If you’re still reeling from the debut trailer of Duncan Jones’ live-action rendition of Warcraft: The Beginning, we wouldn’t blame you. After stringing out a series of teases, Legendary swung open the mighty gates of Azeroth to unveil a CG-laden spectacle that could stand alongside the seminal Lord of the Rings series for its sweeping battle sequences and fantastical setting.
But although the studio leaned on VFX wizardry – Industrial Light and Magic, mainly – to bring Jones’ vision to life, there are still a remarkable amount of practical effects being employed all across the film’s production. It’s commitment to injecting a sense of presence and believability into the scene that is echoed in the comments of Warcraft‘s cast, who spoke to io9 during Blizzard’s fan-centic BlizzCon event to gain a better understanding of the filmmaking process behind the show-stopping spectacle.
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First up, Paula Patton levelled on some of the set design behind the scenes. She’ll take point as Garona in 2016, a half-orc, half-human who comes in between the almighty war between the Alliance and the Horde.
“They closed that soundstage door, and it was a real forest. It was true to scale and we had our horses in there and we were jumping out of trees and such. And then you’re going up mountains that have been built by these set designers. So you really enter the universe and that kind of gives you a sort of faith and excitement.”
As for the human side of things, Dominic Cooper will lead the charge as King Llane, and here he spoke more about the physicality that the director pushed for during filming.
“Scale is part of Warcraft,” Cooper told io9. “I had really huge gold armor. We had to fight, we had to ride horses, we had to march. And that was incredible about it. It gives you the physicality. They make your shoulders eight times bigger than they are. They’ll give you a huge presence on screen.”
Duncan Jones’ Warcraft – to be released as Warcraft: The Beginning internationally – will hope to right the wrongs of video game adaptations when it opens in theaters on June 10, 2016.