build the full world that fans of Blizzard?s various ?Warcraft? games
Posted by Cassandra27 on July 14th, 2015
“Jeron Lanier and ‘Lawnmower Man.’ That was VR. And there was the VFX1, that big giant VR prototype unit, and I was like, ‘I am going to save my money and get one of those.’ And then VR just sort of drifted away.” We talked about his involvement in the demo. “We had a limited window of opportunity to make this thing, and we wanted to utilize the assets as smartly as we could. Stormwind [the city you see in the VR demo] is something we obviously had realized in great detail for the film, so that gave us a leg up. The griffin is obviously a big part of ‘Warcraft.'”
I asked him if building those assets helps at all with future “Warcraft” films if they make them, or if this is something that only really matters one film at a time. “I certainly hope we would not limit our storytelling based on the assets. But there will certainly be some amount of re-use. Stormwind certainly isn’t going anywhere.”
We talked about how it feels to build the full world that fans of Blizzard’s various “Warcraft” games have been participating in for so long now. “The more we build it, the more details there are. It’s like this tangible dream. It starts as this smoky dream, and then we keep filling in more of those details. As the technology improves, who knows how we’ll be able to use those assets? You may be able one day to veer off course and leave Stormwind and fly off somewhere else for more VR experiences.”
More than any of the technology, what I find interesting about “Warcraft” as a movie is the notion that this is a big fantasy epic with no clearly delineated “bad guys” in it. Instead, because players in the games can pick roles on either side, it was important to Jones to make sure to give both sides an equal voice in this conflict. “The Horde can be the heroes,” he said, grinning. “I think this is the appeal. As you may know, ‘Warcraft’ is a project that was in development for some time, and they just were not able to thread the needle and figure out what would make it work as a film and still be referential to the game. And when I came in, my first pitch was, ‘Look, when you play the game, you play as the Horde or you play as the Alliance, but you are the hero. This film has to do that, or it’s wrong. I know it’s not all about the game, but that is what makes it unique as a fantasy universe. And as much as I love ‘Lord Of The Rings,’ and as much as Peter Jackson broke the path for fantasy films, those are movies where the cute guys are the good guys, and the bad guys are the ugly ones and the monsters. This is an opportunity to take that trope and flip it on its head and say, ‘No, good guys are all over the place, and the bad guys? You have to work that out.’ That’s a more interesting version of that original fantasy idea.”
We talked about the way studios are starting to bring guys up from smaller films to gigantic films very quickly. Jones has made two features, and while “Source Code” is bigger than “Moon,” and both are fiendishly clever on a technical level, I asked how it felt for him to make the jump to something as gigantic as “Warcraft,” and whether he ever felt overwhelmed by it. “There is a strange experience I went through on this film because the world that we’re creating…. I should say reflecting, since Blizzard has already created it… is so vast, so how do you give these different environments enough face time that the audience will feel like they know them and they’ve got some sense of understanding of them. I think we’ve done a pretty good job, but you’re definitely going to want to go, ‘What’s over there? What’s over there?’ If you’re on the moon base in ‘Moon’ or the train in ‘Source Code,’ you know what those places are because we shot the hell out of them, but Azeroth… it’s a big place. There’s a lot to show. We’ve done a wonderful job of setting up the world, and you’re going to want to explore more of it.”
All told, Jones will be on this film for a full 3 1/2 years, and I asked how much he was in love with the material before making that commitment. “I’m hoping I can keep playing in this world and squeeze in some of my own stuff as well. That would be the dream career.” I asked him how it feels to have Legendary’s full support on the film. “That was a huge part of this. I have the added benefit that the guys at Blizzard are very very important. I was a ‘Warcraft’ player myself, and when I pitched my take on the film, they said right away, ‘that is a player. That is the game.’ So I’ve had their support from the very beginning.”
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About the AuthorCassandra27
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