First announced in 2006 as an adaptation of Blizzard Entertainment’s genre-leading MMO World of Warcraft, the Warcraft movie has spent most of the last seven years going nowhere fast. At various points, directors like Sam Raimi (Spider-Man) and Guillermo del Toro have been rumored to be connected with the project, which has morphed from an adaptation of one of Blizzard’s earlier Real Time Strategy (RTS) games to its current form inspired by more complex lore, but until recently nothing’s really stuck except production company Legendary Pictures.
Early this year Legendary piqued fan hopes that the film might actually be made when it announced that Duncan Jones, veteran of the indie darling Moon and the slightly less well-received but nonetheless successful Source Code was attached to direct. Those hopes were bolstered when Jones turned up at this summer’s Comic-Con with a short teaser (which hasn’t been publicly released) featuring a man an and orc engaging in a fight. Now it’s looking more likely than ever that rumors of a production start date early next year are correct, as casting appears to be moving forward.
According to Deadline, Paula Patton (Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, 2 Guns) is in “advanced negotiations” for one of the leads, though the particular role is yet to be revealed. Another lead role has been offered to Colin Farrell, but it’s unclear at this point whether he’s likely to accept. Paul Dano (Prisoners), Anton Yelchin (Like Crazy, Star Trek), Travis Fimmel (Vikings), and Anson Mount (Hell on Wheels) are also apparently being considered for undisclosed roles. Charles Leavitt, who wrote Blood Diamond as well as the scripts for the forthcoming Seventh Son and In the Heart of the Sea, handled scripting duties based on a story by Blizzard writer Chris Metzen.
As we mentioned last week, this is among the continued attempts to effectively move video game properties into the motion picture space, an effort that, to date, has been mostly lacking in quality results. World of Warcraft presents a particular challenge, as the game features not a singular storyline, but a mass of story elements in which a multitude of players participate. That said, though it may come a few years late, the project should be able to tap into a sizable worldwide player base which peaked at around 12 million monthly subscribers.