Today redditor GeordieGamerGuy has mocked up a sample movie poster featuring Henry Cavill as the role of Arthas, using his appearance from The Witcher fantasy series, which has reopened the debate:
Cavill is a notable Warcraft fan, with the oft-cited anecdote that he was too busy playing WoW to answer a call about Superman, so fans have been picturing him as Arthas for quite some time:
Players have even noticed how the aesthetics of The Witcher already overlap with Arthas, which is unsurprising with their shared fantasy elements:
But besides Henry Cavill, there are other Hollywood actors that enjoy World of Warcraft, including members of the actual movie cast! Actor Rob Kazinsky, who played Doomhammer in Warcraft, was also a top-100 raider in past expansions, discussing his game memories in movie interviews. Over the years, he’s hinted at interest in a Lich King movie, responding to fan tweets asking if he’d play the Lich King and encouraging fans to buy movie DVDs so one day we could see a movie covering Arthas’ ascent to the Lich King.
Several months ago, director Duncan Jones clarified on Twitter that Warcraft was intended to be a trilogy focused on Durotan’s promise to give his people a new home. In other words: no Lich King. But fans have often speculated if the initial Warcraft film would have been received better if it tackled the story of Arthas with a compelling hero-to-villain narrative and a tighter cast of characters. Regardless of the topic matter, Warcraft may also be better suited to a TV series over a movie, as the success of The Witcher and Game of Thrones shows that epic plotlines and a deep cast of characters can resonate with players if they have the proper exposition.
While the events of the actual movie served as an origin story for two iconic factions, the narrative was a bit rough to adapt to the screen, featuring a large ensemble cast of characters that were all dead before vanilla Wacraft began, constantly-changing locations, and rushed pacing that made it difficult for general audiences to connect with. Warlords of Draenor may have attempted to remedy players’ unfamiliarity with the ensemble cast by revisiting figures like Durotan and Draka, but the movie delays meant that the film was released long after the expansion released and hype died down. The movie ended up being a financial success in China, but had poor showings internationally and the sequels were shelved.
Blizzard has come a long way since the events of the movie, with more in-game cinematics, HD cinematics, and cutscenes every expansion. For example, Blizzard released a super-cut of the Saurfang cinematics which totaled 23 minutes–roughly the length of a TV episode. While filming a brand-new Warcraft movie from scratch seems ambitious, hopefully we’ll see more of Arthas’ story dramatized as it’s stood the test of time very well.