In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale Preview

A small note prior to this post: Once again we take a look back at the movies that we watched over five years ago and choose a Hall of Fame class, five movies that we thought embodied BMT in some way. Perhaps they were particularly bad, or an example of a specific bad movie trope, whatever, something made them stand out as special in our minds. Since we didn’t do email previews back in 2011/2012 we also decided to provide a preview for the movie as well. This is the first in a series of five leading up to our yearly awards the Smaddies Baddies. A recap (Hall of Fame speech really) will follow immediate afterwards to explain why the movie was chosen, things we loved about the movie, and things we discovered upon second viewing. Enjoy!

In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007) – BMeTric: 85.7

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(Wow that started low. The way this is fading makes me wonder how much actual legs this has in the end, but there is a reason this is one of the worst reviewed films on IMDb. Other than that not much else to say, classic legendary bad movie.)

Leonard Maltin – BOMB –  Reluctant warrior Statham joins forces with a brave king (Reynolds) to battle a treacherous usurper (Lillard) and a wicked wizard (Liotta). Another video-game-inspired fiasco from the unfortunately prolific Boll. Even with a bigger budget and better actors than usual, this is a plodding patchwork of haphazardly edited action sequences. Alternate version runs 162 min.

(I will likely try and watch the (gulp) three hour cut. Jamie owns it, although on Blu-Ray I think. Regardless that cut it likely happening and I will not enjoy. Deep burn on Uwe, but that is expected since Uwe is a terrible filmmaker who has been openly ridiculed by critics for years.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7Um98FZei8

(You can kind of see the ridiculousness of the fight scenes in this film from the trailer. And you can kind of see how ridiculous everyone’s costumes are. But they keep this generic-fantasy for now. Smart.)

Directors – Uwe Boll – (Future BMT: Alone in the Dark; House of the Dead; BloodRayne; Postal; Blackwoods; Bailout: The Age of Greed; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Won for Worst Director in 2009 for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Postal, and Tunnel Rats; Nominated for Worst Director in 2006 for Alone in the Dark; and in 2007 for BloodRayne; and Nominated for Worst Supporting Actor for Postal in 2009; Notes: Well known for spitting out tons of schlock. Was a critic in the 80s and seems to revel in bad reviews. He challenged a number of critics to a boxing match and won all of the matches as chronicled in Raging Boll)

Writers – Doug Taylor (screenplay & story) – (Known For: Splice; A Christmas Horror Story; They Wait; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Razzie Notes: Nominated for Worst Screenplay for In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale in 2009; Notes: Canadian. He had a few interesting articles written about how he still lived in Montreal, even while working on promoting a big project like Splice. I don’t know what he’s precisely up to know, but it is an interesting glimpse into a screenwriters world. The number of projects he was working on was noted as “head-spinning” and yet he only has had four credited screenwriting jobs result in a theater release. It sounds nuts.)

Jason Rappaport and Dan Stroncak (story) – (BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: I don’t think these guys are necessarily writing partners, but there is no info on them. I think they probably work for Uwe Boll’s production company? Would make sense to have Taylor write the script, and then have some of your own guys help with whatever Uwe wants in there.)

Chris Taylor (video game “Dungeon Siege”) – (BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Notes: Just the video game guy. Was named the 30th most influential developer of all time in 2002. Left his company in 2016 to work on indie games)

Actors – Jason Statham – (Known For: Fast & Furious 8; Fast & Furious 7; Snatch; Spy; Furious 6; The Italian Job; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; Collateral; The Expendables; The Expendables 2; Parker; Homefront; The Mechanic; The Transporter; Death Race; The Bank Job; Hummingbird; Transporter 2; Future BMT: The Pink Panther; Wild Card; The One; Transporter 3; 13; Turn It Up; Killer Elite; Revolver; Mean Machine; London; BMT: Crank; Crank: High Voltage; In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Ghosts of Mars; Mechanic: Resurrection; The Expendables 3; Notes: An all-star of BMT naturally. I’ve also heard great things about him over the years. Mainly that he’s hilarious and has a magnetic personality. Makes sense.)

