PAX East was a revealing time for Duncan Jones, current director of the upcoming Warcraft film based off of Blizzard’s hit MMORPG. During Jones’ panel, he discussed the process of the movie since he took the reigns from previous producer, Spider-Man’s Sam Raimi.
When asked what he thought about the movie’s previous standing, Jones was upfront with fans when he stated that Raimi’s vision of Warcraft” had a “fundamental” problem. That problem, he said, centered around Raimi’s simplistic and overtly black and white interpretation of the lore. With Raimi’s depiction of Warcraft, he depicted the human characters as completely “good” whilst portraying the entire Orc race as “evil”. Not only is that massively over-simplifying, it’s simply not true when looking at the lore of Warcraft and World of Warcraft in its entirety. Jones also mentioned that he was not alone in thinking that Raimi’s vantage view would be completely wrong for the film, he said that Blizzard was “less than thrilled” with Raimi’s vision and thought his direction was inaccurate as well.
“When I got involved, [Blizzard] had already been through the hardships of not getting the film made. And there was kind of a pause, a stalled process as they worked out how they were going to move forward. I had been tracking the movie, purely as a fan, knowing that Sam Raimi was involved. I wanted to see the movie. I head that he had decided to part ways and go do Oz.”
News that Riami dropped from the project hit back in July 2012 which left a perfect opening for Jones given that he had just finished his current project: Source Code. Jones saw the script that Raimi had planned and immediately knew that something was wrong and that he wanted to be involved in correcting that fundamental error in Warcraft’s representation.
“I really wanted to know what the film was going to be like. So I managed to get a sneaky look at the script and I was like ‘Oh, it’s good, but there is something really wrong with it.’ And it was the fact that it was human heroes against Orc villains. To me, that was a fundamental misstep.”
Blizzard was ecstatic to have Jones take over after taking a look at his interpretation of the film’s context saying that his end-game was “totally synchronous” with that of the creative team including Chris Metzen, Blizzard’s game designer. Jones went on to say, “This was a movie that shows the heroes of all sides. As much as you can, make it half human, half orc as far as what we portray.”
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) April 23, 2016
Jones did note that they had to veer away from some of the more external lore in order to make the film ‘work’ within the time constraints but he assured fans that the altercations have a definite purpose and will stay true to all that Warcraft is. Actor Robert Kazinsky joked “the goal is to avoid another Super Mario Bros. movie.”
“Two worlds, one home” – this epic tale drops in theatres June 10th.