World of Warcraft film gains another big name director
A little while ago we were hearing that any film based on the World of Warcraft online game wouldn't be happening and while the studio were keen it didn't look like any Hollywood studio were going to commit.
Events have changed as a rather well known and exciting director has signed up to the film meaning that not only is it happening but that it's happening in a rather interesting way, or at least I hope so considering who's directing.
The news has been flying around everywhere now that Duncan Jones, director of Source Code and Moon (Filmstalker review) has signed up to direct Warcraft, a film based on the massive multiplayer online game called World of Warcraft, a film that has been attempted a few times already but has consistently failed to get made.
The last attempt, since we heard about the World of Warcraft film back in May 2006, has been the most positive when we heard that none other than Sam Raimi was set to direct it, and when he talked about the film back in July of 2010 he had some rather positive comments to say:
"When you love something, you understand it inside and out - and that way, you know how to direct the picture. When you're behind the camera, you know why that scene isn't working and you know what the heart of it is supposed to be about so you know what to communicate to the actors and the cameramen or to the crew...
...I don't know when we're going to start shooting because we're still finding the stories and the characters...It's really coming along well, but there's more work to do."
So what happened? Why didn't Raimi see the film through to fruition? Was it one of the two most common problems in this area - budget or creative control?
Now Duncan Jones is taking up the challenge and I think it's a particularly big challenge for him. Moon (Filmstalker review) and Source Code were both excellent films and offered the audience something more than expected.
Moon was a film made for around US $1 million and with one actor, limited locations, and very clever film-making not to mention a superbly written thought provoking and intelligent script. Source Code was something similar, although the budget and scale was increased somewhat with a rise that The Hollywood Reporter report as going to US $35 million.
This seems another large leap for him but it's one he's proven he can take, see Moon to Source Code, but that's not where I'm wondering about Jones' fit in the film, it's about the content.
Moon and Source Code were both cleverly written science fiction films, what's Warcraft going to be? Will it be a straight view of the in-game world bringing it to life in a full on Game of Thrones type way but with loads more fantastical elements? If it is that really doesn't sound like a great fit for Jones and I can't see where the wonderful writing and direction of the first two films really come into play.
Perhaps the Warcraft film, with the current script written by Charles Leavitt which is apparently being kept for the new director, is doing something much more intelligent, perhaps it is looking at the real world and the Warcraft world at the same time, acknowledging the fact that people are remotely creating their characters and giving them an in-game life?
For me the latter idea is where Duncan Jones fits best but then we don't know what the script delivers for the film, perhaps Jones is just keen to step things up and try something different from the two films he's delivered, after all he'd easily get pigeon-holed as the director who has to deliver incredibly clever and twist-laden films. Maybe Warcraft would be a break from that?