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It’s Hard Not To Love The Horde In The First Warcraft Movie Footage

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After years in development, Warcraft is finally bringing the world of Azeroth from the massively popular video game “World of Warcraft” to the big screen. But while you’ll have to wait until 2016 to see the Alliance and the Horde do battle against one another, the lucky crowd at San Diego Comic-Con’s Hall H got an amazing first glimpse of how the film will look.

Before Saturday’s panel, Twitter fans first got an eyeful at two of the film’s warriors in these Comic-Con exclusive character posters: Lothar (Travis Fimmel), the film’s protagonist for the Alliance, and Durotan (Toby Kebbel), an orc from the Horde.

But that was nothing compared to what they showed Hall H later in the afternoon! The entire cast of Warcraft came out—Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbel, Ben Foster, Rob Kasinsky, Ben Schnetzer, Clancy Brown, Ruth Negga, and Daniel Wu—while intense, quick clips from the movie played on the front screen, along with character posters of the Alliance and Horde that stretched all the way around the hall in an amazing immersive experience.

After a brief chat with all of the actors, we were treated to even more footage from the film. It was, in a word, incredible—and VERY sympathetic to the Horde.

We opened on Durotan’s tribe, including his pregnant wife, traveling across the desert towards a barren “Mad Max”-style orc settlement. Their planet is dying; they need food and water, and they believe they’ve found a portal to another greener world… Azeroth. The problem is, they need the life energy of “living slaves” to power Gul’Dan’s (Daniel Wu) magic and keep the portal open. So the orcs barrel right into Azeroth to find themselves some prisoners and take over a new world in order to survive.

Next we followed them through the portal (where things are HAPPENING to Durotan’s wife—maybe she’s giving birth?), as King Llane (Dominic Cooper) flies across Azeroth on his giant gryphon in lush, gorgeous landscapes. There were shots of group of white haired elves at a council, a dwarf brandishing a gun at the camera, snow-capped mountains and beautiful castles. And then Durotan’s clan stumbles upon a hunting party led by King Ilane, and ALL heck breaks loose. “They’re beasts. They should be destroyed,” Ilane says further into the footage, which Lothar appears to question.

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We also saw flashes of Durotan’s wife sending her babe into the river like Moses, powerful magic being cast by Medivh (Ben Foster), Lady Taria (Ruth Negga) looking on at her kingdom, the half-human half-orc slave Garona (Paula Patton) looking on mournfully, more of that amazing griffin, and lots of other orcs and magical creatures. The movie appears to heavily rely on CGI, but the scenes we watched honestly looked pretty good — I was reminded much more of the raw, practical realness of “Lord of The Rings” than the glossier effects of “The Hobbit,” which is a very good thing.

And no part of the footage we saw was as raw and awesome as the final sequence, which showed a GIANT battle between the Alliance and the Horde. And I mean giant—the camera panned ALL the way back as the fighting tore across the screens that surrounded Hall H.

All in all, it seems like we’re in for a real epic showdown when this movie comes out in March. Here’s to hoping Legendary releases a trailer online too. I just got out of the panel and I already want to see it again.

Warcraft hits theaters March 11, 2016.

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