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Warcraft Movie In The Works? 122

Posted by Zonk
from the very-big-zug-zug dept.
The New York Times is reporting that World of Warcraft maker Blizzard plans to make a big-screen adaptation of its very popular gameworld. From the article: "Many details of the film deal remained unsettled or undisclosed on Monday, including the choice of director, cast, the planned release date and the exact budget (rarely a firm number in the movie business anyway). But Blizzard and Legendary appeared united in wanting the project to be a major departure from Hollywood's undistinguished record in turning games into films. 'We try to make big, epic, immersive games at Blizzard, and we have a track record of making some of the best games in the world,'" Paul Sams, Blizzard's chief operating officer, said in an interview. 'Similarly, our goal is to make one of the best films in the world. With Legendary, they have a creative and management team that is so attuned with us it was like we were separated at birth. We want to make a movie that will not only appeal to our existing fans, but will also bring in people that have never heard of Warcraft before.'"
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Warcraft Movie In The Works?

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  • How is this news? Blizard have been working on this project in secrecy for quite some time - there's even a clip [google.com] up at google video of short segment of the work.

    The animation is fantastic - far above what I thought modern PCs were capable of producing ;-)
  • by cheese-cube (910830) <cheese.cube@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @09:38AM (#15292566) Homepage
    ...just as long as it isn't directed by Uwe Boll.
    • ...just as long as it isn't directed by Uwe Boll.

      I just have no idea whether you'll be modded -1, Redundant or +5, Insightful. I'll bet on Redundant tho ;-)

    • ...just as long as it isn't directed by Uwe Boll.

      I for one would mod funny if I had the points, since that is exactly the phrase that popped in my head when I read the summary. I would hate to see all the wonderful memories that I have in association with Blizzard and their products to be tarnished by one of his hack-jobs.
  • The big, full-cast musical finale will be the runaway hit, "The Internet is for Porn".
    • Age of Aquarius (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by KlomDark (6370)
      Is that one of those things like the lame "Age of Aquarius" thing at the end of "The 40 Year Old Virgin"? WTF was that all about? The movie itself was hilarious, then it slams to a stop with a irrelevant ending where the whole cast starts dancing and singing some lame song. Some kind of self-referential movie producer humor that's only funny to other movie producers? Or what the hell was that for anyway? I wasted my time watching the whole thing waiting for some killer punch line to the end of it, but no,
  • by tapo (855172) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @09:39AM (#15292581) Homepage
    If you've seen the CGI movies to any of Blizzard's games, you know that their ability to create 3D animation is astounding. Not only that, but it seems to only improve with time. I honestly believe they could be the 'Pixar' of mature content films.

    Why would they go for live action if they're so talented at this?

    (Though it isn't my favorite, this is their introduction to Diablo II: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8694655550 618960777 [google.com])
    • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @09:54AM (#15292700) Homepage Journal
      The reception of "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" comes to mind. I liked that movie, but it performed so miserably that Square all but closed its Square Pictures division as a result. It's probably not a risk Blizzard wants to saddle itself with, when they can just throw it to someone who knows the film business yet keep enough creative control where the brand name isn't cheapened by a disaster of U** B*ll proportions.
      • This isn't a movie the non-gamer is going to go watch anyway. You might as well appeal to the 5 million or so that do play your game instead of turning half of them off immediately by making it live action.
      • Don't forget that Blizzard is owned by Vivendi/Universal, who knows a thing or two about producing movies.
      • There's one other significant thing about Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. It just plain sucked. The plot was a rehash of a rehash of a rehash without a single original aspect. Oh look, hacknied and completely unoriginal characters who act in steriotypical ways! What a great concept for a movie!

        The CG was the best thing about FF:TSW, and it really wasn't as great as what we can do now. But don't say that the Final Fantasy movie failed because it was CG, it failed because as a movie it was grade B cra
        • I don't think he was saying it failed be cause it was CG. I think he was saying it failed because it was directed by a games shop and not a movie studio (I still take issue with that as we can look and see that movie studios do no better when they tackle video games).
      • I've heard repeatedly that the reception to FF:TSW shows that the time is not yet ripe for full CGI movies to be taken seriously.