Ron Perlman – (Known For: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them; Pacific Rim; Drive; Hellboy; The Bleeder; Tangled; Alien Resurrection; Blade II; Hellboy II: The Golden Army; Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters; Enemy at the Gates; The Book of Life; The Spiderwick Chronicles; The Name of the Rose; Looney Tunes: Back in Action; Titan A.E.; The City of Lost Children; Kid Cannabis; Poker Night; La guerre du feu; Future BMT: Police Academy: Mission to Moscow; The Island of Dr. Moreau; Conan the Barbarian; Mutant Chronicles; Sleepwalkers; Bad Ass; Down; The Ice Pirates; Stonewall; Skin Trade; Outlander; Bunraku; Star Trek: Nemesis; Crave; Romeo Is Bleeding; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Season of the Witch; Notes: We should watch Ice Pirates. Ron Perlman is probably most well known now for either Sons of Anarchy or Hellboy, but he’s been in a bunch of stuff obviously. Was in Del Toro’s debut Chronos in 1993 which lead to a life-long friendship.)

Ray Liotta – (Known For: Goodfellas; The Place Beyond the Pines; Blow; Sin City: A Dame to Kill For; Identity; Killing Them Softly; Bee Movie; Date Night; The Iceman; Field of Dreams; Cop Land; Kill the Messenger; Heartbreakers; Youth in Revolt; Muppets Most Wanted; Narc; Something Wild; Unlawful Entry; Battle in Seattle; Observe and Report; Future BMT: Turbulence; The Son of No One; Operation Dumbo Drop; Crazy on the Outside; Revenge of the Green Dragons; The Identical; Forever Mine; Even Money; Powder Blue; Revolver; Better Living Through Chemistry; The Lonely Lady; The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud; Unforgettable; Slow Burn; Smokin’ Aces; Corrina, Corrina; Hannibal; Crossing Over; Pilgrim; BMT: In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale; Wild Hogs; Notes: He is most well known for looking like he is wearing a Halloween mask of himself. Joking, but this is the first movie I watched where I was like Liotta looks a little odd these days. Hugely famous, mainly for Goodfellas, he still gets decent enough jobs. Definitely an interesting career.)

Budget/Gross – $60,000,000 / Domestic: $4,775,656 (Worldwide: $13,097,915)

(So, Uwe Boll had a decent racket going for a while. The way it works is detailed here, but here’s the short version: if you are a German citizen looking for a tax shelter you can set up a shell company, “finance a film” for millions of euros (immediately tax deductible), and then lease back the rights to a Hollywood studio for almost the entire amount saving millions in taxes. The key is having a German director to direct … wait a minute I know a German director by the name of Uwe! I think they closed that loophole, it is the only explanation as to why Uwe isn’t still churning out trash. This is also the definition of “sweet IP”: video games no one else wanted to make into movies … so sell it to Uwe.)

#106 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre

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(A genre of the 2000s. Just about at the nadir of the genre though. Below Troll from 1986, and paired up with Seeker the Dark of Rising (twin film) for bringing down the gross for a time. Has held mostly steady since, but the new Harry Potters could help it along the way.)

#32 for the Sword and Sorcery genre

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(Literally the lowest grossing example released to more than 4 theaters! There isn’t much to the graphic except that it is small and kind of consistently made over the years. Hopefully the disaster that was Warcraft doesn’t handicap the genre too much going forward.)

#34 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(This guy basically sits … well around other Uwe films. Not that many video game adaptation are super successful. They are coming hot and quick now though, so we’ll see if they can cross that $100 million threshold consistently.)

Rotten Tomatoes – 4% (2/50): Featuring mostly wooden performances, laughable dialogue, and shoddy production values, In the Name of the King fulfills all expectations of an Uwe Boll film.

(Sick burns … although true. The film looks like a few episodes of The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers strung together. Considering it is through and through a German production … that might actually not be a bad analogy.)

Poster – In the Name of the Sklog: A Dungeon Sklog Tale (C+)

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(I like the color, but not much else. I can kind of give it credit for being in that high-fantasy mold. It is shockingly similar to some of the artwork for Lord of the Rings. But too much going on and not enough done with the font. I’m giving it a C+ for at least being derivative of something good, but most of the deduction is for being cheap looking to boot.)

Tagline(s) – Rise and fight (C+)

(I’ll give it credit for being short and sweet and fantasy-epic-esque. Doesn’t tell you anything, and is boring though, so I mark most of the credit off. Sorry Uwe.)

