In cinematic circles, the video game adaptation is a curious beast. For one, the Resident Evil franchise started with somewhat of a flourish before devolving into senseless, prolonged tripe, whereas films such as Doom and Max Payne well and truly missed the mark, and poor old Halo and Gears of War just can’t seem to claw their way out of development hell.
However, with the upcoming Warcraft film – based on the massively successful MMO game – there a number of causes for optimism. Admittedly, video game movies don’t have a reliable track record in terms of success and quality, but everything about Universal and game developer Blizzard’s approach to the picture points towards a project with every chance of success.
Firstly, the choice of Duncan Jones as director all but guarantees a seal of excellence – especially if his previous films Moon and Source Code are anything to go by. Both movies are held together with fully-realized, relatable characters in wonderfully original narratives, something fans of Warcraft will be hopeful to see when the mystical realm of Aezroth hits the big screen.
In fact, Jones’ appointment as director would point towards both studio and developers wanting the very best for their pet project – after all, Blizzard infamously rejected filmmaker Uwe Boll’s proposition to helm the movie back in 2008. It seems they were firmly focused on acquiring the right man for the job, a sure-fire indicator they genuinely want to make a good movie rather than cash in on the title’s overwhelming popularity.
And it seems Duncan Jones’ work so far has garnered the attention of one actor in particular, Ben Foster. Singing the film’s praises in a recent interview with IGN, the Lone Survivor star let slip a number of details about production and his character in Warcraft, which has been shrouded in mystery since production began.
“The character in ‘Warcraft’ that I play is named Medivh. He’s a mage, which is essentially a sorcerer … It [the film] 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?”
Foster also gave a glowing report on the visual effects he’s seen so far – which utilizes the ever-growing motion capture technology seen in Avatar and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
“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.”
Now, we’re well aware that 3D can come across as rather gimmicky, but films like Hugo and Gravity have shown that when used correctly and, more importantly, artistically, the technology can serve to enhance the viewing experience for its audience. Needless to say, Foster’s comments have gotten us really excited about a project which up until now, we have had very little information on.
Are you excited for the release of Warcraft, set to hit cinemas March 11, 2016? The fact post-production has only started recently suggests all involved want to give themselves enough time to realize their full vision, but will it sit well with long-time gamers and the average, uninitiated cinema-goer? Sound off in the comments section below!