SDCC: WARCRAFT Looks Big, Weird And Expensive

Also surprisingly thoughtful!

Duncan Jones showed off a brief trailer for Warcraft, his adaptation of the Blizzard video game series, which he said is kind of a prequel. Jones says that the film shows the days of the world of Azeroth - the fantasy planet at the center of the series - when the war between orcs and humans first began. And he's spending time on both sides of the conflict, something the trailer showed off.

The first part of the trailer is narrated by two men - a human and an orc - and is their surprisingly introspective and philosophical thoughts on themselves as men, fathers and leaders. They both sound like men who want to avoid war but are resigned to fighting it. The designs look true to the game - big armor, big weapons and orcs that look just like Blizzard's cartoony orcs. We see what I'm assuming are the Blasted Lands, as the orc voice over mentions that their homeland is gone and cannot be visited again. 

Then there's a whole bunch of stuff - mages casting electric spells, a female dark elf (? It's hard to say. She's greenish and has pointy ears but is live action, unlike the CGI orcs) licking a man, fellowships riding out and following trails of blood. And then at the end there's a shot that sealed the whole deal for me: an orc is leading a group into battle when a human riding a gryphon swoops down at him. A winged mount! He must be like a level 70 at least, right?

The big takeaway: while Warcraft retains Blizzard's cartoony, imaginative designs it looks to have some serious stuff on its mind. It's a story about big ideas of war and peace, honor and hope. Speaking of hope: I'm filled with it; I think this could be just the kind of oddball movie that is truly, absolutely unique while playing with familiar tropes.