The world of Warcraft just got bigger in the world of cinema. At long last, the official details are in about the much anticipated film’s full cast courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment and Universal Pictures at this past Blizzcon 2014. Directed by Duncan Jones (Source Code, Moon) and starring some of the most iconic characters of the legendary MMORPG, the project’s well-chronicled production is finally taking shape.
Warcraft, once helmed by director Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Army of Darkness, Spider-man) and connected to infamous video-game director Uwe Boll (Alone in the Dark, Far Cry) is described by Jones as a “Game of Thrones mixed with Avatar,” capturing all the intrigue and action of the game interlaced with unique characters.
Taking full focus are the heroes and villains of the game’s respective factions of Alliance and The Horde, both of which will comprise the movie’s range of perspectives. See just who’s donning the amor and battle axes for one of 2016’s biggest attempts at the video-game movie yet.
[alert type=yellow ]Mild World of Warcraft Spoilers Ahead[/alert]
Sir Anduin Lothar, the Lion of Azeroth (Travis Fillem)
The last true descendant of the ancient Arathi bloodline and a knight champion of the Kingdom of Azeroth (later known as the Kingdom of Stormwind) during the First War, Sir Anduin Lothar is your all-around knight in ridiculously shiny armor. As the supreme commander of the armies of the Alliance of Lordaeron during the Second War to boot, he heroically perished in combat at the base of Blackrock Mountain against the orc Warchief Orgrim Doomhammer just before the end of the Second War and the closing of the villainous attempt by The Horde to invade Azeroth via the Dark Portal. Undoubtedly one of the greatest warriors of all time, King Varian Wrynn named his son, the crown prince of Stormwind City after the guy. Big deal, yeah.
For Warcraft, Travis Fillem of Vikings fame on the History Channel will be wielding Lothar’s oversized sword as the paramount hero of the film. He’s clearly already sported the beard for the role before, and being no stranger to battle situations, he’s clearly earned his own place as a fierce warrior on the small screen. The question is: Will he even be able to walk in all that gear?
Llane Wrynn I (Dominic Cooper)
Llane Wrynn I was the ruler of the Kingdom of Azeroth during the First War and the child of King Adamant Wrynn III and Lady Varia, and the father of King Varian Wrynn. The grandfather of Prince Anduin Wrynn, Wrynn was yet another indelible hero to the Azeroth people and a dashing figure to match. A statue of King Llane could be found in Stormwind Keep; the plaque reads “King Llane I of the House of Wrynn” in his mighty honor.
The suave, sophisticated Dominic Cooper will be taking up the mantle for Warcraft and likewise be sporting a kingly beard to go with it in the image above provided by Blizzard Entertainment. You’d hardly recognize him from his roles as Ironman’s dad, Howard Stark, in Captain America: The First Avenger, or even Mamma Mia‘s Sky. We imagine he’ll be taking his English accent with him in regal attire, but hopefully not an musical prowess. At least, we think so.
Magus (Ben Foster)
Magus, or Magna Medivh, was the last Guardian of Tirisfal, an ancient line of protectors bestowed with great powers to do battle with the agents of the Burning Legion. The prophet’s name means “keeper of secrets” in Thalassian. Corrupted before birth and possessed by the spirit of the demonlord Sargeras, Medivh was helplessly led to to conquer Azeroth on the demonlord’s behalf. Together with the orcish warlock, Gul’dan, Medivh would open the Dark Portal, allowing the Burning Legion to begin its destruction of Azeroth. Before the beginning of the Third War, Medivh returned as a mysterious prophet, manipulating events in order to arrange the formation of a last-ditch alliance between the mortal races on Kalimdor before he possessed Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian.
It’s not surprising then that Warcraft should choose action-star Ben Foster for the role of the fallen Guardian. Known to many as X-Men: The Last Stand‘s mutant-winged Angel and his nominated role of 3:10 To Yuma‘s unwavering Charlie Prince, Foster’s co-starred in a wealth of work in the action genre, including this year’s Lone Survivor alongside Mark Wahlberg and Taylor Kitsch as Matthew “Axe” Axelson. Maybe the actor’s own interest in meditative enlightenment will have some say in shaping both a warrior and mystic onscreen.
Khadgar (Ben Schnetzer)
All you need to know about Khadgar is that he’s basically one of the most powerful wizards to have ever lived, much less another of WoW’s greatest heroes. His name means “trust” in Dwarven, if you couldn’t surmise from his sagely beard. This gave him an odd dichotomy with Medivh, whose name means “keeper of secrets” in Thalassian, with whom he was an apprentice. He would go on to become one of the Alliance’s most respected during the Second War as a commander of the Alliance Expedition to Draenor, though cursed to grow old by his master.
He’ll be played by The Book Thief’s Ben Schnetzer, who played Jewish refugee Max Vandenburg in the 2013 American-German war drama, co-starring with Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. Appearing in a select number of films and TV shows, including Law & Order, Schnetzer’s an otherwise curious choice for the much older wizard unless this is indeed a portrayal of his apprenticeship under Medivh and his eventual curse. If so, we look forward to how the young actor might portray Warcraft‘s own version of an inexperienced man grappling with becoming Gandalf all in one day.
Lady Taria (Ruth Negga)
Even WoW fans may not recall much about King Llane’s great love and most trusted counsel, the royal Queen of Stormwind. That’s probably because there isn’t much lore to tell beyond a passing reference, though actress Ruth Negga insisted upon the inclusion of stronger female protagonists in a well-chronicled boy’s club. Of Irish-Ethiopian descent, Negga’s has been seen in such films as Breakfast on Pluto, World War Z, and 12 Years a Slave and takes on one of the most unexplored roles in Warcraft as a virtually new character. It’d be nice to imagine that there was a great lady behind Llane as much as any other man in Wow.
