Legendary Pictures unsure how to make a movie out of Warcraft

"We don't know how to make a movie out of Warcraft," Legendary Pictures CEO says.

Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull has admitted to the challenges in adapting Blizzard's Warcraft franchise for the big screen.

Speaking to Slashfilm, Thomas Tull identified the problem in the approach to making films with material sourced from video games.

“A lot of times, what has happened in the past is, studios have said, ‘How many people play that game? OK, then that means they’ll probably all go out and buy tickets.’ That is an incredibly poor way to make a movie.”

He admitted that there was a lack of experience when it came to approaching the subject of adapting the franchise for the big screen, 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."

Blizzard's Warcraft franchise has been in the works for a film adaptation since its announcement at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in 2006. The film is expected to begin shooting early next year with Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) to direct the project following the controversial departure of Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Oz the Great and Powerful).

The Warcraft film is believed to have a budget that exceeds $100 million, and is intended for release in cinemas in 2016.

Written By

Zorine “harli” Te is a long time competitive gamer and also an Associate Editor at GameSpot.

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Discussion

435 comments
rossguyy94
rossguyy94

They should make a movie on the rise of the horde! Seriously, read the books and the story is actually amazing.

Olgark
Olgark

Just ask Blizzard to write the script then if it flops blame them for a poor script. 


ckcress
ckcress

Blizzard does make awesome GC movies, just watch any of their WoW trailers

HappyBB
HappyBB

Why not let Blizzard's own CG team to make the Warcraft movie in CG?  Who else is better suited to make the Warcraft movie than Blizzard itself?  It's in my opinion that outside sources will likely produce a messed up adaptation movie because they are not familiar with the source materials at all.

rusky4ever
rusky4ever

Blizzard make amazing cinematics for their games. Why not do a CGI movie like Final Fantasy did or something.

michaelrjohnson
michaelrjohnson

A Warcraft script should be incredibly easy to write for solid script writers.  They basically flesh out Warcraft III, Frozen Throne and Wrath of the Lich King.  Basically your trilogy (they always want those nowadays anyway) right there.  The story arc of betrayal and a fallen hero is always a powerful one.

korvus
korvus

"We started this in 2006, 7 years later we still have no clue what to do with it. It's coming out in 2016 and it might turn into a trilogy if you guys preorder tickets now." *big grin*


You know a movie is in trouble when in 7 years into the idea it's still not looking out to be better than the Angry Birds movie...

E-i-N-e
E-i-N-e

If you don't know how to make a movie out of Warcraft with the massive story-line and detail it has, you shouldn't be the one making it. 

MrS8tan
MrS8tan

Dont make a warcraft movie and make a justice leage movie instead:)

June-GS
June-GS

My friends know I'm normally all for creative endeavours, but I agree with most people here or elsewhere. They should just kill this now.

There's a reason why Legendary Pictures, known for successfully adapting many other-media franchises to the big screen with their great ideas (y'all prolly seen Krypton's last son by now), is having a tough time doing the same here. Hell, even Sam Raimi gave up on it! It means Blizzard themselves can't come up with a good way to flesh this out either. Either that or they DID come up with some ideas, but they were so crappy, that the producers couldn't bring themselves to doing it.

Hmm, come to think of it, besides some good exceptions (like the books and short arcs I've mentioned before), Blizzard's stories have never really been that good to begin with, if at all. As one of my cousins once said, they're just so complicated that some people mistake them for being "sophisticated". With one of the most popular games out there AND a budget like that, Hollywood should be hopping onboard like crazy! But they're not. For YEARS now. Think about it. Hollywood's actually reluctant about making this. And they made Doom a movie...

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Oh you don't know how to make a movie out of a video game?

THEN STOP TRYING.