Keyword(s) – farmer; Top Ten by BMeTric: 85.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007); 84.1 Piranha 3DD (2012); 69.8 Year One (2009); 58.0 Monsters: Dark Continent (2014); 57.7 The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007); 49.3 Seventh Son (I) (2014); 45.0 Jeepers Creepers II (2003); 43.8 The Watch (I) (2012); 43.7 The Giant Spider Invasion (1975); 43.7 Priest (2011);

(We will never watch Piranha 3DD, but Priest is going to happen. Farmer is prooooobably pushing it, although The Seeker and Seventh Son did genuinely have farmers in it … and the main character of this is literally “Farmer”.)

Notes – Kevin Smith and Juliette Lewis were filming Catch and Release (2006) on an adjoining set, and came to visit this set. Burt Reynolds saw them steal two boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts. (I believe it, but Burt Reynolds throughout these notes sounds ridiculous).

Script development took over a year. In the end, Doug Taylor re-wrote eighty percent of the script, because the original story was considered too reminiscent of the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. (Amazing, what could the storyline have even been?)

Production of the computer graphics imagery in the movie was convoluted and problematic. Uwe Boll claims he had to fire several different CGI providers, who outsourced their jobs to lower-quality providers, who worked for less money. (Yup, this is why graphics in movies causes so much trouble, bullshit like this)

The “medicine” Merick gives Farmer was actually tea mixed with ketchup. Uwe Boll purposely concocted the mixture to get a disgusted reaction from Jason Statham.

During production, Uwe Boll sponsored a charity visit to the set. Guests got to see behind-the-scenes work, and proceeds were donated to a children’s hospital. Reportedly, Ray Liotta was extremely upset by it. In future interviews, he talked about how “crazy” Boll was for allowing so many spectators onto the set.

Siu-Tung Ching’s salary was higher than Uwe Boll’s. (HA!)

Jason Statham filmed many of his action scenes while nursing an injured tendon in his foot. He is noticeably impaired while running.

John Gajdecki had trouble filming many visual effects shots, especially scenes with outdoor “greenscreens”. Jan Kruse left the project, due to conflict with Gajdecki, who was eventually fired, and replaced by Doug Oddy. (These notes are ridiculous)

Some of the Krug costumes cost over ten thousand dollars each to produce. (Not a great idea)

Uwe Boll considered releasing the original cut of the film in two installments because of its length. Instead, it was edited into a theatrical release, and the Director’s Cut was released on DVD. (Smart …)

While filming an outdoor fight scene, Burt Reynolds grew overheated in his armored costume, became unconscious, and fell from the platform, on which the duel was being filmed. Reynolds claims this was the only time in his career that he had to miss a day of filming, due to sickness or injury.

Kevin Costner was offered the lead role. Uwe Boll claims Costner wasn’t interested in filming a large-scale action film, and instead offered Boll the opportunity to direct the project he was working on at the time, Mr. Brooks (2007). Boll turned it down. (WHAT, why would anyone offer Boll to director anyone?)

Claire Forlani was the last major performer to be cast. Her role had been previously offered to Jessica Alba and Jessica Biel. (Who probably just laughed into the phone for half a minute)

Though Siu-Tung Ching was the action Director, Uwe Boll personally choreographed the scene featuring Jason Statham and Ron Perlman fighting the Krug in the barn. (The one where it literally looks like Puttys from Power Rangers I think)

A day of filming was lost due to heavy fog. Some of the forest terrain and mountaintops could only be accessed via helicopter, and on a particular foggy day, Uwe Boll and part of his crew were literally stranded on a mountain for over two hours, because the helicopter wouldn’t take off.

Burt Reynolds extensively re-wrote and edited the dialogue for his death scene, creating friction with Script Supervisor Ingrid Kenning. Reynolds had never played a character who died in a film, and was adamant that the scene be something special.

Won the Razzie Award for Worst Director (Uwe Boll)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actress (Leelee Sobieski)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Supporting Actor (Burt Reynolds)

Nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Screenplay (Doug Taylor)

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Warcraft Preview

It’s the time you’ve all been waiting for! BMT Live. It’s the break in the cycle where Patrick and I take valuable time out of our busy schedule to head to the theater, plunk down our hard earned cash, and watch the worst that Hollywood has to offer (that is playing concurrently in London). If you follow the movie scene at all you might have already realized that Hollywood has provided a golden BMT opportunity in Warcraft. Not only did it get largely negative reviews, but is also far and away the most lopsided domestic/foreign grossing film in history. While it literally broke records overseas, it straight bombed here. A true curiosity. Additionally, because of the solid reception by fans it will almost certainly be the lowest BMeTric scoring film we’ve ever watched. It really couldn’t be missed by us. Almost a BMysTery in and of itself. Let’s go!

