After years of rumors, name calling, and false starts, Warcraft finally seems to be gearing up for filming. A film production tracking database called Production Weekly has tweeted that Legendary Studios is setting up in Vancouver, Canada, to begin filming in January, 2014.
— Production Weekly (@prodweek) August 28, 2013
Right now, only the production company (Legendary Pictures), director (Duncan Jones), and writer (Charles Leavitt) are known. No casting announcements have yet been made. Jones is a powerful name in geek circles, having directed the modern sci-fi classic Moon. He also made the thoroughly gimmicky script for Source Code into a fun, watchable experience, when by all rights it ought to have been annoyingly standard. Writer Charles Leavitt also brings credibility, having penned the script for the Academy Award-nominated Blood Diamond. Spiderman and Evil Dead director Sam Raimi was previously helming the project, but recently quit after years of inaction.
Though this is popularly referred to as a “World of Warcraft movie,” in reality it’s a more general cinematic adaptation of the Warcraft universe, and as yet there are no details about what part of the fiction it might cover. A teaser trailer at San Diego Comic Con showed a human facing off against an orc in a mixture of live action and CG.
Honestly, a recap of the story of Arthas, or anything else covered in recent games, seems unlikely; Blizzard has said that one of the reasons they’ve taken so long in gearing up to this project is that they want to do something that’s both new and right for the series. This seems to imply that they’re committed to opening up a whole new area in the universe — which would also work quite nicely as an introduction to the subject matter of their next Warcraft-themed game. Whether it’s an expansion, a new MMO, or a return to the franchise’s RTS roots, what better way to stir up excitement for a new villain or hero than to debut them on the silver screen?
The film is expected to release in 2015.