Warcraft Goes Hollywood
World of Warcraft is coming soon to a theater near you. Will massively multiplayer online role playing game addicts tear themselves away from their computers long enough to see it? Most of them don’t know the outside world exists. Leaving their house to visit a movie theater might be kind of a shock. They might even spend time with their kids! Maybe this movie is a bad idea, I’m not sure the online role playing community can handle it.
But it’s happening, that’s the latest word from Variety. Warner Bros. based Legendary Pictures has picked up the rights to adapt the hot selling game into a feature film from its developer, Vivendi owned Blizzard Entertainment. “Warcraft” has been around as a franchise for more than a decade, and features a rather standard set of elves, humans, and orcs battling it out on a computerized playing field. Previous iterations have been strategy games, but the latest version is an online role-playing game in the mold of “Everquest” called “World of Warcraft”. Blizzard says that “World of Warcraft” has 6 million players subscribed around the world, all of whom pay a hefty $14.99 a month fee to hop online pretend to be someone they are not.
“Warcraft” joins a host of higher profile video games headed to theaters as feature films. A few months ago we saw the failure of “Doom” as a movie, a few weeks ago “Silent Hill” flopped, and “Halo” is still in development as a movie under the watchful eye of Microsoft. Some of these higher profile games might actually have a chance to turn into something good, since their backers have enough money to get a legitimate talent to write the script, and maybe even a decent director. Past videogame adaptations have all been done by mediocre to bad filmmakers like Uwe Boll. If one of these bigger name properties like “Warcraft” or “Halo” ever hits on someone with some vision to shepherd them into theaters, then maybe we’ll have the first ever good videogame to film adaptation. Until that happens though, remain skeptical. No videogame to movie adaptation has ever worked.
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