Warcraft: The Beginning (2016) – BMeTric: 1.1

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(Ha. Obviously not much here at the moment. Although fun to see a film like this in action. Sitting at a 7.6 on IMDb Warcraft is an objectively good movie according to that metric, and so obviously the BMeTric is depressed. I liked this movie for Live! Because of how divisive it is. At one point it was under 20% on rotten tomatoes and internet brains were melting. So we’ll see how the BMeTric develops over time. I have a feeling though this will be a sub 15 BMeT for a long time, and yet I’m somewhat confident it will make the Razzie longlist for consideration. We’ll see.)

Rogerebert.com (Christie Lemire) – 1/2 stars –  It is brutal. It is repetitive. It is numbing. And just as it’s ending, “Warcraft” leaves all kinds of plot threads dangling for the ambitious possibility of a sequel. But you’ll be likely to cry “Game Over” because this first one is easily a contender for the worst movie of the year.

(Wow. I wasn’t expecting this review to be quite this brutal. This movie seemed ripe for the classic Leonard Maltin 2 stars “Terrible movie, fun visuals” type of review where you can’t quite figure out where the extra stars are coming from. But rogerebert.com went for the jugular and took this thing down. Gaining confidence in our choice)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Rxoz13Bthc

(I believe this is the second trailer. The first trailer was an absolute catastrophe and was when I had a slight inkling this movie probably wouldn’t break the video game adaptation streak. This looks slightly better than that, but still. Leans heavily on the visuals with a somewhat trite seeming story, pretty standard for high fantasy actually.)

Directors – Duncan Jones – (Known For: Moon; Source Code; BMT: Warcraft; Notes: David Bowie’s son, Jones became somewhat of an indie darling with Moon. Subsequently Moon, due to how much of a “little known gem” it is on the internet, has become a meme related to high school aged male cinephiles. Which is unfortunate because Moon is a pretty nice little Sci Fi film, just don’t ever tell anyone you saw it because we all know … it is a hidden gem of a movie.)

Writers – Duncan Jones (screenplay) – (Known For: Moon; BMT: Warcraft; Notes: His middle name is Zowie.)

Charles Leavitt (screenplay) – (Known For: In the Heart of the Sea; Blood Diamond; K-PAX; The Express; The Mighty; BMT: Seventh Son; The Sunchaser; Warcraft; Notes:  A prolific re-writer, his two main bad movie credits (Seventh Son and Warcraft) are rewrites of others works. Born in Pittsburgh, PA.)

Chris Metzen (story and characters) – (BMT: Warcraft; Notes: Well known game designer for Blizzard covering Diablo, Starcraft, all of the iterations of Warcraft, and most recently Overwatch.)

Actors – Travis Fimmel – (Known For: Maggie’s Plan; BMT: Surfer, Dude; The Baytown Outlaws; Warcraft; Notes: A former Australian model discovered working out in a gym in Melbourne. He eventually turned to acting as a career over modelling. Well known for his leading role in the show Vikings.)

Paula Patton – (Known For: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol; Deja Vu; 2 Guns; Precious; Hitch; About Last Night; Disconnect; Just Wright; Jumping the Broom; Idlewild; BMT: Baggage Claim; Mirrors; Warcraft; Notes: At one point she provided background vocals for Usher. Former wife of Robin Thicke, he has promised to win her back through the power of song, mmmhmmmm)

Ben Foster – (Known For: The Finest Hours; X-Men: The Last Stand; Lone Survivor; The Program; 3:10 to Yuma; Alpha Dog; Hell or High Water; 30 Days of Night; Phone Booth; Big Trouble; Kill Your Darlings; Contraband; The Mechanic; 11:14; The Messenger; Rampart; Get Over It; Ain’t Them Bodies Saints; The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things; Liberty Heights; BMT: 360; The Punisher; Hostage; Pandorum; Warcraft; Notes: Best known to me as the kid in Flash Forward. He’s put together a pretty impressive resume of smaller films since then in his transition from a child actor. Born in Boston.)

