The Warcraft movie panel was the first thing I was excited to see (short of the opening ceremony since I opted to sleep in). It began with a look at some of the impressive props and armour from the movie as well as some recognisable faces here to talk about the movie process and development.(Photo credit goes to MMO-Champion)
From the start, we were told how the director (Duncan Jones) wanted to portray both sides equally without any previous bias to the Alliance from the original screenplay. Chris Metzen echoed this new direction by saying he’d been waiting to hear someone say just that. After all, that’s how we play the game – by allowing you to pick a faction and see how it plays through from either side – but how do you tell a story from such an expansive world as Warcraft? That was one of the biggest hurdles they had to deal with.
Today, the main cast was finally revealed with a couple of outstanding promotional shots. Some of this will be old news but it’s great to see some official confirmation from the director and Blizzard themselves. You can tell it’s Dominic Cooper playing King Llane but can you recognise the face under that orcish growl?
As they started talking about Ogrim and the missing Doomhammer on stage, they were joined by Rob Kazinsky wielding the MASSIVE Doomhammer over his shoulder. It was great to see him geek out with the rest of the panel and fans as he spoke about his short-lived warrior during BC and then a DK throughout Wrath where he really became addicted with over 500 days /played.
It was most impressive to hear how motion capture was filmed on set with the other actors as Bill Westenhofer (visual effects supervisor) explained “We wanted to put our Orc actors right next to our human actors and have them interplay,” he said. “There’s a magic that happens in the real performance… Motion capture on set was an incredible technical challenge… Our camera operator could see, through his viewfinder, a digital representation of the Orc as he’s filming it. Our actors would be translated in real time, converted into an Orc, and they could see it.”
How fantastic is that?
Several months ago, I read The Flash was Rob’s favourite super so I put this little pic together. It was pretty difficult finding a good image with the right angle of his face but I think it works well enough here.
Chris: It’s the Vikings guy and he killed it!
Duncan: We needed someone the audience would care about.
Chris recalls Clancy saying: I can’t believe you brought me out for this gig, I thought I was the death of Warcraft products! (he was the voice of Thrall in the cancelled Warcraft Adventures series)
Since they wanted to use live action over motion capture for Garona, they needed an actor who could fulfil the physicality as well as the ‘acting chops’.
Duncan: He has an ability to communicate things through nuance.
Bill Westenhofer: I played Warcraft as a Mage so I had to teach Medivh and Khadgar how to cast magic spells!
Unfortunately, they played through the following two shots very quickly (since they appeared to be out of order) so here’s something I threw together:
- Gul’dan – Daniel Wu
Duncan: He’s known for playing heroes but this was an opportunity to play something very different.
- Lady Taria – Ruth Negga
Currently plays Raina in TV’s Agents of Shield.
The audience even helped them record a few war cries for the movie as they shouted ‘For the Alliance’, ‘For the Horde’ and ‘For Azeroth’.
Once again, I was disappointed with no footage or trailer – at least as a virtual ticket holder – but that was a different story for attendees at the con. Footage was being shown in the screening room upstairs and I’m told it was nothing short of spectacular.
During the panel, I tweeted:
— Cymre Jones (@Cymre) November 7, 2014
Then a few minutes after the panel ended, I looked at my notifications to see something pretty cool – a RT from the director himself!