Friday, April 8, 2011

Why a Warcraft Movie Won't Work for Most

WoWInsider's breakfast topic today got me thinking about movies based on stories (or games or other, etc). When it comes down to it, I just don't think any Warcraft movie would be very good...and this is the key point...according to Warcraft fans.

Does anyone remember that Harry Potter stuff? TANGENT: The 7th book came out HOW LONG AGO? And we're just now, this year, on the verge of finally getting the final movie? Too long to produce, peoples, there are some people who've completely forgotten about HP. Moving on.

Going back to HP & the Goblet of Fire (#4 book/movie), there was a lot of uproar among fans because there were significant changes and omissions from book to movie screen. Granted, the book was much longer than any previous book and therefore more difficult to adapt to the silver screen. There's always a necessity to cut out things from long books when making a movie, that's something that most people understand. But it doesn't mean that the fans of the book necessarily liked it. I'm not saying that fans didn't like the fourth movie, I'm saying that so much was changed or omitted from the fourth (and fifth, I may add) that some fans didn't receive those movies as well as the first three. The director has attempted to appease the fans by making two movies from book 7, to get in as much of the book as possible, so in the end people will leave fairly happy to see their boy hero portrayed as accurately as possible from how they recall him in the books.

The thing about the Warcraft franchise is that the stories are huge, made up of many, many more characters than Harry Potter ever was, and their story arcs are long and deep. Does anyone have any idea how much of the story that we all know is going to be necessarily omitted when they finally do make a movie? Answer: A lot more than HP movies combined. It's a fact, and I think will become a painful one as devoted Warcraft geeks glimpse those things they love fall by the wayside on the director room's cutting floor.

How many blogs or comments or whatever will we see saying something like:

"How could they leave out the story about XXXX or YYYY? ZZZZ clearly is important, every fan knows that, yet these stupid producers just don't have a clue and the movie is the worse for it."

I tell you now, so you're prepared, if there ever is a Warcraft movie made, it will receive more complaints and negative comments than positive ones, and mainly for the reasons I've listed. It will mostly be for all that's left out of the movie, which will make it more difficult for people to focues on the potential good things about it.

Don't tell me that that's never happened to you, where you read a book, then a movie is made from it, you go and see the movie and your brain can't help but make comparisons throughout the movie, sometimes ruining the experience for you, and complaining to your date or whomever on the way home about all the things "they got wrong".

Will I go see a Warcraft movie if it ever gets made? Probably. But hopefully I've learned enough and accepted the fact about story/book/game adaptation to the big screen that I won't want to complain about the omissions to this or that.

Heck, my favorite book in literature, Les Miserables, has had a movie and a broadway musical made about it and both omitt more than half, easily, of everything that Victor Hugo ever wrote in the UNABRIDGED/ORIGINAL version. I've accepted that and simply enjoy the entertainment for what it's worth.

But Warcraft fans are far more geeky and dedicated than someone who likes 19th century french literature. I know, it's just an opinion, but I've seen it happen to so many stories that have been adapted and made into movies, I think it's pretty clear what will happen this time around if a Warcraft movie is made.

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and I'd be happy to admit that. But I don't think I will be, and I'm sticking to it!


Shintar said...

I largely agree, but I actually think that it will kind of be the opposite. As in, I believe that what most players really care about in WoW are their own characters and those of their friends, not the random NPCs that a movie would inevitably have to be about.

Gronthe said...

@ Shintar: You make a good point. I'm sure many will laugh if there is something as silly as a murloc involved in some mischief.

It'll be interesting to see if a movie even gets made. I think it would go over well if it was a story that moved the whole Warcraft story forward in time rather than try to treat something, anything from any time in its past. We'll see.