provide."[25]

During Comic Con 2012 Sam Raimi confirmed that the Warcraft film moved on, due to Raimi's unavailability. "Actually, they don't have me directing World of Warcraft anymore because when I took the Oz job, they had to move on to another director," Raimi said. "They had to start making it."[26] Later Raimi explained that he and Robert Rodat were working on the script for a long time. He read a screenplay written by Blizzard, and it didn't quite work for him. Raimi told them he wanted to make my his original story with Robert, so they pitched it to Legendary and they accepted it, and then we pitched it to Blizzard, and they had reservations, but they accepted it. After Robert wrote the screenplay, they realized that Blizzard had veto power. Blizzward didn't approve this story, and they wanted to go a different way.[27]

On August 2, 2012 the studio announced that they've hired writer Charles Leavitt to pen the screenplay. Leavitt has already written one fantasy film for Legendary, The Seventh Son, which is due for release in October 2013. Meanwhile, Activision Blizzard President Bobby Kotick, who has thus far been hesitant about adapting his company's games into movies, issued a statement saying that if its "important to Blizzard, it's important to me. They're very excited about having a World of Warcraft film," Kotick told Variety. Kotick continued, "They've been very careful and thoughtful about the development process... I just think [Legendary founder and CEO] Thomas Tull has such a great track record. If there's someone we want to do business with, he's at the top of the list."[28]

On January 30, 2013, Duncan Jones—director of Source Code—was announced as the new director.[13] In May 2013 producer Charles Roven told Slash Film that Warcraft is currently planned to shoot in early 2014. "First quarter 2014 we're going to shoot that movie."[29]

Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros ended their partnership on June 24, 2013, but the film shouldn't suffer delays from this situation.[30] Thomas Tull, CEO of Legendary and producer of the movie, mentioned on July 1, 2013 that the script is not finished yet, because they "absolutely don't want to screw it up", a reference to that most movies based on video games have poor reviews.[31]

A teaser for the film was shown at San Diego Comic-Con on July 20, 2013.[32]

In August 2013, it was announced that Legendary Pictures would present the film to Universal Studios in the upcoming months. It is up to Universal whether the film will be distributed.[33] It was announced later in the month that filming will begin in January of the following year.[34] Much of the film's production will take place in Vancouver.[35]

Casting started in late September 2013, with Colin Farrell and Paula Patton offered lead roles,[36] and with Paul Dano, Anton Yelchin, Travis Fimmel, and Anson Mount in talks for other roles.[37]

On October 1, 2013 a release date for the movie was announced: December 18, 2015.[38]

On November 9, 2013, during the 2nd day of BlizzCon 2013 there was a full hour panel featuring director Duncan Jones along with Chris Metzen & Rob Pardo about the movie.[39][40]

On December 4, 2013, Legendary Pictures made a cast reveal: Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Toby Kebbell, and Rob Kazinsky would star in the movie.[9]

On December 19, 2013, Legendary Pictures revealed that Daniel Wu & Clancy Brown would join the cast.[12]

Plot development

Early development

The film was originally set in the era of Warcraft: Orcs and Humans. This was scrapped, however, as there were notions that it would be too similar to Lord of the Rings and that Warcraft had reached its current level of popularity through its MMORPG, rather than the previous RTS games.[2]

The movie was later said to be set one year prior to World of Warcraft, primarily told from the Alliance's point of view. Characters such as Cairne Bloodhoof, Thrall, Sylvanas Windrunner, and Bolvar Fordragon would be likely to make appearances.[2] At BlizzCon 2007, Chris Metzen said that the main character was set to be a new hero described as a "kick-ass Human" and an "Anti-Thrall",[41][42] but not Varian Wrynn.[43]

Metzen also stated clearly that lore would be bent for the sake of the film.[42]

If the film works out the producers would be excited to continue the story. A trilogy hasn't been ruled out. Metzen has teased many trilogies if they put their mind to it. Additionally, they are hoping for a TV series in the same vein as Game of Thrones if the film is successful.[4]

Concept art of Teldrassil was released in relation to the film, hinting that at least some of the film takes place there, and perhaps by extension, in Darnassus. Blizzard artists, such as Wei Wang, contributed over 4,000 art pieces for the film.[4]

BlizzCon 2013

BlizzCon 2013 featured an entire panel on the movie. They revealed that the story was going to be around the time of Warcraft 1, and that the focus was going to be on Anduin Lothar and Durotan, as they felt it was important to portray both the Alliance and Horde. Concept art was shown of Dalaran, Stormwind, Ironforge, and Draenor.[40]


The June to November period of 2013 was focused on pre-production. Half the cast is live-action actors and the other half are motion-capture technology based actors. Real costumes will be crafted for the actors performing with motion-capture technology to have photographic references for the animations. Physical props will be used in the case of Elwynn Forest and the weapons used by human characters.[4] Duncan Jones has likened the film's use of CGI as being "somewhere between Planet of the Apes, Fellowship of the Ring and Avatar.[44]

Production of the film is being documented as it progresses. Jones is hoping for a "the making of"-type book or "behind the scenes" DVD feature.

The music of the film is being designed to be true to the game series's soundtracks.

The Orcish language will be developed for the movie by a linguist who also worked on the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and Avatar.[4]


  • Easter eggs referencing the film will be placed inside the World of Warcraft game series.[4]
  • Clancy Brown, who plays Blackhand, previously worked on the Warcraft franchise in the canceled game Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans, where he voiced Thrall.




