Director Uwe Boll contacted Blizzard about directing the film, but Blizzard refused. As quoted by MTV news Uwe Boll stated: "I got in contact with Paul Sams of Blizzard, and he said, 'We will not sell the movie rights, not to you... especially not to you. Because it's such a big online game success, maybe a bad movie would destroy that ongoing income, what the company has with it."
Duncan Jones said that the original script was very one sided; he stated it "was the stale fantasy trope of, humans are the good guys and monsters are the bad guys." After signing on to direct, he made major edits to the story, as well as the script, so both factions could tell their side of the story. He got approval from Blizzard, who was also looking to change the story.
Bill Westenhofer, the lead visual effects supervisor for the film, is a long time World of Warcraft player and has mentioned getting up at 2 a.m. to raid with his guild while on film sets. Robert Kazinsky is also a die hard Warcraft player and recalls producers telling him to turn the game off while on the set of Pacific Rim (2013).
The source for the movie adaptation is being taken from the books "Rise of the Horde," which tells how the Orcish Horde was formed; as well as "The Last Guardian," which shows the human side and reaction to Orcish invasion.
Lifesize weapons and suits of armour were built for the orcs despite the orcs being played by actors via motion capture. This was mainly for photographic references and so that they could use them as props on the set.
The film was going to be released in December 2015 but was pushed back to May 2016 to avoid the release of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015).
Duncan Jones said that the Warcraft universe is very "High Fantasy" or in other words very eccentric and planned to make it feel more grounded in reality though at the same time keep the look and feel of the games in the film.
When a fan asked Duncan Jones where he would be shooting the film during a Blizz-Con panel, he was not allowed to answer, but the actor did hint at the shirt he was wearing that said "Vancouver" (where the film was shot).
The film went through 20 months of post production. Thomas Tull the CEO of Legendary Pictures and producer of the film said that the things Duncan Jones and the special effects team are doing are truly on the cutting edge.
Recognized by his ponytail and iconic ax, Grommash Hellscream makes a few appearances during the film. While he doesn't speak or involve himself in the story, his presence is still a subtle nod to the die-hard fans of the franchise.
Colin Farrell was approached for the role of King Llane and he even met with the director and read the script. Ultimately he was not cast and Dominic Cooper then took the role.
Chris Metzen, the lead story writer at Blizzard Entertainment and the voice of many key characters in the Warcraft series, is also in charge of the story of the film.
At USD 8.5 million, the movie holds the record for the largest weekday-midnight opening in China.
Blizzard announced a Warcraft film in 2006. The film was eventually released in 2016. Blizzard is famous for delaying its games times and times again. E.g., Diablo III (2012) was delayed several times, and released 10 years after Diablo II (2000).
A live action concept trailer for the film was shown at comic-con a few years ago showing a knight begin a fight with an Orc. It was revealed hours later that the film had not even started pre production.
Duncan Jones faced personal struggles during filming; his wife Rodene Ronquillo was diagnosed with breast cancer soon after Jones took over, and his father David Bowie died from cancer late in production. Jones summed up the challenge as: "My film started and ended with cancer."
Famous Orc chieftains from Draenor appear in the horde when the dark portal opens. These include Kilrogg Deadeye, Kargath Bladefist and Grommash Hellscream.
Early in the film, a murloc can be seen by a small stream. The noise it makes is the same as the creatures inside of World of Warcraft can be heard making.
