Though video-games are getting wide recognition for their intricate storylines, memorable characters, and engaging experience, they seem to be cursed when it comes to movie adaptations. However, increasing popularity and a fiercely loyal fanbase have led to several popular video-games getting adapted on the large screen. Joining the list is one of the highest-grossing video-game franchises of all time, World of Warcraft.
World of Warcraft is a hugely popular multiplayer role-playing game set in the fictional realm of Azeroth. Released back in 1994, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans made real-time strategy (RTS) games immensely popular. The fourth sequel in the series, World of Warcraft became its most popular release as it registered over a hundred million accounts in 2014. By 2017, World of Warcraft had earned over $9.23 billion in revenue, making Warcraft one of the most successful and highest-grossing franchises of all time.
In 2016, Warcraft was adapted into a movie and released starring Vikings star Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, and Dominic Cooper. Created as a collaboration between Legendary Pictures and Warcraft‘s developer Blizzard Entertainment, the movie was released under the banner of Universal Pictures. Despite being one of the most anticipated movies of 2016, Warcraft was a financial and critical disaster, earning $439 million against a budget of $160 million. However, Warcraft surpassed Prince of Persia: Sands of Time to become the highest-grossing video-game adaptation of all time.
As most video-game adaptations have faced criticism for their plotline and over-reliance on CGI effects, Warcraft was also considered to face the same fate of getting canceled. However, according to comicbook.com, Daniel Ritchman has revealed that Legendary Pictures has a second World of Warcraft movie in development.
Duncan Jones, the director of Warcraft has been quite vocal regarding the scope for exploration in the subsequent sequels to his movie. As a gigantic role-playing game, World of Warcraft is certainly not a walk in the park to adapt for the silver screen. Moreover, Blizzard Entertainment has consistently been updating World of Warcraft, making the lore larger than ever.
Also see: Moon Knight vs Batman: Who Wins?
Travis Fimmel, the actor who plays the role of the legendary Ragnar Lodbrok in Vikings, has stated earlier that his role in the historical drama series has helped him prepare well for Warcraft.
“It certainly helps. It’s very different. Warcraft is very motion capture-oriented and special effects-orientated and we wear costumes that I couldn’t get through a door with all the armor.,” he began. “You can’t lift your arms above your head with that on, but Vikings is a bit more natural with the fighting.”
Having received widespread acclaim for his portrayal of Viking hero Ragnar Lodbrok, Travis Fimmel has stated that he was aware of the responsibilities he had to shoulder once he entered the lore of World of Warcraft. However, the sheer popularity of the game and the massive fanbase of the game did surprise Fimmel.
“No, I wasn’t at all. It’s amazing how many people play the game. I saw all the visuals. The movie is so close to Warcraft. They really kept it true to the game and you get a pretty good sense of the game just from what we’re doing on set…I’ve never been much of a gamer.”
“I think it’s a great show for the mentality of gamers. They like the games that are full of action, they like strategy,” he added. “That’s so much what Vikings is about, the strategy and how they can overcome great obstacles. And there’s action everywhere, and women that are very easy to watch.”
As Sony’s critically acclaimed Uncharted franchise is getting adapted on the big screen with popular actors Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, Antonio Banderas, and Sophia Taylor Ali, World of Warcraft should surely get another chance at redemption. With more popular franchises like The Last of Us, Mortal Kombat, Borderlands, The Witcher, and Tomb Raider getting movie adaptions, the huge, epic-fantasy realm of World of Warcraft does deserve a shot at movies, but only if handled with expertise.