Chris Hardwick: Hello, I am Chris Hardwick and I am hosting your panel today… for the Warcraft movie… Legendary pictures. It’s wonderful to be here and to see you tonight. These are actual set pieces perhaps costumes from the film. They brought them down so you can see what direction everything is set in. I want to start by introducing a few people. They will talk to you and will give details you want to hear. Please welcome: director of Warcraft film Duncan Jones, Visual effects supervisor Bill Westenhoffer and Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development at Blizzard Entertainment Chris Metzen.
Duncan Jones: Hi everyone! I had been a huge fan of Blizzard and Warcraft universe for a long time. I played Orcs and Humans and played through the early RTS games balancing back and forth between Warcraft and Command and Conquer. Then I started to play online games and then World of Warcraft came out. Our clan joined WoW and it was fantastic. It’s phenomenal game. When I heard that Sam Raimi was working on World of Warcraft film I was so excited and at the same time so jealous.
In some way anything can be a film if there is a good idea behind. For example Social Network – to make a film out of Facebook may seem ridiculous. But David Fincher had great story and made great film. World of Warcraft had a different problem. It has got so many stories, it has been going for 10 years and Warcraft itself has been going for 20 years. Our challenge was actually to find a story that would work as a single film because there are so many great characters and so many stories. So we decided to start from the beginning. We decided to tell a story about two people in a conflict.
Chris Hardwick: What were the first steps? How did you begin?
Duncan Jones: There was a preexisting project that Sam Raimi had been doing. In my opinion that project was a very human centric. Very Alliance centric. In my opinion it put orcs in not the best light. But in the game you can choose which side to join. I thought that it was really important to make a film which allows you to be on either side of the conflict and follow through heroes from both sides. You will see Lothar story and Durotan story and how these two heroes find themselves in a conflict.
Duncan Jones: Telling a story where you really allow the audience to feel for both sides is unusual in war movies. In fantasy films there are monsters and there are civilians. In our case the Orcs were a group that we wanted to really allow the audience to care about.
Chris Hardwick: One of the most difficult things when you make a film out of a game is to show passion. When you play a game you become emotionally connected with it in a very specific way. So how are you going represent this to the fans?
Duncan Jones:The most important thing for us was the possibility to work with Chris and Nick. We always try to involve Chris as much as possible.
Chris Metzen: Duncan walked in the door and said that this movie has to be 50% alliance and 50% horde. I started dreaming about this idea and we asked him to make such film. Film makers are always listening and hear our values (Blizzard). I feel that Duncan and his team have done such a good job and we are in such a good hands. When I say “we” I mean not only Blizzard, I am talking about us, people that love this idea.
Chris Hardwick: The universe of Warcraft is very huge not only visually, but also mythologically. How you could make this into a film?
Duncan Jones: I was managed to surround myself with people who are experts in Warcraft lore.
Facts About the Film:
- Some locations, for example Stormwind city, were built in real size specially for the film.
- Film makers are working with leaders in motion capture industry.
- There will be a lot of different visual effects.
- Some actors had to go through training session and learn how to be Orcs. Actors had to act like 500 pound creatures. But there are a lot of nuances: some orcs are noble and some are just warriors. Their behavior is different.