Warcraft film needs to attract more than the game's player base - studio CEO

The Warcraft film has such a turbulent history that there's probably ample material for a film about the Warcraft film . Thankfully though, plans have fallen into place and the adaptation is slated for a 2016 release. During a recent interview with I Am Rogue , Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull briefly discussed the project, which is directed by Source Code and Moon director Duncan Jones.

Of most interest is Tull's take on what a film adaptation of a video game needs to do in order to be successful. He says that the film needs to attract more than just World of Warcraft players, which is evidence enough that the studio has very big plans for the project.

“It took forever to develop this because we just couldn't get it right,” The CEO admitted. “It took a long time. I think the mistake sometimes that gets made is you might say, how many people played the video game? Well that's big, so lets make that. If everybody who's ever played the game went to see it, it's still not enough.”

Tull admits that finding the balance between pleasing fans and attracting punters unfamiliar with Warcraft is a tricky endeavour, pointing to the game's extensive lore as evidence that the film will be capable of telling a compelling story.

“On top of that making a video game movie is a different medium, it's very difficult,” he continued. “What intrigued us about Warcraft was that there are 100 novels. We have come up with a mythology and a lore that's so deep that it got us excited. Because just saying we're going to make what the game you play into a movie, I'm not interested in that at all.

“We finally got to a story that felt like it had big, universal themes that people will be able to get their heads around. But I also think jabbing your finger into a fence and saying, everything you loved about the game is gone, well I don't get that either. What you do want to do is say, here's something that you really love and here's that version of it. So that's what we tried to do.”

Duncan Jones was confirmed as director in January last year , which didn't please former director Sam Raimi at all. He told Vulture in May last year that it was all Blizzard's fault that the film had been stuck in development hell, as he hadn't known that the studio had ultimate veto power over the script.

The film is expected to hit cinemas in 2016 and stars Ben Foster, Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Toby Kebbell and Rob Kazinsky. The adaptation will follow the origin story of the human versus orc conflict, and will star characters Lothar and Durotan in leading roles, Jones said at Blizzcon last year.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.