Adapting videogames to the movies has been a tricky and largely unsuccessful business, but that doesn't mean Hollywood won't keep trying: In the next few years we're expecting to see games like Assassin's Creed, The Last of Us and Uncharted all hit the screen. But perhaps the biggest of these is Warcraft, the movie based on World of Warcraft that is coming out in 2016 following a lengthy two-year post-production process.
Traditionally, movies based on videogames can't achieve box-office success based just on fans of the game(s) buying tickets. Like comic-book films, they have to extend their reach to more of the general public -- something almost every game-based movie has failed to do. Perhaps with this in mind, Warcraft director Duncan Jones (Source Code, Moon) has taken to Twitter to solicit fans' advice on how to get his movie to the next level (so far, only audiences at Comic-Con and BlizzCon have seen footage from the film). Jones wrote:
“So let’s chat. I’ve got a movie coming out next year; Warcraft. It’s based on a computer game of the same name but it’s pretty unique. We’re trying to work out how best to let people who don’t play the game know that this is a film they’ll genuinely want to see. You know as well as I do, game to film adaptations have a checkered past, but I’m proud of this beast. It’s unique. It’s something special.”
As you might expect, Jones gets a ton of suggestions while also dropping some hints about the structure of the film itself. He says that it's told from both points of view -- orcs and humans -- and estimates that the movie is “somewhere between Planet of the Apes, Fellowship of the Ring and Avatar" in terms of how much screen time is given to CGI.
The suggestions themselves are interesting: One fan thinks that cutting two trailers -- one from each side -- might be a good idea, and Jones says he's actually pitched that himself. A number of posts encourage Jones (and the studio behind him) to market the movie with confidence and not shy away from its more outlandish or game-driven aspects. At one point, Jones asks if the title itself could hurt the movie, although he doesn't go any further down that road.
Most of the people posting seem to agree that if the film simply delivers a good story and characters it will get moviegoers to come. Jones says, "Not worried about the film. Want to find the best way to let the broader audience know it's a film for them too."
That could be a task more difficult than playing even running the most challenging raid. What are your suggestions? Leave them below or tweet them @ManMadeMoon. Warcraft is scheduled to open on March 11, 2016.