Thomas Tull, head of Legendary Pictures, stated that the biggest problem with making the World of Warcraft movie is choosing a story from the deep, rich lore of Warcraft to base the movie on. With numerous games and a plethora of books containing many different incredible stories, there are more than a handful of possibilities for quality movies.
Movie-goers want mystique, discovery, action and a great story when it comes to this type of movie. Pretty much any story you tell in the Warcraft universe will be action packed, but there are some great stories to tell as well that could create a well-rounded World of Warcraft movie.
Neltharion the Earth-Warder, aka Deathwing the Destroyer
One of the World of Warcraft stories that I most enjoyed comes from the Cataclysm expansion: the story of Neltharion the Earth-Warder, aka Deathwing the Destroyer. This molten black dragon is the head of the Black Dragonflight, and one of the five aspects the Titans empowered and then sent to guard ancient Kalimdor. While watching over Azeroth, Neltharion discovered a prison containing some of the Old Gods of Azeroth, whom convince him to destroy all of the other races on Azeroth so that he, along with his dragonflight, could rule the world.
Netltharion was also convinced to make the Dragon Soul, a large golden disc he put into the earth after putting his own blood and the essence of a demon into the disc. He also had the four other aspects donate some of their powers to the disc to create the great weapon, and then pulled a 180 on them in the middle of a battle by telling them that he didn’t donate any of his powers to the Dragon Soul, so he is now more powerful than them. Ultimate face turn. Neltharion killed most of the Blue Dragonflight and then paralyzed all others except for one of the aspects, Alexstrasza, who Neltharion had a thing for (there’s your love story, Hollywood). He was then reborn as Deathwing the Destroyer, growing into a fiery big black demon dragon.
The Dragon Soul, which was onwards known as the Demon Soul, was slowly killing Deathwing, so he had some adamantite armor forged. Meanwhile, Malfurion Stormrage, the first night elf druid, snuck into Deathwing’s lair and stole the Demon Soul, which after a period of time, the other four aspects sealed up and Malfurion hid it away from Deathwing.
Malfurion’s quest to steal away the Demon Soul would be a World of Warcraft epic worthy of the big screen, and the tale has so many sidelines that could be introduced in the movie that I can’t even go into them all right now.
The Lich King’s Last Stand
The Lich King goes by many names: Lord of the Dead, The Dark One, Prince of Darkness, etc, and was the leader of the Scourge, which he lead the group telepathically from the Frozen Throne on the top of Icecrown Glacier. There he earned himself the right to have his own World of Warcraft expansion pack: The Wrath of the Lich King.
The most popular Lich King took the form of Arthas Menethil, and was defeated at the climax of the war for Northrend by Highlord Trion Fordring, but the movie could tell another tale of the fall of the Lich King. Instead, the World of Warcraft movie could follow a hero’s quest to forge Shadowmourne, a legendary heavy axe that has the power to drain a Soul Fragment and increase the wielder’s strength, helping him defeat The Lich King in battle to avenge the countless heroes lost in The Lich King’s merciless campaign. The quest chain starts with Darion Mograine, the highlord of the Knights of the Ebon Blade, who sends the hero on a quest to recover Light’s Vengeance, the discarded hammer of Prince Arthas Menethil, which will be needed to forge Shadowmourne. Once forged, director Duncan Jones can take the hero to the Icecrown Citadel to defeat the ruthless Lich King.
The Tale of Edwin VanCleef
Edwin VanCleef is the criminal leader of the Defias Brotherhood, and leads the threat against Stormwind City. Originally, VanCleef was one of the mastermind architects that helped to rebuild Stormwind City after the Second War. After the project was completed, the House of Nobles refused to pay the Stonemasons Guild, which VanCleef was a part of, for their work. VanCleef spat on the floor and stormed out of the halls that he had just built, cursing the city along his way out. VanCleef then staged a riot in Stormwind City, in which many people died. VanCleef was banished from Stormwind City, and while on his way out, created the Defias Brotherhood from the artisans and tinkers sitting outside of the city’s gates.
VanCleef taught the Defias Brotherhood the way of thieves and how to properly ambush merchants and raid farmsteads. He set up a laboratory in the Deadmines, deep under the Alliance town of Moonbrook in Westfall. Deadmines is where VanCleef would take his final breath, as heroes of the Alliance assaulted VanCleef on his ship. Now, the Defias Brotherhood is led by Edwin’s daughter, Vanessa, who witnessed the assassination of her father. While it wouldn’t sport the magic that World of Warcraft is known for, it is a two-fold tale of revenge, honor and a villainous lair deep underground that creates the perfect opportunity for an on-the-edge-of-your-seat cinematic adventure.
A Journey Through Maraudon
I know a lot of people actually didn’t like Maraudon, mostly because of how long it took to complete it. There are 3 wings to this one dungeon: The Wicked Grotto, Foulspore Cavern, and Earth Song Falls. The “dungeon” is a combination of ancient centaur burial grounds and temple dedicated to the elemental earth. But the real appeal of this cavern is Crown Princess Theradras; a very shapely, un-sexy elemental force of earth that hides in the depths of Maraudon, guarding the tomb of her dead lover’s body from Cenarius, the man’s father. Why does she fear Cenarius? Well, she had centaur offspring with his son, Zaetar, who killed him shortly after their creation. This is no ordinary, fairy tale princess.
The journey through Maraudon would create a magical yet fearful experience for movie-goers. There’s a lot to see in the depths of the caverns, including large earth elementals, centaurs, a giant crocodile, a giant ice elemental, fantastical environments and underwater beasts. Having these elements come into fruition on the big screen would create the opportunity for great special effects, while keeping viewers on their toes about what will pop up next within the depths.
On The Hunt in Stranglethorn Vale
Ah yes, a skinner’s paradise: Stranglethorn Vale. Stranglethorn Vale is a vast jungle south of Duskwood on Azeroth that contains more than just a few large cats. No, you won’t only find tigers and panthers here, but you’ll find an abundance of trolls, ogres, humanoid sea serpents known as naga, some dinosaurs, and even swashbuckling pirates. What makes this jungle so appealing for film is that it is a wild place filled with danger and discoveries aplenty. Not only will you come across the aforementioned monsters, but you’ll come across a wide variety of things to see, such as a giant whirlpool in the center of it all, ancient ruins surrounding the jungle, an ancient magical stone, and tribes of trolls at war with each other; a war you don’t want to get stuck in the middle of.
Duncan Jones could take viewers on a quest to recover the Stone of the Tides, a stone that gives its user control over water, such as tide manipulation and summoning water beings, but at a price: the bearer of the stone would fade over time until he/she disappeared from the physical world completely. Or, Jones can take the viewers on a hunt for Bhag’thera, a panther, or a large white tiger named King Bangalash. Any way you slice it, Stranglethorn would be a great setting for a World of Warcraft movie.
Is there a bit of Warcraft lore you’d like to see in the World of Warcraft movie? Sound off in the comments below!