Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Raimi directs Warcraft

...Huh.

So, according to AICN: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/41761

AND Variety: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118006299.html?categoryid=13&cs=1

Unless both of those are full of bupkiss, apparently... Sam Raimi will direct the feature film adaptation of "Warcraft." There's no specification as to whether this is just a fantasy/action film set in the "Warcraft" universe or something tied directly to the "World of Warcraft" MMORPG franchise, but it's the popularity (and pop-culture ubiquity) of "WoW" that's driving this, no question.

Until there's something concrete (story, tone, pitch) this is honestly kind of a "huh, could be good" for me. The idea of Sam Raimi helming a mega-budget fantasy/action epic is, of course, automatically worth looking forward to even if you DON'T take into account what an awesome steward he was of that genre with his Hercules and Xena shows... in which case it becomes a MUST SEE... but I've really never been into MMORPGs or Warcraft in general; so I won't be geeking out until I at least start seeing some under-dressed starlets done up as Night Elf wenches (again, thank Rao that Raimi was also the boss of Xena.) And even WITH Raimi's involvement... look, I'm sorry Warcraft fans but... without substantial plot additions, how can this hope to be anything other than LOTR/Narnia again but with different costume choices? Part of the appeal of this franchise (especially in MMORPG form) is the way it encapsulates a generalized melenge of every fantasy cliche and trope in existance. Until details emerge, I maintain my earlier position that doing the formula of a normal human pulled "into" WoW for real (or vice-versa) is the most plausibly-decent way of doing this.

Funny, though, how things change: When Raimi was announced as the director of "Spider-Man," it was a HUGE deal for film geeks because it represented something "we" almost never get: A major studio taking the chance of letting a geek-cinema icon take charge of a big-ticket franchise the pairing of which was a geek wet-dream. Now, not even a decade later, his attachment here is big news in an entirely different direction - Raimi is NOW the type of A-list blockbuster talent that "we" almost never get to see tackle game-adaptations.

8 comments:

Thomas said...

I only have a passing familiarity with WoW plot elements, but isn't it somewhat distinguished by the fact that the Horde vs. Alliance rivalry isn't entirely Good vs. Evil? Rather isn't it based largely on mutual hatred, weakening both sides as a real undead evil attempts to conquer everything.

Perhaps the lack of straight-up G vs. E allegory will make the story easier to relate to than LOTR/Narnia. We may actually root for Orcs this time out.

A human getting dragged into the WoW world sounds a lot like Army of Darkness. Not a bad thing, mind you, just putting it out there.

Anonymous said...

Sort of how they dealt with the whole idea in Warcraft III. Evil/undead bad, orcs/trolls/etc bad from humans/elves/dwarves point of view, and vice versa. Both must eventually come together to destroy evil/undead.

Sounds interesting, at the very least.

untravaersil said...

Diablo movie would be better. Just saying.

Kyle said...

Spiderman movies sucked. Only redeemable aspects are Alfred Molina and the scene where Spiderman saves the commuter train.

Jabrwock said...

Sounds like the plot will be based on the Lore of Warcraft. Good, I was afraid it might be some kind of stupid "memorpeger player gets sucked in" plot.

seraphmaclay said...

I've heard a number of different things about the plot for this movie, but, with it being Raimi, I'm kinda hoping they start at the beginning, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans. Build the mythology, tell the first story of the first war, and go from there. Besides, how many fantasy movies are told from the perspective of an Orc?

GEL said...

I'd definitely side with the "Go ahead and make it a LotR clone".

While not a hardcore Warcraft fan, I am fully familiar with how extensively detailed Blizzard likes to get with their worlds and lore and there's plenty to work with here. Yes it's derivative in many ways but still. This also means you can shove damn well nearly any fantasy plot into the World of Warcraft and it will turn out well.

Afew small things of note though: As a previous poster mentioned, Horde vs Alliance isn't Good vs Evil as they both have their ups and downs and both have to worry about far bigger threats out there. Also don't forget that the Dranei are kind-of aliens but not.

Also there's a number of Warcraft books (including one based on the cancelled point and click adventure "Lord of the Clans", which was about an Orc adoped by Humans who would later turn against them as he was mistreated). Perhaps your next boredom fiction conquest should be reading one of those?

Striker Z said...

The last time I would have been excited about a Warcraft movie was about TEN YEARS AGO. Even WITH the possible addition of Raimi, I don't expect much.

Partly, this is because the lore was actually better when it was simpler and less cluttered - when it was a desperate fight against bloodthirsty, extra-dimensional invaders. Through the entire existence of WoW, Blizzard has been claiming that the two sides aren't cut-and-dry good vs. evil, but they've done it in an idiotic, ham-fisted manner. The Horde are bloodthirsty monsters who will kill you, suck the magic out of you, and eat you (maybe in that order), but they act all tribal and in-touch-with-nature, so you're supposed to identify them with Native Americans and think of them as all cool and peaceful. Meanwhile, attempts to make the Alliance eeeeeeeeeevil basically consist of grabbing random humans and declaring them to be racist for such reasons as 'otherwise the plot doesn't move'. So, yeah, unless it plays up the camp value to Herc-and-Xena levels, it'll probably blow chunks.