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New Warcraft movie details emerge from the fog of war (and BlizzCon)

S. Prell, @SamPrell

A BlizzCon 2013 panel has revealed new details regarding Warcraft, the movie adaptation of Blizzard's epic tale of orc-on-human-on-elf-on-various-other-races violence. While we already knew that the movie is slated to wage war on our pitiful human theaters on December 18, 2015, we didn't know what time period the movie would take place in, or which characters fans could expect to see. Now we do.

The movie will be an "origin story," according to director Duncan Jones, and will explore conflict from the perspectives of both humans and orcs. In other words, this is Warcraft, not World of Warcraft. Anduin Lothar, who led the Alliance in Warcraft 2: Tides of Darkness, will be the hero for the humans, while Durotan, father of Thrall, will be the hero for the orcs. Jones said at the panel that the story would be "about both sides," and described the tone as "red and blue" instead of good and evil.

The film's visual effects director, Bill Westenhofer, said that the team plans to use a mix of live-action and CG effects to create a "gritty, muddy, down in the dirt, covered in grime" feel that he compared to Gladiator. "The swords that are being built are the biggest swords that a human can wield," Westenhofer said. And which humans will be wielding those swords?

Unfortunately, Jones and company aren't giving specifics yet. When asked during the Q&A portion of the panel if he had any actors in mind, Jones replied, "Yup! Sure do!" Jones teased that the film presents an opportunity for strong female characters as well, so speculate on that as you will.

The BlizzCon panel also showed off several pieces of concept art, including landscapes of Stormwind, Draenor, Dalaran and Ironforge. Westenhofer, who is a regular player of World of Warcraft, said he logs into the game regularly to get references for the film's art direction.

Simon Duggan (The Great Gatsby, I, Robot) will handle cinematography, while Mayes Rubeo (Avatar, Apocalypto) will be in charge of costumes. Industrial Light & Magic (Star Wars, Pacific Rim) will help create the film's visual effects. Warcraft will begin filming in Vancouver early next year. To whet your appetite until we know more, you can read a liveblog of the Warcraft film panel over at WoW Insider.

Gallery: Warcraft Movie | 4 Photos

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