World of Warcraft is one of the few video games that has seen its popularity rise with the passage of time. Initially released as a real time strategy computer game called Warcraft that was met with rave reviews and a huge fan following. The MMORPG transformation, World of Warcraft, led to the game acquiring cult status amongst players and fans all over the world. Not surprisingly, fans reacted enthusiastically to the announcement of a movie adaptation of this popular game.
However, movies based on video games have struggled to balance the expectations of gaming fans and the preferences of the broader audience. Lack of a strong plot and interesting storyline has forced directors of video-game movies to rely on fancy special effects and the game’s popularity amongst fans to market the movie.
Expect a strong plot and clear storyline
However, Warcraft’s director, Duncan Jones, has made it amply clear that this much-awaited movie will have a plot that will please gaming fans as well as the broader audience. This has led to feverish speculation about how the director intends to handle the game’s multiple expansions. Like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, the storylines of the Warcraft and World of Warcraft games are far too involved to be condensed into a single movie.
The movie’s plot is based on the real time strategy game, which makes sense considering that the multiplayer online role-play version, although very popular, does not have a definite plot that would draw in typical moviegoers. The director has revealed that the movie shall cover the first two installments—Orcs and Humans and Tides of Darkness. The movie is going to focus on Lothar and Durotan as its two main characters, which indicates that the entire movie will be contextualized from their perspectives.
Emphasis on first two installments
The decision to focus on just the first two installments means that popular characters like Arthas or Thrall, or even the Night Elves and the Undead will not make appearances in this movie. The two races were introduced only in the third expansion. On the whole, you can look forward to a movie that faithfully follows the game as far as the storyline and order of expansions are concerned.
The decision to avoid tinkering with the storyline and deviate from the order of the numerous expansions is likely to prove to be a smart decision. Apart from avoiding unnecessary confusion, this approach is likely to set the stage for multiple sequels that will incorporate the developments that take place in the various expansions.
No stereotyped characters
Unlike the LOTR movies, you are unlikely to see another movie where orcs are mindless monsters and the entire human race is innocent and honorable at all times. Rather, be prepared for a movie that makes no moral judgment whatsoever. Are the orcs to blame for seeking to avoid extermination and annihilation? Would humans behave in a different manner if they too faced the complete destruction of their race? The movie is likely to focus on this question even as you are treated with awe-inspiring battle scenes between humans and the orcs.
This is not to say the movie is going to be a scene-by-scene reproduction of the game. The director has indicated that the movie will have new characters along with some new information about seemingly unimportant characters. This is likely to help you gain better understanding of the multiple perspectives involved in the battle for survival. This is probably good news for fans that want the movie to go beyond the game without tinkering with its core aspects and basic concepts.
As far as the game’s famous action sequences are concerned, the makers have made it clear that the movie is not going to be a watered-down version designed solely for the wider audience. Gaming fans are likely to be the movie’s primary target audience while the wider audience is being lured by the promise of a fantasy movie that is about something more than just a video game.
Strong female characters
One point that distinguishes Warcraft from other fantasy games is the emphasis on strong female characters. So, you are unlikely to see the movie being dominated only by male characters. This is likely to make the movie more interesting as you are likely to see characters such as Garona get her due screen presence. This is also going to enhance the movie’s appeal amongst female moviegoers, a section that is largely considered uninterested in the fantasy movie genre.
Despite numerous opportunities, most fantasy movies based on video games and novels have failed to do justice to their female characters. The decision to adopt a more realistic and humane view towards orcs and the decision to highlight the game’s female characters will undoubtedly make the movie stand apart from other movies in its genre.
While fans are eagerly looking forward to a 2016 release, there was a time when fans feared the proposed movie would never get off the ground. There were fears that the movie would languish in development hell after its writer was fired following the script nearing completion.
Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, which is the holding company of the game’s publisher, had to step in and reassure fans that the movie continued to be an important venture for its publishers.
An avid gamer himself, Bobby Kotick has, on numerous occasions, leveraged the leadership position of Activision Blizzard to convince partners and gaming console makers to focus on the overall welfare of the gaming community. He has lobbied with governments for better benefits to attract more talent into the game development community. His intervention settled speculation about the scrapping of the movie, and highlighted the interest of the game’s publishers in ensuring that the Warcraft movie matched the expectations of its fans and players. You can keep tabs on the movie’s progress by visiting the Warcraft movie website.
Overall, there are sufficient indications that the Warcraft movie is not going to stick to the tried-and-tested approach followed by other movies in this genre. While plot is not going to wildly deviate from the storyline of the first two expansions, it is likely the movie is going to spring a few surprises on gamers and moviegoers alike.