It doesn’t seem like anyone was happy with Warcraft, one of this summer’s many box office disappointments that took the immersive fantasy world of Azeroth and added the even larger fantasy that such a misbegotten movie would be a blockbuster franchise starter. But, as with other gargantuan misfires like Kingdom Of Heaven or the existence of Ted Cruz, you may wonder if perhaps there isn’t an alternate version of Duncan Jones’ fantasy epic which would be kind of awesome.
A director’s cut that fixed weak spots like the script, character development, and weirdly shallow CGI would be a boon to fans of the universe who left the theater unhappy, but unfortunately, that won’t happen. In a new interview with Thrillist, Jones dashes any hopes for such a release, mainly because it doesn’t exist, even in rough form.
A lot of people ask me, “When is the director’s cut coming out?” There will never be a director’s cut. With a film like this, where there are so many visual effects, every concession that you make you lose those shots. They cease to exist because the effects work never gets done. Some of it’s not even at that stage. 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. So there is no possibility of there ever being a director’s cut. It’s purely in my head.
So the animation work required for such an undertaking ensures things like alternate cuts and deleted scenes don’t get made, because the cost would be too high. Despite demonstrating throughout the interview that he’s a true WoW nerd, there’s also a clear awareness on his part that the movie didn’t end up as he’d hoped, and perhaps he deserves some of the criticism lodged in its side like an ax dripping unrealistic blood. (“…It also drives me crazy that I wasn’t able to push through everything that I knew needed to happen in order to make the film I knew it could be,” he adds.) As a result, we’re left with a subpar Warcraft, forever shrieking its frustrated battle cry to the heavens, weaker than a day-old guild and wispier than a dead Night Elf.