        I saw FF:TSW, and frankly, that only proves to me that
        a) sadly, Hollywood is right in the fact that when their prices to see a movie run into the $50/couple range, few people will 'risk' that on an unknown, preferring to see Rocky XVIII.
        b) FF:TSW wasn't that good.

        Ultimately, content will win out. The question is, does someone have enough deep pockets and patience to wait to see t
    • "If you've seen the CGI movies to any of Blizzard's games, you know that their ability to create 3D animation is astounding. Not only that, but it seems to only improve with time. I honestly believe they could be the 'Pixar' of mature content films."

      Given Blizzard's track record for censorship, that is the funniest thing I've heard stated about Warcraft in weeks.
    • The original Myth bridge sequences, in simple stylized animated style, were elegant and well-made, and had a real cinematic feel. Their level narratives were wonderfully paced, and the soundtracks to the Myth games were good enough to be sold separately.

      Bungie's ham-fisted. Just listen to the voice acting on, say, Warcraft II, and tell me it wasn't painful. No way can that stand up to an hour and a half at theater volumes. I could hardly stand it for thirty seconds at a time in the game, just to hear the

    • You have to remember that Blizzard, or any game company, only have to make CG sequences that are a few minutes long (I dont know how long, but I bet it's less than 25 minutes). They don't have the time to put into crafting a long cinema, then rendering it. I believe that most of the reason that Pixar's animation of the same calibre, besides for the 'CG' look and feel that they want their movies to have, is that they are trying to make a 120-160 minute movie. You have to put in much more time into even ju
    • I agree completely. Why hire actors.. or CGI for that matter? Why not just take an actual WoW character, name him Illidan, and traipse around Norrath re-enacting the WoW books???

      I miss those characters.. *sniff*

    • Becuse they game games not movies, they don't have enough people to work on that.
  • by Kranfer (620510)
    While I know this project has been in the works for awhile, I am wondering, though, if it will actually do any good at the box office. I would go see it, because I would personally expect it to be good, but the world of warcraft is huge, there is so much of it I would want to see, and characters from the game I would want to see acted out that I do not think they would be able to appeal to all gamers who enjoy the world. But that is just me. I would be happy with anything I suppose.
    • Let's see. If every reported subscriber goes to see this movie...

      6 million * $8 = $48 million dollars.

      So if they can produce the movie for $30 million, they'd do quite well. :-)

      • Hell, MI3 only cracked $48m it's opening weekend.

        Plus, if the Warcraft movie opens against weak movies, people will see it because there's nothing else out.
  • by DarkFencer (260473) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @09:41AM (#15292596)
    In related news, Blizzard has announced that tickets to the show will only be available in 'raid' and 'mini-raid' packages of 40 and 20 tickets respectively. Fans going alone will only see the first 30 minutes of the movie.
    • The movie will also only be available for viewing at peak times, due to lack of people who see movies at 2am on a tuesday. Repeated viewings are discouraged, and moviegoers will only be able to see it once per week, any repeated viewings are a violation of the terms of service.
  • As though elfs and orcs are the sole commercial property of the Tolkein estate.

    Frankly, even if the broader constructs of WoW are "Tolkeinesque," I look forward to anything that even trys to be as good as the LOTR films were.

    Lowes is about to become the ultimate RP server.

    • As though elfs and orcs are the sole commercial property of the Tolkein estate.

      Hobbits are, as anyone who was into "Dungeons & Dragons" back when TSR had to quietly rename theirs to "Halflings" remembers.

    • As though elfs and orcs are the sole commercial property of the Tolkein estate.

      It's not just the races. When I played through WC3 I noticed names of places taken directly from Tolkien, and a lot of the plot was suspiciously similar to e.g. parts of the Silmarillion.

      There's also Arthas turning into an obvious knockoff of Moorcock's Elric.
      • People who get snobby about resemblances always amuse me. Tolkien himself borrowed heavily from Norse myth cycles, and Moorcock, jesus, borrows from everywhere.

        Does that mean it's not good? No. It just means that art is often derivative from other art. Is the whole of Impressionism soiled by the fact that it wasn't all done by one guy?

        So what if WoW is derivative? You certainly can't say they didn't do anything original, which is a hell of a lot more than you can say for any of the other multitude of copies out there.
        • I don't mind resemblances so much. I do dislike wholesale lifting of obvious plot elements, like a main character who is an evil albino with a soul-stealing runesword.

