I’m not gonna link directly to it, but sites like the German gaming mag Gamona.de currently host the San Diego Comic Con footage of Duncan Jones’s Warcraft movie. It’s a mobile recording and the quality is rather shitty, but finally we can have a look at what this is going to look like.
First of all, it is not what most probably expected to see. It’s not a typical best-of trailer that sums up the whole movie, it’s not trying to sell an epic story the way Blizzard’s cinematic game intros do, and it doesn’t show epic battle scenes of Orcs and humans fighting. Get this: it doesn’t even show humans.
Instead, it’s all about selling the Orcs as breathing, complex characters. Yeah, bone-crushing, blood thirsty Orcs as charismatic leads. You see Orcs arriving at a base. They walk around camp and you see hordes of Orc warriors preparing for battle, an Orc magician opening the Dark Portal to the realm of humans, and finally, Orcs charging through it. But: There’s no thrill to any of it. The Orcs are huge and carry weapons and wear tribal gear, but they’re not crushing bones or drinking blood. Instead, they’re slowly walking around, and the second half of the footage has the Orc hero Durotan (Toby Kebbell) talk to his pregnant wife (probably Paula Patton as a half-orc). They’re actually talking about how to name their baby. Later on, an Orc warrior tells his wife that he’ll go first through the portal, making sure she’s safe. These aren’t brutal brutes, but caring soldiers.
It’s a really brave choice to have Orcs as something else than ugly monsters that need to be killed by good-looking human heroes. It may even work in the finished version, but the in-progress quality of the preview material does not convince. The way the Orcs talk with their giant teeth looks unconvincingly, same for all of their motions, and the glossy look of the VFX makes it look like a full-blown animated movie. Right now, it doesn’t seem as if those fake looking Orcs could sit at the same table as human warriors. But as the movie is still a year away, therefore we can expect everything to look way better in its finished form. Right? Hopefully. This would not be enough.
Blizzard games are some of the most played on Earth, and with The Hobbit over, it’ll easily scratch that Lord of the Rings itch most people have. Unlike The Seventh Son it’ll be a big and successful movie, but it’ll be interesting to see whether general audiences will actually care for Orc romances.
Honestly? I don’t think they will want to. What do you think?