Warcraft film director says it was a 'political minefield'

The Warcraft film from a couple of years ago looked promising ahead of release, but turned out to be not so great. Near the end of 2016, director Duncan Jones hinted at a troubled production, saying that he'd be happy to make another one, but only under the right conditions: Specifically, "lower budget, less cooks in the kitchen."

Jones expanded on that sentiment in a recent interview with Syfy, describing the project as "a political minefield" that forced changes and rewrites over the course of filming that were "really, really difficult and at times disheartening." 

"It was mainly studio politics. You know, Legendary had an incredibly turbulent period while we were making Warcraft," Jones said. "They were associated with Warner Bros. They left Warner Bros. and joined Universal. They were sold to Wanda, this Chinese conglomerate. They lost or replaced a number of their producing staff halfway through our movie." 

"And at the same time as all of that, we were also working with Blizzard, who understandably were very careful about what happened with the movie because their bread and butter was the game Warcraft, which was bringing in a billion dollars a year for them. So, whatever we did with the movie was likely to be small potatoes compared to how important the game was for them. So it was really a very active political landscape." 

That jibes with Jones' "too many cooks" tweet, and it's genuinely unfortunate that a project Duncan was so clearly enthusiastic about turned out to be such an unhappy time. But there is something of an upside, as Duncan said that going through it all left him more mature and able to deal with bad situations: "I think I learned a lot from that experience and if I ever put myself in that situation again, even though I went into it eyes open, I'm a lot wiser now."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.