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Liveblogging the BlizzCon movie panel

Amanda Rivera

Here we go with the movie panel at BlizzCon, so exciting! We're starting a bit late, but so are they. Come along for the ride and let's have the time of our movie-loving lives!

Talking about the story of what they want to make with a movie, they want to create a great, BIG EPIC movie that we will all remember, not just another video game movie.

We're very excited to be here, and they're suprised so many people showed up to visit the panel. Many times video game movies are all about just slapping movies together (these are the guys that brought us 300)

they want us to walk out of the theatre with our jaws on the floor

They're going to give us actual facts rather than a group hug, this will be a HUGE production a "tent pole" picture that is really important to Legendary pictures, this is a serious endeavor for them. They are in the process of building the script.

The film should be out in 2009. they are drawn to the world because of the beauty of the Warcraft world. This movie is very important to them, they want to be true to the game and the fan base.

12:12 Chris Metzen has taken the mic. "Hello BlizzCon" This is a day long in the making, they have been trying to get a film going for a long time.

He's going to talk about what this movie might be, if you base a movie on something serial, you start at the beginning and continue from there like Harry Potter, and so they thought that War I would be a great place to start, but it's a story we've already seen that with LotR .

Most people know Warcraft from WoW (he asks for a raise of hands of who played War before WoW, and it was most of the audience) The story of the movie takes place about a year before WoW begins, so a fairly recent movie. They don't want to say too much about the story, but it will be a mix of recent plot points wrapped into a two hour tale. Concerns of continuity will be dealt with a lot like XMen movies, the sequence of events is more of a reimagining of recent plot points that will feel relevant to players of WoW.

Thematically it will be about cultures in conflict, much like WoW and the constant cycle of warfare we know so well.

Thrall will be in the movie, many other characters that haven't had much play in the game will get screen time, but honestly it's about what makes sense with the story. There will also be a new hero in the movie (very cool)

The main thing with this movie is that they want to give details, but at the same time they want the creative folks to do their thing.

Q&A time!

Q: Heroes of WoW will be in the movie, but what about classes?

A: Classes will be in the movie, but can't give details since still in scripting process, not exactly clear and we don't know yet, but we want many familiar elements in the movie as possible

Q: Live action or animated?

A: Live Action! *cheering*

Q: Who is the director?

A: The conversations about this are starting, and they expect high caliber talent for this project as their field general.

Q: Actors picked out?

A: Nope, casting happens after the director is selected.

Q: Are you introducing the same bad ass in both the movie and the comic

A: Nope, but they could be twins

Q: Are you going to keep the idea that Horde is evil and Alliance good? (this is so not really the actual case)

A: Yes, we will keep the same themes

Q: Metzen is a geius. What will be the rating on this Epic movie

A: It's hard to predict what the rating board will do with a movie, and it's tough to balance things, the story and the director's vision will dictate the rating.

It comes down the level of intensity of the movie, but it won't be a PG movie, it's called Warcraft not Pillow-Fight Craft

Q: How will the story be like? Like a group of people on a journey, or an epic battle of all races...?

A: Good question. It's actually not a great adventure like LotR with a band of heroes, not a quest movie, it's more of a war movie, it's absolutely a war movie. It will feel like great cultures movie, spilling over and out of control. Armies building to an inevitable conclusion type of movie

Q: What races will be represented?

A: Not very easy to answer considering the timeline we're talking about, so they are not sure about if the Forsaken have yet joined the Horde But not everyone can be in the spotlight in the first movie anyway

Q: Will the movie deal with more Alliance than Horde?

A: It is principally told from the Alliance (about damn time), but Chris' heart lies with the Horde, but from a moviemaking standpoint it would be too hard to deal with both sides. And they want to build a blockbuster movie, and that's tough to do with a green guy like Thrall (they yell Shrek) tonally they are after things like 300, Braveheart, Gladiator, huge sweeping epics with a lot of soul. They don't want to make another game movie. They really want to focus on characters you can immediately identify with and no disrespect to Shrek. Through their eyes we can undersand the world they live in.

Q: Warcraft has a lot of strong characters, would you consider going back to do another movie on Arthas?

A: I would consider that, sure, but we haven't talked about what other films might deal with. We have to get the first movie right first before you deal with franchises.

Q: The fight between factions, will that be part of the tale?

A: This movie focuses on the conflict between the factions, no plan for "a high five" We haven't contacted Chuck Norris yet, but that's...

Q: I am worried about the lore, things like will gnomes be represented (a question not really about the movie I gather)

A: (Metzen looks confused, and so am I) Gnomes won't be leaving Gnomer in this film. The lore will be respected in this film

Q: Video Game movies have a bad track record because they deviate from the main story lines, are you therefore worried about this negatively affecting this movie?

A: If you try to make a movie about all the game products, it gets clumsy considering the gaps in the timeline. This is based on two or three major moments in the games, so it isn't radically apart from the continuity, so it really holds together. We want it to taste like the WoW world. but it's also really fresh. I understand the fear that you don't want us to screw up the story, but we will be respectful of the continuity but will hold up as a killer 2 hour movie. It is a little modified.

There's so much in this world to deal with, so you use that as a jumping off point to tell a kick ass story. They want the players to enjoy the movie experience, if they are too much a slave to the story that won't be the case. They want to respect the world, but to translate it to the screeen and is great on film.

Q: Two part question: Humor in WoW -- will the silliness also be in the film?

A: Humor is critical to what Warcraft is, it's what people expect from WoW and the charm of Warcraft, they are definitely looking to make sure that humor comes through.

Q: second part -- LotR being so epic and real, will you focus on real effects or CG?

A: This is grounded and feel like a real world is important, so the tech is getting better every day, this will be determined by the director. 300 did open a lot of doors as far as surreal effects that still look grounded. There are a lot of new doors open to realize possibilities

Q: Is your goal to get big name actors, or fresher faces?

A: It's early in the process, there are certain movies that need big name actors, I don't think they are approaching it like that. I can tell you that when they did Superman Returns and the kid that played Superman for them asked if he could get a tour of the Warcraft offices because he is such a huge fan.

Q: Will CInematic work from the game make it into movie?

A: They will definitely set the design feeling, and a massive inspiration, but we haven't discussed using that if at all.

Q: Arthas will be in the story at all in the storyline, and will Thrall will be Borat?

A: Borat wasn't our first thought, maybe the guy he fought (laughter) with the whole Arthas thing, this one probably doesn't focus on his storyline, but referencing it will likely be a priority

They are saying that we get how important this is to the players, and the second thing is if we traveled this far, we would want to see something special for coming here so, when they do a movie on this scope, the artists put together storyboards (SWEET!)

They showed us a concept of the Teldrassil, and it is FABOO.

That's the end of the panel, thanks for reading along with us!

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