          I've seen it before, so it doesn't add anything to the story. There's nothing surprising about it.

          I thought there were some good things about WC3, but I also thought it would have been a *lot* better if it had more originality.
    • As though elfs and orcs are the sole commercial property of the Tolkein estate.

      Actually, if you get a chance to read "Tales Before Tolkien", you will see that a lot of the premises he used were from writings going back to the 1800's. It also seems a lot of them were from Germany.

      His style was much more captivating and expansive than pretty much all of those works though, and therefore had a much broader appeal (and therefore exposure).
  • Voice (Score:5, Funny)

    by Inverted Intellect (950622) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @09:45AM (#15292625)
    I just hope they can get the guy who did all the voice overs in WCII to do some work on the movie.

    "Don't you have a kingdom to run"? -Footman
    "Stop rocking the boat! you're making me seasick *puking sound*" -Elven destroyer

    "Yeeessss Massssterr" - Death Knight
    "I'm the smart one! No, I'M the smart one!" - Ogre mage
  • by sosuke (789685)
    Well, with any epic action film like this there has to be a male female connection, and speculation on if its going to be cross race or cross faction? Tauren & Gnome? Where is the love going to be in this movie?
  • Great !!! (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Will it be a pr0n movie with naked night elves ?
  • As long as they find a way to sneak in a line by a dopey sounding guy saying "Ready to Serve", I'll be happy.

    The WarCraft series had quite a bit of personality prior to going MMORPG, and (although I haven't had a chance to play it) I would assume they have quite a large base of backstory to draw from in the World of WarCraft game.

    Sounds interesting...

    MTW
    • I always liked "Done building ship!" better. :(
    • That most likely will be the only good part of the movie. Why is that movies based upon computer games and computer games based upon movies always tend to suck.

      With games it is all about the gameplay and if that doesn't work then no matter how good the story is the game will suck.

      With movies it is all about the story and without a good storey it just comes off as a string of empty special effects and lots of meaningless CGI.

      • There are so many great stories in WoW alone. Any of the better Quests could be made into the central plotline (onyxia story comes to mind, "The missing Diplomat" Quest, the stuff going on with the forsaken etc). Then there are the other games and the "history". WC3's story made into a movie wouldn't be half bad, I think. Illidian, also very nice. For added drama the Theramoore thing where the daughter has to take up arms against her, now mad, father. There certainly is potential, and I think the percent ch
        • "There certainly is potential, and I think the percent chances of it being good are about equal to the percent involvment that Blizzard has in the creation of this movie."

          I agree. Blizzard has already cancelled two games that they sunk a lot of time and money into because they weren't as good as they had wanted them to be, and they wanted them to be above and beyond current games. If they have the control to decide plots and if they can cancel it, I think there is a chance that it will be good. I woul
    • As long as they find a way to sneak in a line by a dopey sounding guy saying "Ready to Serve", I'll be happy.

      Daylight's burning!
  • Ooooh (Score:4, Funny)

    by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @09:59AM (#15292747) Homepage Journal
    Stand in line for 90 minutes waiting for your ticket to be validated.
    Then when you get into the theatre just as the action hots up random people are ejected forcefully and then forced to stand back in line outside.

    Of course they want it to be big, they always do. Its not like it will be the first movie to hit the spot.
    They are standing on the shoulders of such greats as Street Fighter, Tomb Raider, Pokemon and Doom..
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @09:59AM (#15292749)
    Naturally this movie is a hunter only item. If any one else tries to see it then they should be labled a ninja and booted from the theater.
  • by faloi (738831) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @10:01AM (#15292767)
    I really liked the part where all the guys with the dragon loot caught the guy fresh off the farm and killed him. Then camped him for four hours. That was hillarious! Much better than when it happens to me in game.
  • "Many details of the film deal remained unsettled or undisclosed on Monday, including the choice of director..."

    My vote is for Uwe Boll.
  • to see a sheep just explode randomly in the background of the movie.. I swear I wasted so much of my life being amused by that.
  • This is the obvious next step for Blizzard. Forget StarCraft II or even putting Ghost back into production. No one wants those; they want another crappy movie based on a video game.
  • It will be the best movie ever made... when it's finished 20 years from now. And tickets will cost $50. How is that Ghost project going again?
  • Oh, please. (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by robyannetta (820243) *
    Less than 10% of films based on a video game title survive in any fashion.