Durotan (Toby Kebbell)
Durotan, son of Garad, was the chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan, mate of Draka and father of the future Warchief Thrall. He was also a contemporary of Orgrim Doomhammer. Durotan was the heir apparent to Garad, chieftain of the Frostwolf clan, in the years prior to the First War. During a Kosh’harg festival in Nagrand, he met a Blackrock orc named Orgrim, son of Telkar Doomhammer, and the two became fast friends despite belonging to different clans, setting out to conquer Azeroth in what would be one of the greatest war the world ever saw.
For Warcraft, the big baddie will be played by Toby Kebbell, a name you’ve likely heard more and more in the past few years. Star of such films as Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice as the eponymous Drake Stone and this summer’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes‘ villainous primate, Koba, Kebbell rides off a slew of blockbusters going into Warcraft and a few more ahead, including Twentieth Century Fox’s The Fantastic Four as its Doctor Doom. There’s no doubt in our minds that he has more than a few villains left in him, but we can’t wait to see if he’s skipping the wolf hide or not.
Ogrim Doomhammer (Rob Kazinsky)
Orgrim Doomhammer, also known as the Backstabber by loyalists of Gul’dan and Blackhand, was the hulking Warchief of the Orcish Horde during the end of the First War and the entirety of the Second War. He was also the righthand man of Durotan, chieftain of the Frostwolf Clan. The orcish capital of Orgrimmar, the Horde-controlled town of Hammerfall in the Arathi Highlands, and the flying battleship Orgrim’s Hammer patrolling the skies of Icecrown, are named in his honor.
Rob Kazinsky is given the honor of picking up the hammer in question come 2016, sans his mech suit as Chuck Hansen in Pacific Rim, or his fangs as the vampire Macklyn Warlow in HBO’s True Blood. Unless Universal intends on hitting him with Gamma radiation, we assume he’s going to be only a bit smaller than Orgrim’s titanic frame unless CG or padded suits are in order. Nevertheless, Kazinsky’s proven to play conflicted villains time and again, so maybe there’s a more unique take on Orgrim’s psyche than we would’ve thought.
Blackhand (Clancy Brown)
The spitting image of Ghost Rider in Darkseid armor, Blackhand the Destroyer was the Warchief of the Horde during the First War between Stormwind and the Horde. A Raider of the Sythegore Arm, and one of the most respected warriors in the Horde, Blackhand became the renowned chieftain of the powerful Blackrock clan on Draenor. A tactical genius and equally ruthless dictator who demanded respect from his warriors, his ego and lust for power made him plenty easy to manipulate as a creature of pride as much as bloodlust.
The familiar voice of Spongebob’s Mr. Krabs and Superman: The Animated Series’s Lex Luthor, Clancy Brown, will be playing the iconic war chief in Warcraft, presumably with all his throaty charm. Brown’s rarely appeared in person for the majority of his films, so call it an educated guess that Blackhand calls for CG of some sort. Nonetheless, we’re still amused at the prospect of Brown giving us the incredible talent we’ve come to know through cartoons’ biggest and best villains.
Garona Halforcen (Paula Patton)
If you’ve followed any MMO cosplaying blogs, you know something about Garona Halforcen. Half-orc, half draenei, Halforcen was a quest giver for the Horde in the Twilight Highlands. Like most, she believed she was half-human until the truth was revealed to her. She is an assassin and a spymistress. She was an emissary of the Horde during the first invasion of Azeroth and later, she joined her son and the other members of the New Council of Tirisfal in their battle against the Twilight’s Hammer clan.
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and 2 Guns‘s lovely Paula Patton will be donning the pea-green skin for Warcraft and, presumably, the dual blades. Though she’s yet to star in any universally acclaimed movie, so say the least, maybe Warcraft might just be her biggest break yet.
Gul’dan (Daniel Wu)
Finally, that leaves us with little ‘ole Gul’dan. A former orcish shaman of the Shadowmoon Clan of Draenor, warlock, and founder of the Orcish Horde, Gul’dan abandoned the ways of shamanism and betrayed his people and mentor to the demon-lord Kil’jaeden for power and, as a result, responsible for the orcs’ fall to demonic enslavement as well as for the Horde’s invasion of Azeroth. Tutored by the lord of the Burning Legion, he became the founder and master of the Shadow Council as well as the creator of necromantic nightmares, the Death-Knights. The most cunning and powerful mortal Warlock to ever grace WoW players’ screens, he’s definitely compensating for something calling himself “Darkness Incarnate” and “The Destroyer of Dreams.”
As it so turns out, Hong Kong actor, director, and producer Daniel Wu will be picking up the role of Gul’dan for Warcrat, bringing with him an interesting set of credentials. A martial artist and one of China’s most popular leads, we’re curious what kind of physicality Wu is bringing to the character. It might be interesting to see Gul’Dan get some real exercise out of this movie, particularly if it means taking advantage of some hand-to-hand combat.
Tell us: Are these the people you wanna see don the armor and the battle-axes of World of Warcraft? Was there someone that didn’t make your list, or someone you’d change? Until then, stay posted for all your favorite news, reviews, previews, and opinion on your favorite games, movies, comics, and TV shows here at BagoGames.