While we're still two weekends away from Warcraft hitting American theaters on June 10, the video game adaptation has already proven to be a hit overseas, where it has opened in several key markets. A select few critics in the U.S. have gotten to see the big fantasy adventure early, and their reviews have been mixed. Most called it a movie for fans of the franchise only, and several outlets hinted at a big box office bomb. While we'll have to wait and see how it fares at the domestic box office, director Duncan Jones recently opened up about the movie, confirming that a director's cut is quite a bit longer than the theatrical version.
We're not sure what is being left out of the theatrical cut of Warcraft at this early date. But there will be some substantial backstory explored even further when the movie hits the home market. The movie is already said to be a massive epic, one Jones has been working on for the past three years. The budget clocks in at an astounding $160 million, and it's no wonder a director's cut is already being planned, since it will further help to recoup some of the money spent to bring this cinematic beast to life.
Warcraft arrives as only Duncan Jones' third movie following Moon and Source Code. Speaking with The Daily Beast, Jones explained that his cut of the movie was 2 hours and 40 minutes long. He's since shaved it down to a more palatable 2 hours. While he doesn't delve into deep detail on the missing scenes, one of them would have tied his latest effort into his own cinematic universe. He explains.
"If you know Moon or Source Code, there's this very sweet, very talented guy named Chesney Hawks who wrote this really, really big hit in Britain called 'I Am The One And Only'. I used it as an alarm clock in Moon, and a ring tone in Source Code-and I actually got him to do a version as a bard in Warcraft. We weren't able to keep it in the cut. But somehow, maybe, I'll just sneak it into the Twitterverse...He did a Warcraft-medievally version of his single, and it's just brilliant. Unfortunately I was the only one who thought it was hilarious."
Born Duncan Zowie Haywood Jones, the filmmaker is the son of acclaimed musician David Bowie. Unfortunately, Bowie passed away earlier this year. But not before Jones could show his father a cut of the movie. The iconic was genuinely excited about it.
"I showed him an early cut of this and showed him some of the effects shots"You know, for everyone else he was one person. For me, he was my dad. And he was always interested in things I was working on. So I showed him what I was working on, and he was all excited for me and happy that I was doing the thing that I enjoyed doing in my life."
In re-crafting the video game for the big screen, Duncan Jones wanted the movie to go back to the franchise's roots. He went onto explain how the story came together, and why it will connect with longtime players of the game.
"Back then you just played the story that they had to tell. And the story was this one, that first invasion of Orcs and humans. When I talked to Blizzard about what this movie should be we all kind of agreed that we should go right back to the very beginning and introduce the world and these two cultures when they first meet. You can see the two cultures from each other's perspectives. We tried to tell a story that was different from, you know, a Tolkien fantasy where the cute creatures and the humans are the good guys and the monsters are the bad guys. We wanted to do what Warcraft does, which is allow you to play any character and see yourself as the hero."
Warcraft has a long road ahead of it still, and it's not yet clear how American audiences will respond to it just yet. Though, it is expected to be a massive hit in China. If so, even if the movie does flop in the states, we'll probably see a sequel happen. The first film does speak to our current political climate, but Jones claims that it also mirrors what is going on in Europe, and will also have quite a bit of resonance in that country. The movie is positioned to be one of the few video game adaptations that actually becomes a massive blockbuster hit. We'll just have to wait and see.