Warcraft

Earlier today we reported the unhappy news that Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim 2 had been “halted indefinitely,” but that’s not the only Legendary project that’s making Universal nervous. The studio reportedly sees Warcraft, due out next summer, as a “problem movie.”

That’s a worrying description, especially since the studio has yet to publicly release any footage for fans to judge for themselves. But director Duncan Jones isn’t bothered, and he makes a pretty good case as to why you shouldn’t be, either. Read his reaction to the Warcraft problem movie comments after the jump.

In the same article that confirmed the Pacific Rim 2 delay, THR mentions Universal considers Warcraft (along with Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall) a “problem movie.” The trade doesn’t explain what specifically has Universal so concerned. But it’s probably worth pointing out Warcraft‘s budget is believed to be in the nine-figure range, meaning it’ll have to make a lot of money just to break even.

As nervous as Warcraft‘s studio might be, though, Warcraft‘s director seemed much more optimistic. Jones reacted to the THR story on Twitter by pointing out that the studio has already given the movie a vote of confidence.

Warcraft is scheduled for June 10, 2016, which is indeed the same slot that launched Jurassic World to an outrageous $1.6 billion worldwide gross this summer. And Jones is right. It seems unlikely Universal would waste such a plum position on a film it didn’t expect to do well.

But — and I’m speaking personally here — I can absolutely see why Universal would feel uneasy about Warcraft. The footage screened at Comic-Con’s Hall H looked ambitious and impressive, but earned more than a few puzzled reactions. Our own Ethan Anderton described it as “the coolest fantasy I just don’t understand,” and that’s from someone who likes high fantasy more than most.

In short, Warcraft looks like it could be a tricky sell. That’s not to say it’ll fail. It’s impossible to judge an entire movie based on a tiny bit of early footage, and in any case the Hall H crowd isn’t representative of all moviegoers. Warcraft also has gazillions (official, confirmed number) of game fans and huge name recognition working in its favor. But Universal will probably want to be smart about how they roll this one out.

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