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Warcraft

This weekend at Blizzcon, the brand new trailer for the upcoming film Warcraft was shown to screaming fans on the Horde and the Alliance side alike. The film is based on the MMORPG World of Warcraft, something I play pretty obsessively. In the film, Azaroth has been peaceful for a long time. The Orcs’ home world is in danger of dying after a corrupt shaman makes a deal with a demon and poisons the populace. The Alliance and Horde have to band together to save their world. I got a chance to chat with the cast, including Toby KebbellPaula PattonDominic CooperDaniel Wu and Clancy Brown after their press conference at the con. Here’s what they had to say about the film, working in motion-capture suits, their characters and what we’re going to see. (I got a chance to visit the set of Warcraft last year as well. Check out what I saw in this interview with the Alliance characters and this one with the Horde characters, as well as what I saw on ComingSoon.net.)

Cooper plays King Llane Wrynn of Azaroth. He told us about the great responsibility he felt, doing a film based on a game that has millions of fans. “It’s madness. I mean, I love it. The more I do of these things – these people are – they’re a family. It’s something I really missed out on. It’s an awesome responsibility to just meet up with people at a certain time to play the game. It’s madness! It’s really cool! If I think I’d known too much about this before I’d started, I think the responsibility may have been too much. I didn’t quite understand the full scale of people’s love. That’s what we’re worried about. That is a worry. I hope that whatever we’ve done I hope that people will like. It’s only because of them that we’re here. And that this exists.”

Cooper told us about about his relationship with the character of the wizard Medivh (Ben Foster). “Wrynn is reliant on him and always has been. He goes possibly against his better judgement in his trust of him. He feels he needs to trust him because of his power and what he’s done for him in the past.”

Kebbell is known for his motion capture work in a number of films (he was Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). He plays Durotan, the main Orc character. Fans of the game know him well. He’s a good man and horrified by what he’s seeing from his own people. He talked about how his relationship with his wife Draka (Anna Galvin) and how that helps Durotan contain his anger. “I mean, that’s a husband and wife who are expecting a child. I think her husband Durotan, that’s me, and Draka trust that it’s vitally important that what I had to hold on to, to be the War Chief. I would call her darling on set. It was necessary to create that small family we had. She’s such a wonderful actress and adapted so perfectly to motion capture. It’s such a tricky art, actually. She gave a wonderful performance. It’s a happy relationship.”

I asked Kebbell if he’d learned a lot of information about Durotan since he’s a huge character in the game. He said, “Well, I got all of it along the way, because I spoke to Blizzard about it; Is there anything that can give me insight into this piece. As you said, they have all the books and the lore. Without even playing the game, there is a lot of detailed information to get. But it was important for me to create a character that becomes the father of Orcs in the future. That he is a War Chief. That he’s a leader. That he’s genuine. That he wasn’t egotistical in any decisions he made. That he was unsure. That it was honest and real. That it was a creation of a character rather than, oh, it has to have this because Blizzard spoke of this. It was important and it was interesting, but creating the character was fun because of the richness of details.”

Patton, who was telling me how much she loves the fans, plays Garona. She’s a half-Orc and half-human with quite the back story. She said, “She definitely is brought into the human world and finds attributes that are appealing to her and draws her in. She’s also grown up most of her life with Orcs. Her loyalty and where it lies is conflicted. She doesn’t fit in anywhere. I wouldn’t want to say yet that she’s bound one way or the other. Her heart maybe sways back and forth, but that’s to be discovered.” We’d talked about the possible relationship between her and another character in the film. “Ah,” she laughed. “I can’t talk about it!”

Brown plays Blackhand, one of the more aggressive Orcs. He talked about his character, saying, “Blackhand is a War Chief of the Horde. He invites the clans together to find a new home. He allies himself with Gul’dan, who seems to have a new answer. A bigger and better place. He gets everyone together, including the Frostwolf clan, which Durotan is a part of. They go to Azaroth and try to pacify their new home, which is where the movie starts. He’s an Orc exceptionalist, I’d say. He believes in the Orcs and their tradition and the supremacy of the Orcs and all that. He ultimately kind of pays for it in a way.” He said he played Warcraft back in the early days, but that he never made the jump to online because he got married and had kids and “couldn’t really indulge that.” He said he’s really excited about the newer version of the game and that he’ll “go back to the game once I get my kids out of high school. There are a lot of things I’ll do then!”

Wu plays Gul’dan, the Orc shaman who is the reason behind the sundering of the Orc home world. He talked about learning to create a character who’s size differs from his own at “Orc Camp,” where the actors went to learn about their roles. He’s spoken earlier about Gul’dan’s odd posture and how rough that was on him physically. “The idea is to make your body feel big, even though you’re not big. The great thing about the technology is that while we were making it, we could see it in real time on the monitor. You push a button and you see us, and you push another one and you see the Orcs rendered about sixty or seventy percent, so you get an idea of the size. You know, if we’re standing too close to each other, our shoulders will be inside of each other. You would know that. You got a sense of that through the training and through the monitor, you could tell that we were really large creatures.”

Warcraft will hit theaters on June 10, 2016. Check out the trailer below.

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Jenna Busch

Jenna Busch is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Legion of Leia and has hosted and written for sites like Nerdist, ComingSoon.net, Metro, Birth. Movies. Death., IGN, AOL, Huffington Post and more. She co-hosted Cocktails With Stan with the legendary Stan Lee and has appeared on Attack of the Show, Fresh Ink, Tabletop with Wil Wheaton, in the documentary She Makes Comics, on NPR and Al Jazeera America, and has covered film/TV/gaming/comics for years. She's currently a co-host on Most Craved. She's been published in the comics anthology Womanthology, is a chapter author for Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind, Game of Thrones Psychology and Star Trek Psychology and more, and owns a terrifying amount of swords and 20-sided dice. There are also those My Little Pony trailer voice overs that give one nightmares.

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