Warcraft, the film adaptation of Blizzard Entertainment’s blockbuster fantasy game franchise, has been pushed back from its planned release date of March 11, 2016, to a summer release on June 10, Variety reports. Some fans may be disappointed that they will have to wait an additional three months for all the steamy, orc-on-human action, but what’s a few more months after two years of post-production? Moreover, director Duncan Jones (Moon) pointed out on Twitter that the delay is a good thing, because it means Universal sees the film as a potential summer blockbuster.
Got good news & bad news. Uni have decided Warcraft deserves to be a summer flick. Yay! Bad news, that means we have to wait till June 2016!
— Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) April 24, 2015
Warcraft will dive deep into the lore of Blizzard’s fantasy franchise. The world of Azeroth is best known as the setting for World of Warcraft, Blizzard’s genre-defining massively multiplayer online roleplaying game that took the world by storm in 2004. The characters and stories in the film, however, were first introduced in the 90s through Blizzard’s Warcraft series of three real-time strategy games.
It is a world of high fantasy, in the post-Tolkien vein, featuring the likes of humans, elves, dwarves, and orcs. The conflict between orcs and humans is central to Warcraft’s fiction, eventually expanding to the multi-racial factions of Horde vs. Alliance that divides World of Warcraft‘s player population. To the delight of longtime fans, the film’s action will be set during the events of the first two games, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans and Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, when the orcs and humans first came into contact and waged two wars against each other, while greater, demonic threats loomed in the background.
The Warcraft film is no stranger to delays. The project was first announced way back in 2006, when the game was young and rapidly growing. It was another three years before Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead) was tapped to direct the film in 2009. Raimi left the project in 2012 in order to direct Oz: The Great and Powerful, by his own admission. Duncan Jones signed on to direct in 2013. Jones made a big splash with imaginative and low-budget Moon and Source Code. A big budget fantasy epic is a decidedly different beast, so fans of both Warcraft and Jones’ work are eager to see how that creativity will translate to a bigger canvas.