‘Warcraft 2’ Movie Story: ‘Warcraft 3’ Movie Sequel Requires ‘Tides Of Darkness’ Expansion For Film Plot Success?

A Warcraft 2 movie sequel is more likely to happen sooner than Warcraft 4 or a WoW 2 release date. While the Warcraft movie was a relative flop in the United States, China’s gamers launched the box office ratings to unforeseen heights, almost ensuring a Warcraft sequel will happen. In the past, Warcraft director Duncan Jones made it clear he would love to do at least a trilogy, so now we can take a look at how Warcraft 2: Tides Of Darkness can set up a Warcraft 3 movie, never mind the World Of Warcraft movie that the fans are demanding.

[Warning: The following contains spoilers based upon reference to the first Warcraft movie and future events.]


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In the real world the Warcraft video game was released about 20 years ago, but in the game world the events start off when the Dark Portal is opened about 25 years before the start of the World Of Warcraft story. But the storytelling goes back 25,000 years if you include Warcraft books like Rise Of The Horde. Including the numerous RTS games and WoW expansions, this leaves for a lot of storytelling, although the movies are likely to only focus on central characters and main events.

In fact, the original Warcraft screenplay by Chuck Leavitt called for the story to focus primarily on the mage Khadgar, but Warcraft director Jones felt the orc character Durotan needed to be fleshed out as a character in order to prevent the Warcraft movie from becoming a film about a human army fighting off hordes of nameless orcs. The story even included a love plot based upon human leader Anduin Lothar and his affair with half-orc Garona. Some critics felt this direction created a lack of focus, but it may give us an idea of how the full Warcraft trilogy will be handled.

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Warcraft 2 Story

After the assassination of King Llane, Lothar begins a retreat of the Azeroth forces and Stormwind falls to the orcs. Having gathered enough ships and supplies, Lothar flees with the kingdom’s survivors and forges an Alliance with the elves and dwarves. The Second War begins when the orc warchief Blackhand dies and Orgrim Doomhammer begins the hunt to track down the scattered armies of Azeroth.

A novel written by Aaron Rosenberg provides plenty of source material for a movie, since it begins when Lothar lands on the shores of Lordareon and continues through the events of the game. Besides Lothar, the story features Warcraft characters from the first movie, including Gul’dan, Khadgar, Turalyon, and King Terenas.

Like the first movie, Warcraft 2 is likely to show the Second War from the viewpoints of both factions. The competing tribes within the orc forces create two civil wars, and there is politics aplenty within the Alliance. What is unknown is if the orc campaign story elements will be ignored entirely, since playing as the orcs provided a completely different ending, which included the death of Lothar during a betrayal by Doomhammer.

As a video game, what set Warcraft 2: Tides Of Darkness apart from other RTS games of the 90s was the naval combat. So, it’s possible the Warcraft 2 movie may implement more swashbuckling aspects, although nothing has been confirmed. The Warcraft 2 movie cast may even introduce a new character to flesh out this aspect of the story.

Presumably, the first half of the Warcraft 2 movie may quickly lead to the conclusion of the Second War, since the Warcraft expansion packs of the time included so many story elements it’s possible the final battle around the Dark Portal in Azeroth may just be the halfway point. The Warcraft 2 game ended with the extermination of an orc clan and the destruction of the Dark Portal, but the story just begins to get interesting at this point.

Warcraft 2: Beyond The Dark Portal

The Warcraft 2 expansion pack include multiple story elements that are critical to explaining the events of future games, including World Of Warcraft. The Alliance forces capture the remaining orcs remaining in Azeroth but on the Draenor side of the Dark Portal the orc Elder Shaman Ner’zhul begins gathering his forces. While the Dark Portal was gone, a rift still allowed orcs and humans to pass between the two worlds. Tricked into making a blood pact with the Burning Legion, Ner’zhul then sends death knight Teron Gorefiend on a series of raids to gather demonic artifacts necessary to open new portals.

In response to these raids, an Alliance expedition crosses over into Draenor in order to destroy the second half of the Dark Portal contained on the other side. [Warning: Potential Warcraft 2 ending spoiler alert.] The expedition may have been successful, but Khadgar found themselves trapped on the doomed world of Draenor. Ner’zhul opens many rifts to the Twisting Nether, an act which shatters Draenor and cause the demon lord Kil’jaeden to capture the orcish shaman and his few escaped followers.

Warcraft Movie promotional still from Universal Pictures [Image via Universal Pictures]
Warcraft Movie promotional still from Universal Pictures [Image via Universal Pictures]

Warcraft 3 Movie

It remains to be seen how the Warcraft 2 movie story will be handled, but anyone can see that including the events of the Warcraft expansion pack seems to be a necessity. The story of Warcraft 3: The Frozen Throne explains how pieces of Draenor survive as Outland, and it turns out members of the Alliance Expedition managed to survive. We also learn that Ner’zhul’s spirit is transformed into the Lich King when his body is destroyed, which is important since Ner’zhul is the primary antagonist during both games. Based upon this premise, it only makes sense for the Warcraft 2 ending to find completion in the Beyond The Dark Portal expansion pack.

According to many fans, the Warcraft 3 movie is where things will start to get interesting. Story-wise, the video games from the MS-DOS days were fairly bare bones, while the 2002 release Warcraft 3 introduced Warcraft characters like Thrall (who would be a baby during the Warcraft movie), Cairne, Jaina Proudmoore, Paladin Arthas, Kel’Thuzad, Sylvanas, Malfurion, Illidan Stormrage, and more.

Which Warcraft character becomes the focal point for the Warcraft 3 movie will probably be determined by the success of the Warcraft sequel. Whatever the choice may be, the future looks exciting for WoW fans.

How do you think the plot for the Warcraft 2 movie should be handled?

[Image via Universal Pictures]