Director Uwe Boll contacted Blizzard about directing the film, but Blizzard refused. As quoted by MTV news Uwe Boll stated: "I got in contact with Paul Sams of Blizzard, and he said, 'We will not sell the movie rights, not to you... especially not to you. Because it's such a big online game success, maybe a bad movie would destroy that ongoing income, what the company has with it."
Duncan Jones said that the original script was very one sided; he stated it "was the stale fantasy trope of, humans are the good guys and monsters are the bad guys". After signing on to direct, he made major edits to the story, as well as the script, so both factions could tell their side of the story. He got approval from Blizzard, who was also looking to change the story,
Bill Westenhofer, the lead visual effects supervisor for the film, is a long time World of Warcraft player and has mentioned getting up at 2 AM to raid with his guild while on film sets. Robert Kazinsky is also a die hard Warcraft player and recalls producers telling him to turn the game off while on the set of Pacific Rim (2013).
The source for the movie adaptation is being taken from the books "Rise of the Horde", which tells how the Orcish Horde was formed; as well as "The Last Guardian", which shows the human side and reaction to Orcish invasion.
Lifesize weapons and suits of armour were built for the orcs despite the orcs being played by actors via motion capture. This was mainly for photographic references and so that they could use them as props on the set.
Recognized by his ponytail and iconic ax, Grommash Hellscream makes a few appearances during the film. While he doesn't speak or involve himself in the story, his presence is still a subtle nod to the die-hard fans of the franchise.
When a fan asked Duncan Jones where he would be shooting the film during a Blizz-Con Q&A he was not allowed to answer but did hint at the shirt he was wearing that said "Vancouver"(where the film was shot)
The film went through 20 months of post production. Thomas Tull the CEO of Legendary Pictures and producer of the film said that the things Duncan Jones and the special effects team are doing are truly on the cutting edge.
Duncan Jones said that the Warcraft universe is very "High Fantasy" or in other words very eccentric and planned to make it feel more grounded in reality though at the same time keep the look and feel of the games in the film.
Blizzard announced a Warcraft film in 2006. The film was eventually released in 2016. Blizzard is famous for delaying its games times and times again. E.g., Diablo III (2012) was delayed several times, and released 10 years after Diablo II (2000).
A live action concept trailer for the film was shown at comic-con a few years ago showing a knight begin a fight with an Orc. It was revealed hours later that the film had not even started pre production.
At the 2014 Comic-Con, Legendary had brought some weapons from the film to show off as well as a teaser. Fans of the series instantly recognised one of the weapons on display that is commonly known as the Doomhammer (one of the most iconic weapons in the game).
The Medivh's staff is the Atiesh, Greatstaff of the Guardian. The book Khadgar takes from Kharazan is most likely the Book of Medivh. Orgrim Doomhammer was given his surname for his weapon, the Doomhammer. All of these are actually obtainable in-game by the players of World of Warcraft. Also, many other weapons in the movie are modeled after real weapons from the game. Durotan's axe is fashioned from the statue, which stands outside Blizzard's office in the US.
Deadwind Pass, the relatively small region which contained Karazhan, is depicted as being quite verdant in the film. However, it has long been a grey, dismal and lifeless region as a direct result of an ancient explosion which sapped all life from the area long ago, hence its name (which is spoken within the film even).
One of the complaints about the film was directed at its fast pacing and editing problems. Some viewers suspected that a lot of footage may have been deleted in post-production (possibly on studio orders), which would open up the possibility of a director's cut. Director Duncan Jones has acknowledged the problems, and stated that his initial cut of the movie was about 40 minutes longer. However, he denied that cutting out those 40 minutes were solely responsible for the pacing issues, and has put rumors of an extended version to rest: "Trying to make a movie like Warcraft, [...] you get killed by a death of 1,000 cuts. Not just editing cuts. [...] You go through a writing stage right up to the deadline of shooting the thing. [You lose] ideas in the writing process. Then sets change for whatever reason and notes come in. You're changing things around a three-and-a-half-year process. You get these little changes which are constantly course correcting you. [...] When you make a little change it doesn't seem like a big deal. When you keep making those little changes, [...] suddenly you're basically spending all of your time trying to work out how to patch up what has been messed around with." As a result, a lot of scenes ended up not being filmed or omitted in an early phase: "They cease to exist because the effects work never gets done. Some of it's not even at that stage. [...] So there is no possibility of ever being a director's cut. It's purely in my head." Nevertheless, Jones is "equally proud and furious about Warcraft", and would be open to the suggestion of a sequel.