GenTaylor84
GenTaylor84

Hollywood has screwed up so many video game movies what makes you think they wont screw this one up?

skattestop
skattestop

The whole story about Arthas, Lich King, Illidan, Maeiv, thrall etc. was pretty cool. Beef it up with more details and there should be enough movie material for a movie or two. With a huge budget i can allready imagine cool scenes like the invasion of Qual Thalas :D

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

1. Hire Blizzard's current animators -- DON'T try to make a live-action CG flick.

2. Take all the cut-scenes, patch them together with add'l material explaining what happened between them.

3. Sell it for $13/ticket.


nirzor07
nirzor07

I never played wow..but i did play warcraft 3. If i remember correctly, they did some amazing animated cut scenes in the game. Why not make a movie like that?

Alternatively, if Legendary pictures don't have a clue about the franchise, I'd say NOT to make a movie -_-

SuperLuigi17
SuperLuigi17

Do you guys even know about the books? They are AMAZING. Just finished the War of the Ancients trilogy and my god would that make for an epic movie trilogy. I wish they would make movies based on that or one about Arthas. This is not 'World of Warcraft the Movie' it's a WARCRAFT movie.

Dat-tsu
Dat-tsu

It's not that hard, guys. Watch the FMV scenes from the Warcraft games, and make a movie just like it. 

gregrout
gregrout

I can't wait to see "World of Warcraft : The Quest For 12 Gnoll Snot and 2 Burning candles" especially if it's in 3D! May this movie never see the light of day. They had an amazing Arthus storyline, the idea to ignore this and make something brand new is stupidity at it's finest. This movie should have been done and released 5 years ago. If it's up to Activision-Blizzard it'll be a movie (80 minute commercial) about pandas designed to sell MoP.    

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

They could just put us in a theater for 3 hours and tell us to grind...?

It is probably better they can't figure it out. These movies suck anyhow.

Zabu2
Zabu2

How about a Trilogy that follows the stories of Arthas, Thrall and Illiden without a main char.
Just like whats going with Game of Thrones, which proves that you don't need the typical "watch the good guy prevail" Hollywood business model.

Don't know about you guys, but I wouldn't mind if they use Warcraft 3 story instead of forcing an "original" crappy story.

reishid
reishid

Just put a lot of elf boobs in it.

Dillienooberpoe
Dillienooberpoe

Make a cinematic movie much more awesome then seeing an Orc in real life oO

Hurvl
Hurvl

"We don't know how to make a movie out of Warcraft," Legendary Pictures CEO says. - Oh, no! A company doesn't know how to monetize a franchise, oh dear God! 

Sarcasm aside, games-to-movie projects don't have the best track records and while Warcraft has a rich lore and epic cutscenes, the reason why people like Warcraft's story isn't because it tells you everything - quite the contrary. Just like Blizzard's other franchises, the players are co-creating the story and filling in the blanks. It's easier to maintain the sense of epicness with short sequences and then let the player experience for themselves what happens afterwards. Making an entire movie where you're just passively watching something for 90 minutes isn't as entertaining or fulfillinf as playing one of Blizzard's games with the mix of cutscenes and interactive gameplay.

Atrax2k8
Atrax2k8

Why in the world would you make a movie out of Warcraft?

Who the hell would pay to see that?

Jomsviking
Jomsviking

most of the races in WoW would look stupid as shit in a movie... actually, to make a movie out of it that sells, they would harbor the hate of those which has no life wow players. 

June-GS
June-GS

"...unsure how to make a movie out of Warcraft..." -- Without making it look like just another high-fantasy at-war-with-darkness D&D-type LOTR clone? Yeah, as a writer, I totally agree, Legendary Pictures. Warcraft, for all its good points, is just better off as a game, a comic book or a high-production-value CGI movie, ala Final Fantasy. At least for now.

BuBsay
BuBsay

Solution:

 Pick up where Warcraft III left off, pretend WoW never happened. Problem solved.

You're welcome and I'll now take my $20,000 consulting fee.

Caldrin
Caldrin

oh god dont make a wow movie.. it will be even worse than the game..

tightwad34
tightwad34

You really should just can the project before it gets worse. You don't want to lose more money on this, do you?

kilroy0097
kilroy0097

To me this seems like a no brainer. Make it animated. Looks at Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole and see that nice animation can make money. Use the animation styled already implemented in the cut scene trailers in WoW and just make an entire movie that looks like that, sounds like that and have voice actors. Now all you need is a good story and good writing and you are done. Is it really that difficult to come up with a game plan? Saying that have no idea how to approach this means they have no one on their team that is a gamer and/or creative apparently.