    Blizzard, spend your money on infastructure upgrades first. This is a little more important to us, your subscribers of WoW.

    Horde still suck.

    • We Horde may suck, but we're twice as good as those Alliance whiners ;-)

      Oh, the Horde does agree with you on the infrastructure upgrades though. With as much cash flow as Blizzard has, that should be their main priority. Period. Never let it be said we are in total opposition with the Alliance *heh*

      Now log in, get in queue for WSG, and get ready for an ass-kicking! :)
    • You know, Blizzard isn't just one guy named Jim. They can do more than one thing at the same time.

      Like all you people bitching about "Why are you spending time fixing balance issues, when you could be fixing the servers?" Well, because the guys who work on patches don't work on the fucking servers.
    • >Horde still suck

      I've heard this said a lot, and I don't entirely agree with it. My primary character is a Forsaken mage. I consider the Tirisfal Glades area to be extremely atmospheric and as well populated with monsters and quests as any other area of the game that I've seen. Thunder Bluff and Mulgore are also beautiful, and the Barrens are a wonderful approximation of a savannah environment in my mind.

      I will agree with anyone that Orgrimmar is probably the single least impressive city in the game, but
  • by cordsie (565171) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @10:24AM (#15292923)
    I'm interested, but I don't have a lot of time to go out to the movies these days. Can I pay someone in China to go see it for me?
    • Don't worry about having time NOW. Knowing Blizzard they'll set a release date and then 2 years later it'll come out. It will be high quality, but don't expect it any time soon.
    • WTS PALADIN ITEM ON ORG BANK

      (seriously though, gave me a good laugh. You'd have my mod point if I had any, and you weren't already fixed for them)
  • by Avatar8 (748465) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @10:29AM (#15292957)
    Over the past several years, Blizzard has yet to produce any product that was less than outstanding: Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft and WoW.

    While the gaming industry is getting more similar to the movie industry there are still differences that have been the bane of most game-based movies. I will optimistically have faith that Blizzard can navigate these pitfalls.

    You only need to look at the stories and mini-movies in their games from the last five years: Diablo II chapter movie sequences are a good example. Ghost's story in Starcraft and the Undead Prince in Warcraft III are others.

    I'd think they would have better luck making a Diablo movie first. I think the story is simpler, has more chances for pulling the audience in and obviously lots of opportunities for special effects and unique scenery. (Imagine a male barbarian, female paladin and male mage travel together.... oh wait, that's Conan. ;-)

    Starcraft, too, would make a good movie.

    The real questions that occur to me are:
    -What time will they choose? (WC III, WoW, before?) Maybe there will just be lots of history explanation and flashbacks.
    -What storylines will they follow? There are so many in WoW, but what is the "central" plot line?
    -From which point of view will the movie be? I can guess Alliance, but it would be interesting if they did a second movie from the Horde perspective.
    -Live action plus CGI special effects, or full digital animation? They'd get more general masses with live action, but they'd have the hardcore following of gamers and anime fans with full digital.

    Regardless I think this will be worth seeing, and again, I trust that Blizzard will do a quality job. Let's hope the director and producer(s) they get listen to them.

    • I've thought for some years that Starcraft could make a really good movie, and not just for fans of the game either. I'm hoping that the Warcraft movie is successful, because if it isn't they probably won't go on to make the Starcraft movie I want to see (I'm more a SC fan than WC).
    • by gaijin99 (143693)
      I'd prefer it if they didn't focus on the war much, but rather used it as a background instead of trying to follow the whole war from start to finish. Someone else mentioned that the Jaina Proudmoore vs. her father storyline could be interesting. The fall and subsiquent redemption of Grom Hellscream might also be nice. Naturally they could just follow the fall of Arthus as outlined in the game, but for some reason that doesn't sound as interesting to me, don't know why.
      • Perhaps (and I'm just wildly speculating here) the Arthas story isn't so attactive because as a main character, he just plain sucks, and his character arc is positively depressing. Let's see, powerful and hotheaded young scion of a kingdom, trying to flee out from underneath daddy's shadow and prove himself, get the girl, and oppress the local orcs (teenaged angst...ugh!) whose shallow plans are disturbed by demons commanding dead bodies, in response to which all he can think of is revenge. Oh, and did I

      • As long as I've been playing WoW (since beta), I still feel that I've barely scratched the surface of the storylines.

