The Warcraft movie panel didn’t offer any footage from the movie, but it did finally reveal key members who will be in the cast, including one in full CG glory.
The Warcraft movie is coming March 11, 2016, and information has been relatively hard to come by, which is not unusual for anything associated with Blizzard. However, at the Warcraft movie panel at BlizzCon 2014, it was finally revealed what actors would be in many of the key roles.
- Anduin Lothar: Travis Fimmel (Vikings). Blizzard VP Chris Metzen said that this casting surprised him a bit, but Fimmel put a slightly different spin on the character “and killed it” (in a good way).
- King Llane Wrynn: Dominic Cooper (Need for Speed, Captain America). People may know Cooper as Howard Stark in the Captain America films, but he looks pretty good in Alliance armor as the king.
- Lady Taria: Ruth Negga (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., World War Z). Negga will portray the Queen of Stormwind, and trusted counsel to King Llane. She also voiced Shanalotte in Dark Souls II.
- Medivh: Ben Foster (Lone Survivor, 3:10 to Yuma, X-Men: The Last Stand) Metzen said that Medivh was like “a rockstar of the era. … Ben brings that gravitas to the character with some magnetism.”
- Khadgar: Ben Schnetzer (Pride). Khadgar and Medivh are incredibly powerful magic users in Warcraft lore. Visual Effects Supervisor Bill Westenhofer, who actually plays a mage in World of Warcraft said it was his job to teach the actors playing Khadgar and Medivh “how to cast spells.”
- Orgrim Doomhammer: Rob Kazinsky (Pacific Rim). Kazinsky has more than 500 days played in World of Warcraft, having played since the vanilla days. He was really involved in raiding during Wrath of the Lich King. Kazinsky said he really wanted a role in the movie.
- Blackhand the Destroyer: Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption, Starship Troopers, Aliens & Cowboys). Brown played the voice of Thrall in the cancelled Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans game. Metzen said Brown joked that they shouldn’t cast him because he is the death of Warcraft products.
- Garona: Paula Patton (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol). Patton did all her own acting and stunts in the movie with no motion capture. They just used makeup to make her look like an Orc, or half-Orc as the case may be.
- Durotan: Toby Kebbell (Planet of the Apes). Kebbell did great with the motion capture, having just come from Planet of the Apes. Director Duncan Jones said he does a good job of portraying the nobel Orc.
- Gul’dan: Daniel Wu (The Man With the Iron Fists). Jones said Wu is know more for playing heroes, but this gave Wu the chance to play something very different.
The film is going to be told from both the Horde and Alliance sides, with an emphasis on trying to make both sides sympathetic. Jones said that the original script by Sam Raimi did not put the Orcs is a good light, so it was rewritten. Metzen said several passes were made, but it wasn’t until they hit upon the idea of Lothar vs. Durotan that the direction of the film finally came together.
Metzen also explained that he got to stand on the main street of the re-creation of Stormwind. “There’s the mailbox and there’s the bulletin board … I had tears in my eyes,” he said. “On the bulletin board, there’s parchments of things like Wanted: Hogger and Fargodeep Mine, and I’m going holy shit. The level of detail and craftsmanship was overwhelming.”
Jones put it in a nutshell when describing the scope of the project: “We have so many special effects. It’s Avatar and Lord of the Rings at the same time. It’s a big, big, big film.”