Many gamers believe the age-old adage that it’s impossible to make a good film based on a video game. Luckily, that’s not a school of thought to which the minds behind the coming “Warcraft” movie subscribe. At BlizzCon 2014, fans got a glimpse of the film’s cast of characters Friday, and it looks like the movie’s creators are pulling them from all the right places in the source material.
Many believe “Warcraft” will be based on the hugely popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game “World of Warcraft” (“WoW”). While this is true in a way, it is worth mentioning that Blizzard Entertainment Inc. had three games before “WoW,” between 1994 and 2002. These original games will furnish much of the source material for the film, as IGN noted.
The movie will be split down the middle, with the Alliance making up one faction and the Horde making up the other (exactly the same way they’re split in the video games), according to the Los Angeles Times. The Alliance is home to humans, while the Horde is home to orcs. Despite one group being led by monsters, both sides will reportedly get equal motivation, screen time and character development.
According to MTV, the film will encompass the following characters:
Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel): Lothar is the main character for the Alliance. He is a war hero who will stop at nothing to protect the people of Azeroth (the film’s version of “Middle Earth” or “Pandora”).
King Llane Wrynn (Dominic Cooper): King Llane is he leader of the Alliance capital city of Stormwind. He will be tasked with leading his people through the coming war with the Horde.
Medivh (Ben Foster): Described by some as a “mage,” Medivh is reportedly known as “the Guardian.” He’s both mysterious and reclusive, but will play a big part in protecting Azeroth for the Alliance.
Lady Taria (Ruth Negga): While it would be easy for the Queen of Stormwind to be a vapid royal figure, she’s described as being King Llane’s great love and one of his most trusted sources of counsel.
Garona (Paula Patton): Garona, like the audience, will be torn between which faction to root for. It’s unclear how, but she’s described as having equal claim in the conflict and quickly needs to decide which side she’s on once war breaks out.
Durotan (Toby Kebbel): Durotan is described as the counterpart to Anduin Lothat. He’s the main character fans of the Horde will be rooting for. He’s the chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan whose only goal is to prevent the extinction of his people.
Orgrim (Rob Kazinsky): Orgrim is Durotan’s best warrior and most trusted adviser. According to MTV’s roundup, he’s also destined to wield the Doomhammer, “a weapon of orc legend.”
Blackhand (Clancy Brown): Otherwise known as “The Destroyer,” Blackhand is one of the orcs’ most infamous warchiefs.
Gul’dan (Daniel Wu): Gul’dan is the dark-magic embracing ruler of the orcs.
With its cast fully stocked with talented actors, it looks like “Warcraft” might have a shot at being the first video game-turned-movie to actually be worth the fan’s price of admission. Still, director Duncan Jones isn’t stopping there.
At the BlizzCon 2014 panel, Jones discussed how important it was to him to work closely with Blizzard’s creative minds to ensure the film hit the same notes as the game, IGN reported. “World of Warcraft” has enjoyed a steady run for the past decade with fans returning every day, according to its website.
The Alliance-versus-Horde debate has been raging among fans since the early 1990s. Obviously, the movie hopes to breathe new life into the conflict and bring it to an audience that’s never seen it before.
In that spirit, the filmmakers announced the creation of two websites where fans can go to choose their allegiance. At the panel, they announced “fightforthealliance.com” and “fightforthehorde.com,” where fans can decide who they’ll be rooting for when “Warcraft” hits theaters in 3D March 11, 2016. You can check out the full BlizzCon “Warcraft” movie panel on YouTube here or watch the first title sequence below: