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When Peter Jackson brought The Lord of the Rings to life on screen, he didn’t just create a blockbuster film franchise. He also added some legitimacy to fantasy movies and opened the door to a world of potential for the genre. For that reason, Lord of the Rings will likely always be the point of comparison for any future fantasy epics. So, how does Warcraft compare to Peter Jackson’s trilogy? Pretty damn well according to one of the films orcs, Clancy Brown.
In Warcraft, Clancy Brown will play the role of Blackhand the war chief of the horde. When describing who his character was to IGN he, of course, used Lord of the Rings as his touchstone. However, he made sure to point out the way that his character was far superior to any of those orcs. Said the actor,
They’re similar to the Lord of the Rings orcs, except tougher and better looking and smarter and in every way better than the Lord of the Rings guys.
The orc gauntlet has been thrown. We might consider arguing, but as a general rule, when The Kurgan says something, we find it’s easier to simply agree. We can pretty easily agree that the orcs from Warcraft appear to be smarter, if only because they seem to be a bit more rational. In the trailers we can see that while some orcs may be something close to bloodthirsty monsters, as they were in Lord of the Rings, others are looking for peaceful solutions to their problems because that’s better for the group as a whole. That qualifies as smarter in our book.
Beyond that, however, things get a bit more subjective. Better looking? If he means more handsome, then yeah, that’s probably true. But, if he means better designed as characters that’s probably going to be a matter of opinion. Warcraft orcs are not the hideous beasts that we saw in the Tolkien films, but then again, they’re not supposed to be. The look of each has been crafted in large part due to their function. As far as being tougher goes, we’ll have to see the finished film in order to properly judge that.
The ace in the hole that Warcraft may have that makes their orcs better, is Clancy Brown himself. The former Highlander star brings a certain level of menace to every role he plays, and we don’t expect that a CGI orc is going to prevent him from doing that here as well. Of course, all this begs the question, how was Clancy Brown never cast in any of Peter Jackson's Tolkien movies? This seems like a travesty we only now discovered.