A new movie based on the huge video game series, World of Warcraft, is reportedly in the works at Legendary Pictures. According to relatively reliable scooper, Daniel Ritchman, Warcraft 2 is now in development, thanks largely to the game and first movie’s popularity overseas.
The first Warcraft movie finds the orc shaman Gul’dan looking to escape from his dying world. In order to do so, he utilizes dark magic to open a portal to the human realm of Azeroth. Supported by the fierce fighter Blackhand, Gul’dan organizes the orc clans into a conquering army called the Horde. Uniting to protect Azeroth from these hulking invaders are King Llane, the mighty warrior Anduin Lothar and the powerful wizard Medivh. As the two races collide, leaders from each side start to question if war is the only answer.
Directed by Moon and Source Code director, Duncan Jones, who co-wrote the movie alongside Charles Leavitt, Warcraft stars Vikings’ Travis Fimmel as Anduin Lothar, the military commander of the human forces in Stormwind Kingdom, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol star Paula Patton as Garona Halforcen, a strong-willed half-orc, Hell or High Water’s Ben Foster as Medivh, the powerful Guardian of Azeroth, Preacher star Dominic Cooper as King Llane Wrynn, the ruler of the Kingdom of Azeroth, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Toby Kebbell as Durotan, noble orc chieftain, Snowden’s Ben Schnetzer as the gifted young mage Khadgar, Pacific Rim’s Robert Kazinsky as Orgrim Doomhammer, The Shawshank Redemption star Clancy Brown as the fearsome orc chieftain Blackhand, and Tomb Raider’s Daniel Wu as Gul’dan, a sinister orc warlock who is the founder and leader of the Horde.
Despite the best efforts of all involved, Warcraft was met with brutal reviews from critics, who felt that the talent involved was ultimately wasted with this lacklustre video game effort. Audiences responded much more favorably however, with the movie currently sitting at 76% audience approval on Rotten Tomatoes, against 28% from critics.
Warcraft was also a box office disappointment both domestically and globally, earning $47.4 million in the United States, and $391.7 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $439 million. Given its $160 million net production budget, Warcraft reportedly needed to bring in at least $450 million to break-even. Despite this, Warcraft stood as the highest grossing video game movie of all time, until it was knocked off the top spot by Detective Pikachu last year.
The movie also found a big audience in China, and, considering China’s importance to box office takings these days, it seems that Legendary Pictures are now desperate to capitalize on this and have another go at bringing the World of Warcraft to the big screen. While Warcraft may have stumbled both financially and critically, the movie barely scrapped the surface where story and character are concerned. The World of Warcraft video game franchise has a rich depth of both and is ripe for further adaptation.
Of course, one must always approach this kind of news and speculation with caution but returning to Warcraft undeniably makes a lot of sense. This comes to us courtesy of master scooper Daniel Ritchman.