  1. ^ a b @Warcraft on Twitter
  2. ^ a b c d BlizzCon 2007: New Details of the Warcraft Movie. IGN (2007-08-04).
  3. ^ Alex Ben Block 2013-06-24. Warner Bros., Legendary End Talks to Renew Pact. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on 2013-06-25.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i BlizzCon 2013 – The Warcraft Movie Panel Details in a Nutshell
  5. ^ @ManMadeMoon on Twitter
  6. ^ a b c BLizzCOn 2013 Movie Panel
  7. ^ a b c Jim Vejvoda 2014-07-26. SDCC 2014: Duncan Jones Gives Fans Their First Look at Warcraft. IGN. Retrieved on 2015-02-20.
  8. ^ Marvel Canon
  9. ^ a b c d e Twitter / Legendary: WARCRAFT movie fans! Cast reveal... (2013-12-04). Retrieved on 2013-12-05.
  10. ^ @Legendary on Twitter
  11. ^ a b c d e f BlizzCon 2014 - Warcraft Movie Presentation
  12. ^ a b c Twitter / Legendary: #WarcraftMovie update! Daniel ... (2013-12-19). Retrieved on 2013-12-19.
  13. ^ a b Warcraft Movie Update: Director Signed!
  14. ^ a b c d e f 'Warcraft' Movie Lands 'Source Code' Director (Exclusive). The Hollywood Reporter (2013-01-30). Retrieved on 2013-01-31.
  16. ^ Medievaldragon 2013-04-25. Legendary Pictures and Blizzard Entertainment Welcome Visual Effects Supervisor Bill Westenhofer. Blizzplanet.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-03.
  17. ^ http://www.blizzard.com/press/060509.shtml
  18. ^ Warcraft Movie Announced. IGN (2006-05-08).
  19. ^ Game Maker to Put Product on Big Screen. New York Times (2006-05-09).
  20. ^ a b Warcraft Movie Details Revealed At BlizzCon. Kotaku (2007-08-05). Retrieved on 2013-12-05.
  21. ^ Medievaldragon 2009-10-12. Sam Raimi Announces Robert Rodat as Warcraft Film writer. Retrieved on 2009-10-18.
  22. ^ Shawn Adler 2008-04-18. Uwe Boll Won't Ever Be Entering The World Of Warcraft. Retrieved on 2009-06-01.
  23. ^ Warcraft (2016) - IMDb.
  24. ^ Chris Faylor 2008-10-28. Warcraft Movie Not Expected in 2009, Still Needs 'A Lot of Work'. Retrieved on 2009-02-24. “I don't know about the 2009 date, but it is still something we are very excited about," Blizzard president Mike Morhaime responded when asked about the film. "We do have a draft of a script, it isn't final," he added. "I think we still need to do a lot of work.”
  25. ^ http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/4175551752#10
  26. ^ Comic Con 2012 Exclusive: Sam Raimi Won't Direct the World of Warcraft Movie
  27. ^ Sam Raimi Reveals Why He Departed the Warcraft Film
  28. ^ K-PAX Scribe to Pen World of Warcraft
  29. ^ Legendary Plans First Quarter 2014 Shoot for ‘Warcraft’
  30. ^ Medievaldragon 2013-06-25. Breaking News: Legendary Pictures and Warner Bros End Partnership, Warcraft Film Continues. Blizzplanet. Retrieved on 2013-06-25.
  31. ^ Charlie Jane Anders 2013-07-01. How World of Warcraft Could Break the “Sucky Video Game Movie” Curse. io9. Retrieved on 2013-07-03.
  32. ^ SDCC 2013 – Legendary Entertainment Duncan Jones Reveals Warcraft Film Teaser (2013-07-20). Retrieved on 2013-07-21.
  33. ^ Mark Julian 2013-08-17. World of Warcraft movie moves to Universal. Video Game Films. Retrieved on 2015-02-20.
  34. ^ Luke Karmali 2013-08-29. Warcraft Movie to Start Filming in January 2014. IGN. Retrieved on 2015-02-20.
  35. ^ World of Warcraft film to shoot in Vancouver[broken link]
  36. ^ Colin Farrell and Paula Patton Up for WARCRAFT Leads. Collider (2013-09-22). Retrieved on 2013-09-24.
  37. ^ Paul Dano, Anton Yelchin, Travis Fimmel, and Anson Mount on the Short List for WARCRAFT. Collider (2013-09-23). Retrieved on 2013-09-24.
  38. ^ @Warcraft on Twitter
  39. ^ Warcraft movie slated for discussion at BlizzCon. WoW Insider (2013-10-18). Retrieved on 2013-12-05.
  40. ^ a b Warcraft Movie Presentation. MMO-Champion (2013-11-09). Retrieved on 2013-12-05.
  41. ^ Legendary Pictures - World of Warcraft Film Blizzcon video (2007-08-14). Retrieved on 2013-12-05.
  42. ^ a b Blizzcon 07 Legendary Pictures panel
  43. ^ Amanda Rivera 2007-08-04. Liveblogging the BlizzCon movie panel. WoW Insider. Retrieved on 2015-02-20.
  44. ^ Warcraft Film – Duncan Jones Says CGI is a tool that can be done well. Blizzplanet (2015-02-20). Retrieved on 2015-02-20.

External links

News sites