World of Warcraft teases new 'Shadowlands Afterlife' animated series - Dexerto
World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft teases new ‘Shadowlands Afterlife’ animated series

Published: 25/Aug/2020 4:20 Updated: 3/Sep/2020 12:03

by Isaac McIntyre

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Blizzard is set to premiere a brand-new World of Warcraft animated series later this week, the publishers have officially confirmed. The new show, ‘Shadowlands Afterlife,’ will be the company’s first original animated series.

Shadowlands Afterlife, which is being billed as “the first original animated series” from the World of Warcraft developers, is set to premiere as part of the Gamescom 2020’s Opening Night Live broadcast stream on August 27.

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Blizzard has not yet unveiled any major details on the Afterlife series, outside a teaser trailer confirming the Shadowlands show’s upcoming release date. The series is expected to focus on the eight expansions’ four realms: Ardenweald, Bastion, Maldraxxus, and Revendreth.

“Just as our choices determine who we are in life, they also pave the paths we take in the afterlife,” the World of Warcraft trailer’s YouTube description reads.

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“Prepare to delve into four realms of the Shadowlands — Bastion, Maldraxxus, Ardenweald, and Revendreth — and discover the journeys souls take once they cross the eternal veil.”

This is far from the first time Blizzard has employed short animated teasers for their flagship franchises. World of Warcraft boasts a mountainous backlog of narrative shorts and teasers, as does Overwatch and the Diablo series.

“Shadowlands Afterlife” will mark one of the first times Blizzard has released a multi-episode expansion series, however. The publishers revealed the series would have four episodes ⁠— likely one each for the Covenants ⁠— in their official announcement.

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Some of World of Warcraft’s biggest names are on show in the Afterlife trailer too. Uther can be seen on a battlefield alongside Arthas, the Witch King. Garrosh Hellscream, who was slain by Thrall in Warlords of Draenor, was also seen in chains.

Blizzard has not yet confirmed just how many of the MMORPG franchise’s former heroes and villains will actually make an appearance though. Expect them to confirm this at some point during Thursday’s Gamescom 2020 premiere.

Fallen Horde warchief Garrosh Hellscream will appear in 'Shadowlands Afterlife.'
Blizzard Entertainment
Fallen Horde war chief Garrosh Hellscream will appear in ‘Shadowlands Afterlife.’

Speaking of confirmation, the Shadowlands Afterlife series could also ⁠— finally ⁠— offer fans a locked-in release date for the eight expansion. Whispers behind the scenes are suggesting a Shadowlands launch date has indeed been penned in.

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Gamescom marks the final major gaming convention for 2020, meaning if Blizzard wants to pull the trigger on a huge release date unveiling, now’s their best chance. We will have to wait and see if Blizzard goes in this direction, however.

World of Warcraft

Henry Cavill as Arthas in Warcraft 2 makes perfect sense: here’s why

Published: 7/Oct/2020 4:11 Updated: 7/Oct/2020 5:03

by Isaac McIntyre

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Okay World of Warcraft fans, it’s time to go all-in… Henry Cavill would make a perfect Arthas in Blizzard’s newly rumored Warcraft 2 revival, especially after proving he’s got the fantasy chops as Geralt of Rivia in Netflix’s The Witcher.

The original Warcraft movie came out back in 2016, and landed with mixed reviews. World of Warcraft fans loved it, of course; seeing characters like Anduin, Medivh, Gul’dan, and Durotan brought to life on the big screen was a dream come true.

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Critics and general audiences were less convinced. Duncan Jones’ high-fantasy romp in the world of Azeroth was dubbed a failure. A sequel was stamped ‘highly unlikely’ after the box office flop. 

Except, just four years later, the Warcraft rumor mill has thundered back to life. Legendary Entertainment has already green-lit a sequel, according to insider Daniel Ritchman, with Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson involved.

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Warcraft raked in just $47.4 million in the United States, but made $391.7m overseas.
Legendary Entertainment
Warcraft raked in just $47.4 million in the States, but made $391.7m overseas.

And so, with Warcraft 2 reportedly in development, that leaves us with the biggest question for the sequel; what will the story be? Will the franchise take it step by step, and tell the story of “Tides of Darkness,” or head for a better-selling sequel?

In our opinion, Blizzard’s best bet for the sequel is to skip straight to “Reign of Chaos” and it’s genre-defining expansion “The Frozen Throne.” The third game’s storyline has plenty of ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ elements.

Enter fantasy’s man of the hour, Henry Cavill.

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Arthas Menethil is key to Warcraft 3, and Cavill is a perfect pick to play him. The prince’s path to the throne is littered with huge battles, dastardly schemes, and of course, the biggest twist Blizzard’s Warcraft franchise has ever offered up.

Reason number one: I mean, look at Henry Cavill. That speaks for itself.

Henry Cavill in a fan-mockup depicting him as Arthas Menethil.
Reddit: GeordieGamerGuy
Henry Cavill in a fan-mockup depicting him as Warcraft’s Arthas Menethil.

There are other reasons too though. One is that Cavill is a big World of Warcraft fan himself, meaning he’d likely be eager to sign on. I mean come on, the guy missed the news he had been cast as Superman because he was deep in a WoW raid.

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Former Blizzard figurehead Chris Metzen and Rise of the Lich King writer Christie Golden have both given Cavill’s fan-casting their tick of approval too; the Warcraft duo are well and truly “on the [Cavill as] Arthas train.”

Finally, Warcraft 2 will need ticket-selling star power. The first 2016 flick did have plenty of big names ⁠— Vikings lead Travis Fimmell was among them, as was Marvel’s Dominic Cooper ⁠— but none command the same household stardom as Henry Cavill.

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Cavill, 37, is a little old for Arthas in “Reign of Chaos” and “The Frozen Throne,” but if Legendary and Blizzard plan out a trilogy leading into “Wrath of the Lich King” ⁠— which they absolutely should ⁠— the British star will fit perfectly for Menethil’s final Warcraft hurrah.

Heck, cast a younger actor for the opening stage of the prince’s life, then bring Cavill in with a narrative time-jump in the third or fourth Warcraft movie.

Arthas Menethil and his path to the throne should be front and center in future Warcraft sequels.
Blizzard Entertainment
Arthas Menethil and his path to the throne should be front and center in future Warcraft sequels.

The Superman star isn’t the only name being linked to Warcraft 2 either. Fimmel is expected to return as Anduin in the sequel, as is Ben Schnetzer as Khadgar. Paula Patton has also said she’d “love” to return for another Warcraft outing.

The same insider reports that suggested Warcraft 2 is now in the works also tipped Jurassic World lead Chris Pratt as another star who has already been tabled a multi-movie deal.

Duncan Jones, who directed the 2016 release, also said he would happily return as long as there are “less cooks in the kitchen.” Blizzard has yet to officially respond to the reported new sequel, so take everything with a pinch of salt… for now.