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Live action movies inspired from video games have been known to be rather disappointing in the past years. However, Japan has been quite successful with their animation movies such as Pokemon, Super Mario Bros (1986) and more recently with Yo-Kai Watch. On the other hand, on the international screens it has been a different story. We started with Super Mario Bros. in 1993 and none of the live action movies from this date reached higher than a 6.6/10 review on IMDB (Prince of Persia: The sands of time in 2010 and Silent Hill in 2006). It was about time for a change!

Warcraft : The Beginning was released on June 10 and it is now the biggest video game movie of all time. While it was not extremely popular in North America, it has been a success on the international screens. The Director, Duncan Jones, had to face many challenges to make this movie a reality. It has been a long trip for the creatives behind this movie and here are some of the most interesting facts about it.
Warcraft Logo for the movie
The Beginning

As some may know, this movie was first announced in 2006! It was meant to take place in the universe of Warcraft: Orc and Humans. After dropping this idea, it was delayed all the way to 2011. However, even then, Blizzard had been struggling with finding the perfect team and story. It was originally going to be Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead series, Spider man trilogy, Oz the Great and Powerful,…) who was supposed to be the director for the film. However, he was replaced by Duncan Jones (Moon and Source Code) in 2013. He immediately changed the script, with Blizzard’s approval, to give the orcs a more human aspect instead of making them the bad guys. Duncan Jones was unfortunate in the early making of the movie since he learned that his wife had breast cancer. Also, his father, David Bowie, died of cancer during late production.

 

For the Horde or the Alliance?

One of the great things that Duncan Jones did with this movie was the character development in the story. Unlike what some might have expected, it is hard to choose a side between he orcs and the humans. Both cultures are capable of great strength and love, but they are also both attracted to power. Which can bring even the biggest orc to become a slave to the fell. For the orcs, Durotan was one of the most interesting characters. He started as a chieftain who was following the others to help the orcs take on another realm. Then he had to decide what he was considering best for his people. The challenge at his feet is really changing him as the movie goes and we learn to understand the orcs more thanks to him. For the humans, Medivh, Kadgar and Lothar are the characters that we see the most. All of them are strong heroes, but they all have their weakness that will change the way they fight during the movie. There is one quote from the movie that really express what Duncan wanted to show us with those heroes:
“From Light comes Darkness and from Darkness come Light.”
-Warcraft : The Beginning, 2016.
Durotan for the Warfract Movie
Challenging CGI
Industrial Light & Magic, founded by George Lucas, one of Hollywood’s biggest visual effect studios. They are the ones behind Star Wars, Jurassic Park and many more. This studio was in charge of this massive challenge that was creating the effects for Warcraft : The Beginning. Creating the orcs was made with the help of motion capture with specific suits and cameras. To create the most realistic facial expressions for the orcs, 162 dots were painted on the the actor’s faces to capture as much details as they could. The work behind this, from both the actors and the CGI teams is enormous. However, it did pay off. The results are amazing and being considered one of the best motion capture. Some even consider it another step for the future of CGI. It truly brings some magic to the viewer’s eye! For all the details on their process, the following video is a small documentary about the movie:

[youtube https://youtu.be/yVBwuGWZi6o]

Art and Music

Warcraft movie poster of King Llane WrynnBlizzard’s art style as always been very iconic. We all know our characters have these huge shoulder armor and massive boots. It was another challenge for the movie team but they did aim for that style even if it seemed impossible. The massive armors created for the movie are true to the ones we would see in Stormwind and it is candy to the eye. Same goes to the Inn and all the other buildings that most of us walked in in the game. They are as you would imagine them and it feel like home! If you look closely, you will also notice that many Easter eggs are in various scenes! Try to find them all! Another really amazing thing from the art of this film was the soundtrack. It was unique and staying true to Blizzard’s style. Overall, the teams behind the visuals did a really great job!

 

 

Reception

In North America, Warcraft opened alongside the Conjuring 2 and Now you see me 2, which might have affected it’s popularity. In its first weekend, it was right behind the Conjuring 2 in the box office but the sells fell by 70% on it’s second weekend. However, outside of North America it has been a great success! It was the biggest opening day of all time in Ukraine, the biggest in Germany for 2016 and the second one in Russia right behind Deadpool. While in China it was one of the most anticipated film of all times. So far, this movie has made $380.4 million in the box office with a budget of $160 million. Will it be enough to get a second movie in the future? We would love to see one and we can’t wait to see the director’s cut for this one!

 

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