Warcraft Director Calls Making of the Troubled Film "A [Studio] Political Minefield"

Warcraft Director Calls Making of the Troubled Film "A [Studio] Political Minefield"

"Warcraft was a political minefield as far as filmmaking goes," says filmmaker Duncan Jones.

In 2016, acclaimed director Duncan Jones (of Moon and Source Code fame) released Warcraft, a massively budgeted film adaptation of World of Warcraft. Despite making $433 million worldwide and being the highest grossing game adaptation of all-time, the movie was a critical flop; Jones' first critical flop to boot.

The critical flop wasn't all bad though. In recent years Jones has tweeted that he'd love to do another one "under the right conditions." With that addendum, it's obvious the experience wasn't all pleasant, and the filmmaker recently spoke out in an interview with Syfy about it.

"Warcraft was a political minefield as far as filmmaking goes," Duncan says in the interview. "And I think a lot of the rewriting in that, over the course of making the movie was really, really difficult and at times disheartening. Just being forced to make changes and compromises just due to the politics and the nature of that film." Jones goes on to attribute a lot of the fumbles in making the film to "studio politics." He specifically cites it being a turbulent period for film studio Legendary, who were associated with Warner Bros. before joining Universal and then being sold to the Chinese conglomerate Wanda.

"[Wanda] lost or replaced a number of their producing staff halfway through our movie," Jones says. "And at the same time as all of that, we were also working with Blizzard, who understandably were very careful about what happened with the movie because their bread and butter was the game Warcraft, which was bringing in a billion dollars a year for them. So, whatever we did with the movie was likely to be small potatoes compared to how important the game was for them. So it was really a very active political landscape. I think I learned a lot from that experience and if I ever put myself in that situation again, even though I went into it eyes open, I'm a lot wiser now."

Today, Jones' latest film Mute has premiered on Netflix, going back to the sci-fi genre he first blazed a path for himself with Moon. The new film stars Alexander Skarsgård, Paul Rudd, and Justin Theroux. As for a sequel to Warcraft, which was technically a profitable movie, there remains no news of its potential.

Edit: Headline has been slightly adjusted to be more clear. Original headline noted Jones' quote "active political landscape."

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Caty McCarthy

Features Editor

Caty McCarthy is a former freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kill Screen, VICE, The AV Club, Kotaku, Polygon, and IGN. When she's not blathering into a podcast mic, reading a book, or playing a billion video games at once, she's probably watching Terrace House or something. She is currently USgamer's official altgame enthusiast.

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