After Peter Jackson made J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit look like a nine-hour video game, it seemed epic fantasy movies were doomed to become green screen affairs forever. But director Duncan Jones is trying to prove that isn’t true with his actual video game movie Warcraft, based on Blizzard’s fantasy RPG video games, releasing on June 10.
Around midnight EST last night, Jones tweeted some pictures showing the comprehensive sets to his upcoming movie. While it looks like a souped-up Renaissance faire, seeing intricate sets with actual wood and stone is enough make anyone whose eyes glaze over at polished trailers weep with delight. It’s a small reminder why people loved Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy: There was a tactile feel to them, almost as if you could step right into the Shire or Middle-earth. When I watched Jackson’s later Hobbit movies, I felt like I should have been holding a controller.
The first photo was “one of a number of big, beautiful sets” that were made for Warcraft and appears to be a dining or tribunal hall. The second tweet, a response to someone’s assumption the film was all green screen, shows exterior Stormwind city streets and buildings that are several notches above Disney’s Magical Kingdom.
But Warcraft won’t be lacking in CGI, with all those orcs it has to have. A later tweet from Jones shows his VFX guys having some fun in what’s got to be a stressful production.
Jones promises more photos and previews from the Warcraft set. With enough output he could reverse popular opinion that Warcraft is shaping up to be an even worser Hobbit. And while it still could be, at least it’s going to look pretty.
Warcraft releases on June 10.