The Warcraft movie is almost here, and we’re celebrating by equipping heroes of the Horde and the Alliance with a set of with movie-inspired transmogrification items. Beginning today through August 1, players who log in to World of Warcraft will receive this special commemorative cosmetic gear to permanently add to their collection.
You could see “Warcraft” as just one more entry in the arms race of summer movies. Adapted from the popular video game series, the film (which Universal will release on June 10) depicts the conflict on a mythical world called Azeroth, as humanity defends itself from a horde of invading orcs. With its intricate visual effects, immense battle sequences and a reported budget of $100 million, it is a movie that its creators dearly hope will provide the foundation for a blockbuster franchise.
Yet “Warcraft” is an intensely personal undertaking for its director, Duncan Jones. It is a supersize project that this filmmaker and dedicated gamer (who turns 45 on May 30) passionately campaigned to make, with just two previous movies on his résumé.
It is also a film whose yearslong creation circumscribed a period of upheaval and tragedy in Mr. Jones’s life. When he started work on “Warcraft” in 2012, he had just married his wife, Rodene, after she was given a diagnosis of breast cancer and had a double mastectomy. Then, as the movie was nearing completion, Mr. Jones’s father, the rock star David Bowie, died of cancer in January.
“My film started and ended with cancer,” Mr. Jones said during a recent interview.
Khadgar is a student training to be the next guardian, whose responsibility is to protect Azeroth. But after sensing dark magic in the land and alerting the king (Dominic Cooper), he forms an unlikely friendship with military leader Anduin Lothar (Travis Fimmel) and goes from wizarding academia to epic scuffles against invading orcs in short order.
Warcraft shows a different side to what movie mages can do, Duncan says. “These are warriors using magic as a weapon.”