A report from The Alliance side of the Warcraft movie
For the Alliance! World of Warcraft fans are gearing up for the release of the new Warcraft movie, directed by Duncan Jones. We were lucky enough to visit the set and chat with the cast and crew. We got a glimpse of what’s coming from the actors who are part of the Horde. Now let’s hear from the Alliance side, including Paula Patton, who plays the half-human, half-Orc Garona, Dominic Cooper, who plays King Llane Wrynn, and Travis Fimmel, who plays Anduin Lothar.
Patton explained Garona and what she’s all about. She said, “You know, this is a video game. But, the story and the way the script is written is sort of like an epic novel. And so, you have this woman who begins as a slave to Gul’dan but has had to basically fight/beat her way into having any respect from the Orcs because she’s half-orc, half-human. And that’s what makes her really fascinating to play.
“And then she finds herself in the human world. And suddenly, they warm her heart. Things change, and she changes. But, the thing about Garona, she never quite fits in, in either world. And she’s vulnerable. She has feelings. She can feel love, pain, all of it, but she can’t show it that much.
“And she has learned that respect is gained through fear. And so, I think the interesting thing that you’ll see as you watch the movie is how she transforms within that world and what ends up happening to her and how she finds her place, if at all.”
You definitely find these characters throughout the world of the game, some Alliance standing in Horde territory or vice versa, or half-breed characters trying to find their place in the world. Her story is mostly secret in terms of the film, but she had this to say about Garona’s origins. “I think I can say that what we discover is and what I think is really the most fascinating about this movie is because I think it has such a–and I’m going to get to it–it’s so relevant to the world we live in now. You know, wherever you’re born, you’re patriotic to that place, you know? But, if you’re born somewhere else, how would you feel? And what this movie does is it says Orcs are not bad. Humans are not bad. But, maybe they are. Maybe they are. But, they’re not–one is not more or less than the other. There’s this sort of–so, anyway, these world’s intersect. And some point, something intersected obviously for Garona to be born.”
Patton, who said her weapon is a gun, but not one you’ll have seen before, told us about seeing an Orc as something other than a villain. That’s really the whole point here. No side is completely right. Patton said, “They’re given equal understanding as if they are humans, like us. And so, you will connect to them in that way. And I see it in a worldview. And we have western and eastern and Middle East, and we have all these sort of conflicting things. And perhaps, when you watch a movie like this, it takes you away. It makes you entertained, but maybe makes you think, ‘Well, what if I walked in someone else’s shoes? Would I feel differently? And can that bring us more peace?’ Here we are, it’s called Warcraft, but in that–isn’t that the problem with war–do you know–is that it’s not understanding either side. It’s being so one minded that you can only see it one way. But, we don’t choose our parents, and we don’t choose where we’re born. So, that changes everything.”
Dominic Cooper was tickled to be playing a good person in King Wrynn. He said, “He’s a good, solid, nice king. That’s what I’m always playing; horrible people. This is my challenge to actually play somebody who does properly care about his people and care about resolving this situation that he finds himself in. He’s a good man, but he trusts possibly too much to people around him rather than going with his instincts.
“It’s finding a balance between someone who is very likable and doing what’s right for his people, but also maintains a strength and a power even though who he has around him, his right hand men, are more powerful in many ways. One’s a better warrior, and one’s a magician. So, he has to delegate between them both and find reason within that group who have been together for a long–and been through a lot together. So–and within this story, what’s exciting about it is that there’s a confrontation that takes place. And I try and resolve that as best I can, possibly not in the correct way.”
He talked about working on a set that used a lot of CGI. “It takes some time, which is why they have to be very I think always giving the fans absolutely what they deserve as fans and what they need from those characters and what they expect of them. But also it needs to appeal to anyone, which it very much does,” he said. “And it’s a very compelling story. And it’s a very–there’s a human element very much to it, which I always thought might not exist within this world. But it very much does. If that didn’t exist, there would never be the people working on this that are working on it. But you do because you are dealing with names and characters. So, you have to keep referencing. You just have to draw–I suppose you just have to read it more carefully always.
He talked about having his character’s famous sword. “I could hardly lift it up,” he laughed. “So, I was meant to–I was saving a moment of where the king saves someone else just as an orc’s about to kill them. And I try to–I was on the horse. The horse wasn’t behaving well. That was one of my problems. The other problem was this huge great sword that I could hardly lift. But when I did manage to lift it, it was–I almost put it straight into the back of the stunt person. He didn’t seem to mind. They never mind. They go, no, no, that’s fine. Just stab me. Really, I don’t think I should actually. And then of course it’s replaced with something that big, which would then be CGI, which I felt really pathetic. I couldn’t win either way.”
Travis Fimmel, known for playing Ragnar Lothbrok in Vikings talked about his character. “I played Lothar. He’s the commander of the Azeroth military. He grew up with the king, is sort of best friends with the king and had a childhood with Medivh (Ben Foster), too, which is–he’s a wizard, or what’s the technical term for Medivh?” he asked us. We told him it was “mage.” “We end up–we sort of reunite with Medivh. And there’s a lot of conflict between us. And you don’t know if Medivh is on my side, the king’s side, or you don’t know who’s going to end up–there’s two people that end up still being friends at the end of it. He was a very loyal person. I try to be loyal as much as I can and faithful.”
Fimmel explained where we are when we start the film in terms of Azaroth history. “We’ve had peace for a long time in Azeroth. And then very early on, you find out that we’re being attacked.” He explained that director Duncan Jones was very much a part of the entire process. “He wrote so much of the script, you know? He wrote the whole script. So, all these ideas were sort of in the script. And he guides you at every scene. And the characters are sort of already developed, you know, as in the game. So, it’s just to bring that human stuff. Like, there’s a love interest there for me. So, there’s friendships and betrayals. And yeah, it’s just my job is just to make you relate to falling in love with somebody. You relate to cutting a dragon’s head off? No, but–and betrayals of friends, you know, it’s just – that’s all I can bring as an actor is just to humanize it, you know?” This love interest may be Garona.“They have a lot of similarities and a lot of pain issues they both share. And yeah, they build a relationship together, but they never fully trust each other, you know, which causes a lot of conflict between them.”
Stay tuned for more info from the set! Warcraft will hit theaters on June 10, 2016. Directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code), the film was written by Charles Leavitt and rewritten by Jones. The producers are Charles Roven, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Alex Gartner. Stuart Fenegan, Jillian Share and Brent O’Connor serve as executive producers. Blizzard’s Chris Metzen is co-producing.