Scout shop owner Matt Pfeiffer was in a rush to get the Warcraft film, The Last of Us, on his shelves this week.
Pfeffer was already a huge fan of the game and wanted to put together a film of the first-person shooter genre that was a bit like the original, a cinematic universe full of characters, creatures, locations, and weapons.
That meant getting the script right.
PFEFFER: We needed to create a universe where there was a character named Marcus, and he was the hero of the movie.
And we had to have a very specific idea of who that character was.
The biggest challenge with the Warcraft movie was figuring out the story.
We couldn’t have this movie be the story of the character Marcus because he’s just the name.
The story is Marcus, he’s the hero.
But we knew we needed to have this character named, “Marcus” to create that story.
But there’s nothing he’s doing in the movie that we couldn’t use.
PICH: That’s an interesting point.
PFAFFER (interviewer): How do you tell a story that has a hero?
Is there an archetype for Marcus?
PFAIFFER: I don’t know how to say.
But what we tried to do is have an archetype that we felt we could capture.
You know, there’s a hero who comes to this city and he just gets attacked by a giant.
And he just kind of gets up and runs off, but he’s not a hero.
And so we made him into a monster.
That’s kind of what we were trying to do.
PPIFFER/MAY: And what about the other characters?
PFEIFFER (video interview): The characters in the film, you know, they’re kind of, like, “I’m just a regular guy who gets killed.”
You know what I mean?
PPIIFFER/ROBERT: I guess they have the most, you get to know them.
PFPIFER: Yeah, the first time we saw him was in the trailer.
That was a little weird.
PPEFFER, PFEIFER, and PFAIFER (film interview): So you get a sense that this guy, Marcus, is this kind of badass guy.
He’s like, this dude, he killed the dragon.
PPAFFER(interview): He kills it.
PFLFFER; And he’s kind-of a, you can tell that he’s a very heroic guy.
PFFIFER/JONATHAN: We’ve seen him kill other monsters.
And Marcus is really, you just know, the best-dressed guy.
But then, you’re like, well, he could have just been the villain.
PFOFFER&: But Marcus is also the leader of the city of Los Santos.
So there’s definitely some kind of a villain vibe.
But the story we’re trying to tell is this dude is a little bit of an asshole, he has a lot of people in the city that he can’t handle, and you know this is the way it is.
PBFIFER(video interview); Marcus is not the hero in this film.
PPOFFER &: And that’s kind, I mean, he can be really badass.
PBOFFER:(interview with PFEiffer): He is.
And that leads to the second challenge: how do you give a sense of power to this character?
I mean we have to create an emotional core around this character that really connects to that core.
PPPIFER; So you know Marcus is this guy who’s been outcast, he is this weird, different person.
And the more he’s outcast in this city, the more that makes him more like Marcus.
PFIFFER-PIFFEE: But he also, you start to think that he, you’ve seen it, that he could be the hero and he’s going to save the world, and so, you have to give him a kind of an identity and a character arc.
And I think that’s what makes the movie, to me, is kind of like a real, honest, real movie.
PFIFER-PFEIFF: It’s very, very, honest.
PIFFFER and PFEFIER: It really captures the way the people live in this fictional world.
It’s also really powerful because it kind of captures the kind of anger and sadness that people feel.
PHAFFER is an associate professor of journalism at UC Santa Cruz and the author of The Rise and Fall of Video Games: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Video Game Industry.
PHEFFER believes that the games industry is being driven by a corporate-friendly and, at times, misogynistic culture that seeks to manipulate the perception of women in a