When Moon director Duncan Jones was hired to direct the World of Warcraft movie, our hopes were raised. But can Jones really make the first truly decent movie version of a hit video game? We asked the film's producer, Thomas Tull, and here's what he told us.
We caught up with Tull, chief of Legendary Pictures, during the press roundtables for Pacific Rim in San Francisco. And we asked him one question about Warcraft: "How do you make a video game movie that doesn't suck?" He responded:
You start with that exact question... I think, as a gamer myself, a lot of times what has happened in the past is, studios have said, 'How many people play that game? Okay, then that means they'll probably all go and buy tickets.' That is an incredibly poor way to make a movie.
So for us, it's [like], We don't know how to make a movie out of Warcraft, the video game. [Instead], it's the incredible story, and the war, and these races, and everything these guys at Blizzard [Entertainment] have come up with. They have 100 books, and just this incredibly rich world that they've created.
And so having Duncan Jones realize that for us was exciting. We've also taken our time, because we absolutely don't want to screw it up. And I think we're getting close to a place [where] we're ready to go. And when the script is finished, and when we feel like, 'Forget whether or not there's a built-in audience. Does this stand on its own, and is it great?' Then we'll start filming. We're not quite there yet, but we're under suspicion of going there. And Duncan is one of those directors that you just [say], 'This guy gets it.'
The next two years are going to be pretty exciting, I think.
But Tull notably did not confirm recent reports that Warcraft would start filming early in 2014 — and his comments about wanting to wait until the script is right made it sound as though there's no set timeline for filming to start.
Bear in mind that Sam Raimi was previously signed up to direct World of Warcraft, and he told Vulture that he left the project after he realized that "Blizzard had veto power" over the script. Raimi also said he felt as though both Blizzard and Legendary were impatient with his progress on the movie — even though Blizzard also kept sending him back to the drawing board.