Video game-based movies have had a rough history, but Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones - son of the Goblin King himself, David Bowie - aims to change that with the film adaptation of Warcraft, based on the beloved real-time strategy series and MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) game, set to release on March 11, 2016.
Thankfully, the production has been proceeding rather swimmingly, with filming having completed a little over a week ago, allotting Jones' and crew 20 months to work on post-production. That means this film is going to have some serious sheen on it. Post-production is when the score, visual effects, and all the editing is completed, and Legendary Pictures granting this much time would seem to indicate they have a lot of faith in the production.
...but I digress! Because the best part about filming completing is that anyone interviewed has more beans to spill, and Ben Foster (3:10 to Yuma, Lone Survivor) just gave us some juicy new info in an interview with IGN, including who he will be playing!
*****WARNING: CAST AND STORY SPOILERS FOLLOW*****
"The character in Warcraft that I play is named Medivh. He's a mage, which is essentially a sorcerer. He came up in a time protecting an area, and the way he protected this area was through magic. As peace returned to this land he took a break. He hung up his staff, so to speak, or let his guns get dusty. We meet him as his friends are returning asking for his help in a battle."
Foster also expounded on the film's themes:
"What's exciting about Duncan Jones' take on this video game is that it shows both sides of the war. It shows both sides of a conflict, which is exciting to me. It's not just a video game turned into a movie. It's asking, hopefully, an important question of, where do we limit our compassion for what we consider to be the bad guys?"
And the advances this film will be making in visual effects:
"The way that they're pushing motion-capture -- I just saw some of the test footage -- it's unlike anything I've ever seen. It's performance-capture. It pushes it to the next level. It's going to be one helluva 3D event."
Lastly, Foster clarified whether Medivh would be a live-action role or CG:
"No, mine's not, but there are interactions with a lot of characters that are. There are a lot of different kinds of creatures in this picture that I interact with."
Well, this is an exciting and substantial amount of information. First off, the character of Medivh is incredibly vital to Warcraft lore, and his inclusion in the narrative gives us a strong direction of where the movie will take us as well as the trail it is blazing for the ongoing franchise.
Here's an excerpt on Medivh from the WoWWiki:
*****WARNING: POTENTIAL STORY SPOILERS FOLLOW*****
Magus Medivh was the last Guardian of Tirisfal, an ancient line of protectors bestowed with great powers to do battle with the agents of the Burning Legion. He was corrupted even before birth, and possessed by the spirit of the demonlord Sargeras who used Medivh in his plan to conquer Azeroth. Medivh contacted the orcish warlock, Gul'dan, and together they opened the Dark Portal, which allowed the Burning Legion to begin its destruction of Azeroth. He was slain shortly after by a party led by one of his friends, Lothar.
Shortly before the beginning of the Third War, Medivh returned as a mysterious prophet, manipulating events in order to arrange the formation of a last-ditch alliance between the mortal races on Kalimdor, guiding them to victory at the Battle of Mount Hyjal.
So, as you can see, Medivh is a huge catalyst for some major events down the road, and his inclusion would seem to indicate the Burning Legion will also be integral to the plot - Heck! I could see this synopsis being the plot of the entire first film. If you don't know who they are, and you really want to, WoWWiki is here to save the day, again!
The Burning Legion, also known as the "great burning shadow", the Legion of the Lower Planes, or simply The Legion, is a vast, innumerable army of demons, infernals, and corrupted races who seek to destroy any trace of order in the universe. They have thrice invaded Azeroth and were only beaten back at a terrible cost. Much of Azeroth's history — including the First, Second, and Third War — were due to the Legion's influence. It can be said that the Legion is Azeroth's nemesis; it corrupted the orcs who then invaded Azeroth, created the Lich King, and is the source of most of Azeroth's scars.
Well, they sound like a homely bunch, and with their potential inclusion - Medivh has always been tied to the Burning Legion, it's a safe bet they'll feature to some extent - I think it's safe to say this movie is going to have no shortage of ambition. If director Duncan Jones is able to handle it right, this could be the decade's big fantasy franchise.
It's also reassuring to know that in spite of the grand scope of it all Jones' is still focused on making the small-scale, personal, human side of it all work, opting to humanize both sides of the film's main conflict. After all, if audiences can't empathize with the characters on screen, the human drama, all the bombast and visual flair in the Hollywood can't save a film. I'm glad Jones understands this, as he's proven with previous features Moon and Source Code.
Either way, let me know what you think of all this in the comments below, and what familiar faces from Azeroth you'd like to see in Warcraft!
Warcraft releases in the US on March 11, 2016.