Star Wars effects studio working on Warcraft film, an Orcs vs. Humans origin story

Blizzard confirms Oscar-winning Star Wars studio Industrial Light & Magic working on upcoming film based on fantasy series; Durotan and Lothar will be featured.

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Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the prolific Academy Award winning visual effects studio behind franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones, is working on the upcoming Warcraft film, Blizzard Entertainment confirmed today at BlizzCon during a special panel for the movie.

More specifically, ILM is creating the Orcs for the Warcraft film, which will be performed by real actors. Colin Farrell has reportedly been offered the lead role for the movie, though casting was not discussed today during the panel.

The Warcraft movie will feature a combination of live-action and CGI. Visual effects supervisor for the film, Bill Westenhofer, described the Orcs as "gritty and real," going on to say the movie will come across as "Avatar meets Game of Thrones."

Westenhofer has won Oscars for Life of Pi and The Golden Compass. He is also a veteran and devoted World of Warcraft player, having started playing the game in its original beta in 2004. He currently has a level-90 character.

Two major characters for the Warcraft film--an Orcs. vs. Humans origin story--were also confirmed during the panel: Durotan and Lothar, who will go head-to-head. Both characters want to do the right thing for their people, director Duncan Jones said, though no further details were provided.

The Warcraft movie will be released on December 18, 2015. Jones said today he hopes the film will be released in 2D and 3D, and that the film will probably be rated PG-13. Blizzard COO Paul Sams recently explained in detail why the movie will not fall on its face like other films based on games that have come before it.

"We're really excited about, we believe in the team, and we think that come 2015, we're going to have something special," Sams told GameSpot last night.

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