        There are just certain quests/stories that stick out in my mind. My favorite above all is Morgan Ladimore's decent to Mor'Ladim. I think that most of my characters throughout D&D gaming, single RPGs and MMO's have always connected with the paladin personality. Falling from that state of grace that gives the paladin their powers is the worst possible ending, but doing so as a result of th

    • Questions about timescale, storylines etc are irrelevent.

      What really matters is:
      Decent director
      Decent actors
      Decent production values
      Decent script

      Everything else is just fluff.
  • Blizzard has enough lore behind Azeroth at this point to rival Lord of the Rings - I think they could create a fantastic movie of it. I agree that they should use CGI for it though - they have some of the best drawn and most intriguing intro's to their games of any I've played.

       
    • I'm speaking from a position of ignorance here about the amount of backstory/lore behind Warcraft, so you could very well be right. But are you speaking from a position of knowledge or ignorance about Middle Earth? Are you familiar with the thousands of years of backstory in the Silmarillion? I haven't read it all, but there's a lot there.
  • The Alone in the Dark film [imdb.com] will be released on DVD today in the US.

    Video game films obviously have a bright future.
  • They should get some advice from raiding guilds =)
  • I'm wondering if Blizzard might set the movie during the current WoW timeframe and create an opportunity for a reverse Tie In. I have seen SWG and MxO fail dismally, despite the iconic status of the characters which exist in their respective franchises; however, Blizzard could offer a new level of interactive content.

    Naturally, it would be easy to have players re-enact certain quests or events that occur in the movie, but Blizzard could also introduce content within the movie and have players explore it
  • I can see it now. The film will only have sprocket holes every 20th frame or so. It will freeze up as it jumps on the sprockets of the projectors then rapidly spool back to the takeup reel. All the spells and attacks that were frozen onscreen will be cast in 1/24th of a second. Blizzard will blame it on the serice provider and say their film is "Working as intended, no fault found."

    Then the 13 year old next to you ninja loots your popcorn.
  • well... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cornface (900179)
    We want to make a movie that will not only appeal to our existing fans, but will also bring in people that have never heard of Warcraft before.

    And that is why it is going to suck.
  • They gotta have something to spend their millions of dollars on. They take in 50-90 million dollars a month. Their servers can't cost more than a million to run. Staff? Another million. You do the math.
  • I dunno if going the Hollywood live-action route is a good idea at all. They have 5M+ subscribers, do they really need to expand their audience? Nevermind relating to the other posts about whether or not their servers can handle expanding their market..

    How about they just make another DVD of their own CGI? It's more of what we want to see than who they'll likely for actors, directors, locations, etc., and they could put in the voices that we're already familiar with.

    Less risky too, since a flop in the box o
  • by Trails (629752) on Tuesday May 09, 2006 @02:35PM (#15295265)
    "... fade into snowy wooded glade, midafternoon. Lots of conieforus trees, bunnies hopping around, mountains in background, stone veranda visible on mountains. Focus on two wagons, with sevral dwarves standing by them. The main protagonist Urmomishot approaches the dwarves. Dwarf1: ! Dwarf2: ! Dwarf3: ! Urmomishot approaches Dwarf1 Dwarf1: Those hundreds of troggs over there have been giving me grief, please go kill 10 of them. Urmomishot approaches Dwarf2 Dwarf2: I have to deliver a package 30 metres down the road, but I'm lazy. Do it for me. Urmomishot approaches Dwarf3 Dwarf3: I need 15 pieces of wolfhide to make you a shirt you don't need. Go get me the hide. A gnome runs up. Gnome: Hey can u spar soem copr? kthxbye ..."
  • I can see the movie reviews now:

    The visuals are beautiful (I especially enjoyed the scenery of the land called Mulgore), and the soundtrack is filled with catchy tunes. But I couldn't understand half of the dialogue. What does 'kk' mean? And what about the mysterious words 'WTS [Warden Staff],' 'LFG UBRS need lock/mage/healer!!!!', and '60 flaged rouge @ XR', not to mention 'WTFPWNLOL'?
  • If they include a Leeroy Jenkins move [wikipedia.org] in it, it could turn into a brilliant horror movie. ;-)

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