Legendary Pictures Boss Talks 'World of Warcraft' Movie Challenges

July 1, 2013
Source: SlashFilm

World of Warcraft

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.

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Be afraid.

DAVIDPD on Jul 1, 2013


The longer they wait the less relevant they become. Just ask The Simpsons movie.

MattPeloquin on Jul 1, 2013


Ship has sailed, their pop culture saturation peaked about 4 years ago during the Wrath of the Lich King xpack.

Brian Sleider on Jul 1, 2013


that wasnt even 4 years ago u shmuck

jonny on Jul 1, 2013


Um... that was almost 5 years ago.... u shmuck. (?)

avconsumer2 on Jul 2, 2013



Brian Sleider on Jul 2, 2013


Agreed. If not Burning Crusade. It will really have to stand on it's own at this point. Better be good or it's gonna flop hard. Meh - Hollywood vaporware at this point to me. Until I see a teaser, it's at the same point it was when it was announced in '06. Non-existant.

avconsumer2 on Jul 2, 2013


i dunno, I've never played WoW and I'd still be interested in watching it.

Carpola on Jul 4, 2013


"... 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..." This is the clue to making a good film out of a video game. Do a Film about the WORLD portrayed in the game, not about the game.

wylles on Jul 1, 2013


"...They have 100 books" wtf is he talking about? 100 novels published? Warcraft doesn't have a 100 books or even close to 50. It's around 20-25 novels, and 10 of them from last 3-4 years. And not that many are that good. They have been (ghost)written and published last 12, 13 years as main goal to legitimize the games, to not seem to hackney. But, there is a story there to be told, they should aim low-ish at start. The story should be 'Humans vs Orcs', and hopefully they will stay away from parallel worlds and 'high fantasy' in the first movie. They should aim for at least a trilogy(penta- or hexalogy would be better), and start it out as "low fantasy" in the first movie and ending at "high fantasy" in the third. Start soft, don't throw in steampunk gnomes, walrus men, serpent women, blood elfs, forsaken, wolfmen or dreaming dragons, ect, in the first movie; those who don't follow Warcraft might consider it too much. The movies based on Tolkien's works can throw all kinds of fantasy at you, but those books been around 100 years and are well written... I'll be "shocked" if this/these Warcraft movie/s don't make a huge profit. Seems to me they will break even at the theaters, then with the home market make a fortune. Just wait, all who play their 3 games will get the opportunity to buy and DL the movie via the game launcher's-that's 15million+ people, close to half a $$ Billion gross on home video-for each movie just from their loyal player base.

David Banner on Jul 2, 2013


Not to mention those who used to play, and got out due to "finishing" the game, or for most - either no time as we became "adults" &/or afford the subscription. I stopped playing several years ago, but due to time - I will be there opening weekend to see how well they do justice or butchering of Azeroth.

VAharleywitch on Jul 3, 2013


As a player of WoW, I would much rather they take their time & make steady progress towards a solid story, than a half-assed story w/ lots of eye-candy. The SFX eye-candy is a given. But agreed that part of the allure of Azeroth is the inter-woven stories of the different races.

VAharleywitch on Jul 3, 2013


simple solution: mini series it.

Zak Coleman on Jul 4, 2013


WOW hasn't lost it's charm because of DOTA/DOTA 2

john on Jul 30, 2013

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