- via Wired
The loooong international nightmare that was The Hobbit trilogy is finally be behind us, but fantasy—as I wrote in the august pages of the Mercury a few years ago—isn't going anywhere: Warner Bros. just kicked off their year-long marketing campaign for the new Harry Potter movies; January will see the premiere of MTV's series based on Terry Brooks' Shannara novels; and there are even rumors the next book in George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series might come out in early 2016—just before the new season of Game of Thrones starts back up. In related news, getting stoned and watching Xena on Netflix is a timeless and rewarding pastime that shall never grow old.
And then there's Warcraft, next year's fantasy epic from Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) that's based on World of Warcraft. Hey, look, here's a trailer, and WHAAAAAT.
After seeing that, it makes a bit more sense why some reports have Univeral pegging Warcraft as a "problem movie"—which, in this case, is code for "a movie that's tricky to market to the mainstream," probably because it looks like somebody just gave Jones hundreds of millions of dollars to go full-on Dungeons & Dragons, and shameless nerdiness of that level makes some people... uncomfortable. Jones and Co. have clearly embraced the goofy, colorful, cartoony aesthetic and story of World of Warcraft—to the point where it might be a turn-off to mainstream moviegoers.
But two things: 1) Fuck that, because that trailer makes Warcraft look like it could be insane and earnest and fun, and 2) I suspect that, in 2016, any anxiety about anything being "too nerdy" might prove to be misplaced. Hollywood's most-wanted demographic is a generation raised not only on games like World of Warcraft and The Elder Scrolls, but one where fantasy (be it Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Game of Thrones, Adventure Time) and sci-fi that's so outlandish it might as well be fantasy (the Marvel movies, Avatar) have always been a part of the cultural landscape.
My guess is that even if Warcraft is as well-reviewed and well-received as Jones' previous movies, some people—most of them older—might have trouble jumping into a movie that's as unapologetically dorky as Warcraft. But younger audiences? Younger audiences won't have that problem at all.