Legendary Pictures Boss Talks 'World of Warcraft' Movie Challenges
Though Moon director Duncan Jones landed himself the World of Warcraft film adaptation set up at Legendary Pictures, fans are still worried about how they're going to translate the entire online fantasy world to the big screen and do the game justice. Just last month, producer Charles Roven mentioned they were hoping to shoot the film beginning in early 2014. However, while doing publicity rounds for Pacific Rim, Legendary head Thomas Tull doesn't seem to confirm that production plan, and talks about the challenges of adapting this property for film, including the bad mentality behind most video game movies.
Speaking with SlashFilm, Tull comments on the weak motivation behind video game adaptations saying, "A lot of times what has happened in the past is, studios have said, ‘How many people play that game? Okay, then that means they’ll probably all go out and buy tickets.’ That is an incredibly poor way to make a movie.” Tull's approach is to focus on the world of the game itself rather than just the game, saying:
"So for us, it’s that we don’t know how to make a movie out of Warcraft, the video game. It’s the incredible story, the war, and these races, and everything these guys at Blizzard have come up with. They have 100 books, and just this incredibly rich world that they’ve created.
And so having Duncan Jones realize that for us was exciting. We’ve taken our time [developing this property], because we absolutely don’t want to screw it up. And I think we’re getting close to a place where we’re ready to go. And when the script is finished, and when we feel like, ‘Forget whether or not there’s a built-in audience. Does this stand on its own, and is it great?’ Then we’ll start filming. We’re not quite there yet, but we’re under suspicion of going there. And Duncan is one of those directors that you just go, ‘This guy gets it.’"
That might mean production won't get underway by early 2014 as Roven was hoping, but there certainly seems to be more progress than when Sam Raimi was involved. Perhaps Jones is not only the right director to bring World of Warcraft to life, but maybe he can finally crack the video game genre once and for all. If there's one game with a rich enough universe to create and original fantasy story, it's Blizzard's expansive online game. Tull says, "The next two years are going to be pretty exciting, I think," so it sounds like World of Warcraft might be coming to theaters in 2016. Stay tuned.