One of the complaints about the film was directed at its fast pacing and editing problems. Some viewers suspected that a lot of footage may have been deleted in post-production (possibly on studio orders), which would open up the possibility of a director's cut. Director Duncan Jones has acknowledged the problems, and stated that his initial cut of the movie was about 40 minutes longer. However, he denied that cutting out those 40 minutes were solely responsible for the pacing issues, and has put rumors of an extended version to rest: "Trying to make a movie like Warcraft, [...] you get killed by a death of 1,000 cuts. Not just editing cuts. [...] You go through a writing stage right up to the deadline of shooting the thing. [You lose] ideas in the writing process. Then sets change for whatever reason and notes come in. You're changing things around a three-and-a-half-year process. You get these little changes which are constantly course correcting you. [...] When you make a little change it doesn't seem like a big deal. When you keep making those little changes, [...] suddenly you're basically spending all of your time trying to work out how to patch up what has been messed around with." As a result, a lot of scenes ended up not being filmed or omitted in an early phase: "They cease to exist because the effects work never gets done. Some of it's not even at that stage. [...] So there is no possibility of ever being a director's cut. It's purely in my head." Nevertheless, Jones is "equally proud and furious about Warcraft", and would be open to the suggestion of a sequel.
At the 2014 Comic-Con, Legendary had brought some weapons from the film to show off as well as a teaser. Fans of the series instantly recognised one of the weapons on display that is commonly known as the Doomhammer (one of the most iconic weapons in the game).
In an interview with The Red Bulletin, Travis Fimmel admitted to not having heard of the Warcraft franchise prior to signing for the film.
Terry Notary who portrays Grommash Hellscream is alternatively known for performing orc movements and teaching his co-stars. This was also mentioned by Robert Kazinsky during BlizzCon 2014.
The Medivh's staff is the Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian. The book Khadgar takes from Kharazan is most likely the Book of Medivh. Orgrim Doomhammer was given his surname for his weapon, the Doomhammer. All of these are actually obtainable in-game by the players of World of Warcraft. Also, many other weapons in the movie are modeled after real weapons from the game. Durotan's axe is fashioned from the statue, which stands outside Blizzard's office in the US.
You can see a summoning stone in the background as the alliance ride by in the woods.
Robert Kazinsky plays World of Warcraft on his Horde Death Knight (revealed during Blizzcon movie panel)
Deadwind Pass, the relatively small region which contained Karazhan, is depicted as being quite verdant in the film. However, it has long been a grey, dismal and lifeless region as a direct result of an ancient explosion which sapped all life from the area long ago, hence its name (which is spoken within the film even).
Gryphons were not used by the Alliance until the Second War when the Wildhammer dwarves joined. While prior to the Second War, Wildhammers were the only people capable of taming the stubborn beasts, and later afforded the Alliance their iconic war mounts. although being uncommon, there still were gryphons during the First War, especially Medivh did indeed use them all the time to fly from place to another.
WILHELM SCREAM: During a wide shot in the first battle between the orcs and the humans, as a human warrior is plucked from his horse and thrown to the ground by an orc.
Real-life couple Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga who play Llane Wrynn and Lady Taria also star as couple Jesse Custer and Tulip O'Hare on AMC's Preacher (2016).
Orgrim Doomhammer is depicted in the uncharacteristic primitive attire of the Horde (who had been gifted greater technology and featured extensive use of heavy plated armor as part of their pact with the Burning Legion) instead of his iconic black and gold "Doom Plate" armor, which was later given to Thrall when Orgrim named him as his successor.
During the early exposition scene when Medivh meet with King Llane Wrynn for the first time, they stand over a table map that is set out in hexagons. This is how the maps of the first two Warcraft real time strategy games were designed.
Travis Fimmel's character makes a joke about wolf skin "making a good coat." In the TV show Vikings (2013), many characters wear animals as clothing. And his character Ragnar has a legend that he took wolves skin into a frozen river to make it even more durable.
With $439 million at the worldwide box office, this film is the highest grossing video game adaptation ever produced (as of 2020).
Daniel Wu's performance as Gul'dan earned him the rank of "#2 Kissboy" on the internet, and he hopes to one day unseat the holder of the #1 title.
Garona saying that she has stronger bones as they have been broken several times, refers to the Wolff's Law, named after the German anatomist and surgeon Julius Wolff (1836-1902). The law states that bone in a healthy person or animal will adapt to the loads under which it is placed, although there is no evidence that a bone that breaks will heal to be stronger than it was before.