Kazam! Let’s be honest, video game adaptations don’t have the greatest track record at the cinema.
For every Mortal Kombat, there’s a Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; for every Resident Evil: Degeneration, there’s a Resident Evil: Apocalypse; and for every Prince of Persia there’s Uwe Boll’s entire back catalogue. Duncan Jones, however, is hoping to buck the trend with his upcoming World of Warcraft adaptation.
The director of Moon and Source Code was keen to stress in a recent interview that Universal and Legendary Pictures aren’t going down the Lucas route of creating fully digital ‘sets': “Motion capture has become very specialized but also still just a tool of filmmaking. We tried to do a lot of large, in-camera sets so that we had an actual reality that the film was built on top of. Some of the time we had [actors doing motion capture] on location, some of the time we had them on set, sometimes there was green screen.”
He also let slip that some of the fight sequences will be fairly epic, stating that the motion-captured orcs are taking a fairly big slice of inspiration from Marvel’s cinematic Hulk, having landed the services of Avengers VFX supervisor Jeff White: “He absolutely nailed that character, and orcs feel like they may have some of the same genetic background as the Hulk. When we found out that Jeff himself was actually an avid Warcraft player as well, it became clear how excited he was about playing in this universe, It was a match made in heaven.”
Jones also mentioned the possibility of a sequel, but wasn’t fully committed yet. He stated that while he’s keen to work on more original projects, he’d love to work on more fantasy material if he has “the good fortune to work with the same group of people”.
Even taking into account the rather lousy history of video adaptations for the big screen, we’re kinda hopeful this one will turn out well. Jones is no stranger to a lot of effects in a movie and his desire to shoot as much of the movie on location as possible can never be a bad thing. We’re due some serious orc-bashing that isn’t three hours of material padded out into nine…
Warcraft is due for release in June 2016.