Gryphons were not used by the Alliance until the Second War when the Wildhammer dwarves joined. While prior to the Second War, Wildhammers were the only people capable of taming the stubborn beasts, and later afforded the Alliance their iconic war mounts. although being uncommon, there still were gryphons during the First War, especially Medivh did indeed use them all the time to fly from place to another.
Duncan Jones faced personal struggles during filming; his wife Rodene Ronquillo was diagnosed with breast cancer soon after Jones took over, and his father David Bowie died from cancer late in production. Jones summed up the challenge as: "My film started and ended with cancer."
Travis Fimmel's character makes a joke about wolf skin "making a good coat." In the TV show Vikings (2013), many characters wear animals as clothing. And his character Ragnar has a legend that he took wolves skin into a frozen river to make it even more durable.
Orgrim Doomhammer is depicted in the uncharacteristic primitive attire of the Horde (who had been gifted greater technology and featured extensive use of heavy plated armor as part of their pact with the Burning Legion) instead of his iconic black and gold "Doom Plate" armor, which was later given to Thrall when Orgrim named him as his successor.
When Medivh is completing the summoning of the portal, he is seen to have metamorphosed into a demon form. The demon is from the essence of Sargeras, a titan that was responsible for the creation of the Burning Legion. The Fel magic that Gul'dan possess comes from the Burning Legion as well.
Draka and Durotan had said more than once that their baby comes from an unbroken line of chieftains. It corresponds to the character of Thrall in the Warcraft series. In the series, he came to reign as chieftain for some time.
Gul'dan is a supremely evil character both in game and in the movie. In the original timeline, he knowingly works with Medivh to open the Dark Portal and falls into a coma while searching through Medivh's memories at the time of his death. In this timeline, Gul'dan worked with Medivh in the hopes that he would learn the location of the Tomb of Sargeras (a place not shown in the movie), unlocking immense power. While the film ends with an uneasy truce where the orcs are distrustful of Gul'dan but united, in the original timeline Doomhammer has many members of Gul'dan's Shadow Council (an organization not introduced in the film) murdered. Also, the Dark Portal on Azeroth's side was constructed by Medivh before the invasion of the Horde, not like in the movie, where the Horde constructs it after they arrive the world of Azeroth through a temporary portal.
Blackhand was not killed by Lothar in the original timeline; he was instead killed by Orgrim towards the end of the First War (an era during which the movie takes place). In both versions Blackhand was a tyrant, loyal to Gul'dan and making power-hungry decisions for the Horde.
In the movie the city of Dalaran is presented as the "floating city of Dalaran" but at the time of the First War Dalaran was situated in the Alterac Mountains. Those who played Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos (2002) can remember how Archimonde and the Scourge destroyed Dalaran. The city became a floating one when the Kirin Tor decided to move the city in Crystalsong Forest far in the north.
When Khadgar frees Lothar from the prison, he casts a spell called Polymorph on the guard, which is a spell similar to the games. He also says that it works on weak-minded and lasts about a minute. In the games, the spell works on Critters, Beasts and Humanoids (Including enemy players) regardless of their mental acuity; it lasts 50 seconds on NPCs (Non-Player Characters) such as guards, but it is limited in PvP (Player versus Player) where it only lasts 8 seconds on enemy players. The shorter duration has nothing to do with Intelligence, however.
In the original timeline, as referenced in the book 'The Lord of The Clans' by 'Christie Golden', Durotan and Draka died together after an ambush orchestrated by Gul'dan's Horde - rather than in a cheated Mak'gora and a flight for survival. In this same storyline baby Thrall is found by Blackmoore and his servant with his parent's bodies, rather than floating in a river.
In the movie, Khadgar flees from the Kirin Tor (wizards of Dalaran) at the age of 17, after being given them by his parents at the age of 6, while in the games, Khadgar was sent to study with Medivh at the age of 17. Khadgar prematurely ages as he fights Medivh, also gaining immense power, which allows him to win the fight in the first place, while in the movie, he is unchanged (by his appearance, at least). In spite of the apparent age difference, movie and original timeline Khadgar share the same goofy sense of humor.
When Medivh is completing the summoning of the portal, he is seen to have metamorphosed into a demon form. The demon is from the essence of Sargeras, a demon lord of the Burning Legion. The Fel magick that Gul'dan possess comes from the Burning Legion as well.
In the original story, the First War (an era during which the movie takes place) started as the Dark Portal was opened, the whole Horde marched to Stormwind, destroying it. The humans then flee north to Lordaeron (a place not shown in the movie), and forming the Alliance of Lordaeron there. In the movie, Dark Portal is never completely opened, Stormwind is not destroyed and the Alliance is formed already in Stormwind.