SDCC2015: Duncan Jones spills his guts on WARCRAFT

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Ogrim the Orc

Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) is at San Diego Comicon this week to show the first full glimpse at the film he’s made in WARCRAFT and during a discussion with press at the Legendary Pictures booth he’s already spilling quite a bit about what to expect from his take on this popular PC game.

First up he let’s us in on what made his approach to translating the film different from the ones that came before. Most recently director Sam Raimi had been attached to the property, but was unable to make the story work. Duncan says that the idea of telling the story as a first contact tale came from Raimi’s original pitch. The film will be an origin story not necessarily of the characters, but of the “war” and what put them in a situation that made their conflict unavoidable. Duncan’s pitch added two critical elements added that helped push things over the edge and into production. He believes it was very important to tell the story from both the human and orc (among others) standpoint. Both sides needed to be sympathetic. He says this is important because part of the draw of the videogame is the ability to choose which side you want to play and then investing yourself in that side of the story. This small, but core story approach makes the movie a great complement to the games.

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Orc

The movie is complete with just a handful of finished VFX shots left to be dropped in and he’s already shown it to a small group of people he trusts to be honest with him and all have been very positive on the film. Presumably that includes folks from the Blizzard side who’ve been known to be sticklers where story is concerned. He believes the film is very good and he’s happy others do too, but the wait for Hall H is nerve racking…he’s anxious to see what the fan audience at-large thinks of it. Will they love it or crucify him.

When asked if he’d like to do more, he says that he’d love to make it a trilogy.  The movie works as a standalone, but absolutely lends itself to more films. They’ve already talked about where the story would go, but he’d love to make a smaller scifi project called MUTE that he’s been trying to make for forever.  There’s 11 months before release for Warcraft so, he’s hoping he can go make that in the interim and then he’s rearing to come right back and make a sequel to Warcraft.

He was asked about how faithful he’s been to the world and lore of the game series because fans of the games are pretty rabid about it.  Duncan says they’ve done an excellent job of keeping to the lore of Warcraft and they think fans shouldn’t have too much to be worried about on that front.

He had high praise for his editor on the picture who’s worked on the Star Wars series among other fan favorites and Duncan says that plenty of good stuff was cut out of the film that while some of it worked really well on its own, failed to gel in the bigger story.  Look for either a longer cut of the film on Blu-ray or at least some of those scenes making it onto the disk as extras.

Legendary Pictures will be holding their Hall H panel on Saturday at 2:30pm so, look out for fan reactions around then.

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