Director Duncan Jones made his third appearance at Comic-Con International in San Diego in as many years to promote "Warcraft," Legendary Pictures' epic, big budget adaptation of the popular "World of Warcraft" massively multiplayer online role-playing game. The film will finally be released next summer and he says he faces the same challenge making "Warcraft" appeal to people who have never played the game as Peter Jackson faced making "The Lord of the Rings" films appeal to people who have never read Tolkien.
He was joined onstage by ten actors from the film that make up both human and orcs. Travis Fimmel, Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Ben Foster, Ben Schnetzer, Toby Kebbell, Robert Kazinksy, Paula Patton, Daniel Wu, and Clancy Brown all appeared to help promote the film during the panel moderated by Chris Hardwick.
As the final piece of the Legendary Pictures presentation on Saturday afternoon in Hall H, the studio went all out -- taking advantage of wraparound screens to supplement the film footage being shown on the room's main screen. As the cast was introduced, booming music accompanied their entrance while scenes of them from the movie appeared on the main screen and supplementary footage and photos of their characters played on the long side screens that lined both sides of Hall H.
Fimmel complimented Jones and said the cast was lucky to have him in charge. "He put us in this amazing world of magical characters. I've never done motion-capture work before. I'm used to looking at brooms with foam on the end in front of a green screen. This [footage] was amazing to see."
Hardwick asked Fimmel if this was the first time he had seen any finished effects.
"Yeah," he replied and turned to look at Jones. "Good work, man. It looks amazing. I'm pretty impressed."
Kazinsky revealed that he was a major "World of Warcraft" fan before the movie came along. "I'm up to nearly 600 days played now," he said as the audience gasped. "There was a time when I was not in a 'World of Warcraft' movie. I was unemployed. I had a lot of free time available to eat cake and play 'Warcraft.' It would be a totally sad and pathetic story if I hadn't ended up making this movie, which has totally made it okay!"
"They made a great movie, and I'm not just saying that," Kazinsky continued. "I'm a gamer and I know what I'm expecting is what you're expecting from this thing, and I promise you -- Duncan Jones has made the movie that we wanted to see."
Schnetzer said he likes the fact that the film is not a "cut and dry good versus evil story. It has two heroes that are on a collision course and that was attractive to me." The story will be told from both the perspective of the invading orcs who are fleeing starvation of their home world of Draenor, and of the humans of Azaroth who must defend their homes from the horde.
Clancy Brown lowered his voice a few octaves and then launched into a 30-second rant in the Orc language, as the audience cheered. When the applause died, he paused and said, "When I look out at this audience... all I see is fuel for the fel." As fans of the game know, fel is a corrupting brand of magic derived from demon blood.
Wu said his wife was a huge fan of the game, and when he told her he had an audition for a film she got angry with him because he had planned to take a year off to help raise their newborn baby. "She said 'You promised me you wouldn't work,' and I said, 'But it's 'Warcraft.'' She goes 'You have to fucking do it!' I've been her hero ever since."
The attendees were then shown a brand new trailer for "Warcraft," which was met with applause worthy of an orc horde.
"Warcraft" is scheduled for release June 10, 2016 from Legendary Pictures.