Andrew1073
Andrew1073

@HappyBB I completely agree with you, and before when I wrote this same sentiment boy did the professional asshats come out and decry me for an idiot.  Don't you know how LONG and EXPENSIVE it would be for Blizzard to do such a thing?  DUH, gosh!


I agree with you still btw.

xwolfenstudx
xwolfenstudx

@skattestop Wouldn't be bad, everyone has their opinon, but I have to tack on this thought to your post, good sir, sincei  feel where this is where my opinion belongs.

If you try to make the movie out of existing storyline arcs, it will fail. The people who don't dig warcraft lore would be lost by the massive about of details. Likewise, Players would be expecting something as epic as when they had played through the storyline in raids or questing themselves and be disappointed. It would be interesting if it weren't so hard to get a coherent idea for a storyline, but it has all been done already. Legendary is unsure how to make a warcraft movie, then the answer is obvious. Don't. See if time finds the proper answer.

_el_Greco_
_el_Greco_

@gregrout I'm hoping that the reason why Blizzard hasn't pushed the Arthas storyline to Legendary Pictures is that they have been simply incompetent and bad at communicating.  Let's hope that what you say is not true...  Otherwise, we'll get quite a disappointment of a movie.

CP2077
CP2077

@Zabu2 I hate the fact that you are useing game of thrones as a refrence point. Game of thrones is base on the best fantasy novles to come out in the last 20 years. The story from warcarft 3 is good for a game but if you compare to the books by George R.R. Martin its really lacking

Hurvl
Hurvl

@June-GS I've enjoyed the Diablo novels and think that the Warcraft novels would be entertaining to read as well (although I've only played Diablo games), but books are a different medium.

feleas
feleas

@BuBsay better idea, there's 10 years between WC3:TFT and World of Warcraft, so why not have a story somewhere in those 10 years?

Hurvl
Hurvl

@kilroy0097 I don't know if 140 million dollars made on an 80 million dollar budget is considered a success (numbers from boxofficemojo), but I agree that animation would be better than live-action or a mix between live-action and animation. A bit more than 100 million isn't even that much when compared to some Pixar movies. Lol, just because it's animated and you therefore only need voice actors, doesn't mean it's much cheaper than live action movies.

Blizzard have said that those cutscenes cost a lot and wouldn't be cost effective to use for an entire movie, so I guess that's ruled out.

_el_Greco_
_el_Greco_

@CP2077  There you go again with your nonsense.  My man, you don't understand what people are saying.  Nobody's comparing Warcraft with Song of Ice and Fire.  It doesn't take a genius to realize that Martin's work is superior.  This guy's just saying that Warcraft should attempt a similar path where there isn't a clear-cut good guy, bad guy / antagonist, protagonist.  Which to be honest, he's right in thinking that way because Warcraft 3 was just like that if you played the campaign - not everything was black and white / good and bad.  Again, Game of Thrones is on another level when compared to Warcraft, nobody's contending that.  But the Arthas, Illidan, and Thrall story-arcs from Warcraft 3 are the closest Blizzard has ever gotten to something more profound, and they should definitely make use of these characters for the film.

June-GS
June-GS

@Hurvl  The Starcraft books (novels) ain't so bad either, if you haven't tried 'em. The Warcraft books (comics) were an ok ride too. But yeah, that's my point. Some universes are just better suited to some particular media.

CP2077
CP2077

@_el_Greco_ The only nonsense is when someone starts useing game of thrones as a refrence. Warcarft is nothing like game of thrones.  Trying to refrence game of throne with something that is so fare from it is insulting. I loved the warcarft games, warcarft 3 is one of the best game I have played IMO but i don't think the story line was so good that it needs movie. 

I think its a bad idea and needs to DIE 

CP2077
CP2077

@June-GS @Hurvl the warcraft books are more of fan service, any good author is going to make his own world.