Budget/Gross – $160 million / Domestic: $24,356,000 (Worldwide: $286,100,000)

(Will be a resounding financial success internationally, but is going to be an absurd Pacific Rim level catastrophe domestically. Like Pacific Rim I fully expect Legendary, which was just bought out by a Chinese company, to pump out sequels geared toward Chinese audiences going forward (see: Transformers 4 which focuses heavily on Chinese product placement in the back half of the film which was set in Hong Kong I believe).)

#190 for the 3D genre

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(Again, I like these because there is just so much data it makes a pretty plot. 3D has been going down a bit (I would guess because tentpoles have been sucking up IMAX showings with or without 3D and so there are marginally less theaters available for 3D releases). I will, sadly, likely see this film in 3D, so that makes me sad. Not that I hate 3D, I just don’t want to pay for 3D for this movie).

#64 for the Fantasy – Live Action genre

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(Will probably end up near Hansel and Gretel and between the two recent bombs in Huntsman and Alice Through the Looking Glass. This genre saw quite the surge after Lord of the Rings I would guess and seems to be a pretty consistent genre since then.)

#15 for the Sword and Sorcery genre

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(It is kind of useless to compare Warcraft to these now, but it looks like it is going to take somewhere in the 50-60 million range domestic … which is absurd. That will most likely be less that fucking Willow! Anyways, I think people were putting too much stock into this movie anyways. Look at these last three plots and realize something: All of these genres aren’t really “surging”, but rather have kind of been consistent in production and performance since 2000. Nothing is really hinging on Warcraft’s success beyond maybe video game adaptations (and they still got their best shot coming, Assassin’s Creed).)

#21 for the Video Game Adaptation genre

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(The good news is Warcraft should make the top ten in the genre. The bad news is that domestically it will now probably be at best the third highest grossing video game adaptation of the year. The genre is surprisingly consistently produced considering literally no video game adaptation has ever reached even the modest benchmark of 50% on rotten tomatoes. The best ever reviewed? Final Fantasy Spirits Within (I saw that in theaters, go me) at 44%. The best on metacritic was Mortal Kombat btw. It really is quite dire, over 15 years that RT record has stood).

Rotten Tomatoes – 27% (34/127): Warcraft has visual thrills to spare, but they — and director Duncan Jones’ distinctive gifts — are wasted on a sluggish and derivative adaptation of a bestselling game with little evident cinematic value.

(See above for some commentary on the RT score. Basically this did nothing to help the cause in getting video game adaptations taken more seriously by critics. This film is incredibly divisive. On the internet there is much debate about the stark contrast between critic reviews and audience reviews. And yet people openly admit that the movie is in fact derivative and possessing little cinematic value. The question you have to ask yourself is: is merely being entertaining the benchmark for success for a movie like this? And this is why I’m actually genuinely interested in seeing this film)

Poster – Sklogcraft (C-)

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(I don’t like it, but I feel like I should. Like I’m an old man and behind the times and that I should somehow understand that this poster is good. But I don’t. I think it is terrible. I think it looks old, and is silly, and I hate the colors, and it is busy, and blah. I don’t like it. [Jamie’s Note: Check out The Avengers poster that is graded an F- for being the worst thing I have ever seen? Look familiar? Wow.])

Tagline(s) – Two worlds. One destiny. (B+)

(I like it. Good cadence. Short. Does a little to get across the basic plot. It is still a little vague. Like, if I was staring at the poster what does that sentence mean? But after watching the trailer it makes sense, so only a bit of a minus there.)

Keywords – based on video game Top 10 BMeTric examples: 82.4 Street Fighter (1994), 81.2 Alone in the Dark (2005), 79.1 House of the Dead (2003), 78.7 In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (2007), 78.6 Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997), 78.3 BloodRayne (2005), 77.1 Super Mario Bros. (1993), 69.9 Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (2009), 63.8 DOA: Dead or Alive (2006), 62.4 Wing Commander (1999)

(Alone in the Dark, BloodRayne and House of the Dead are all Uwe Boll. DOA will be watched for BMT as some point. Other landmark movies above 20 BMeTric are Max Payne, the entire Resident Evil series, and both Lara Croft movies. Unfortunately a cycle really can’t be made out of it, but it sounds like it is ripe for the Sequel Cycle we are planning. We have seen 12 of 34 20+ BMeTric movies based on a video game, although I would argue that maybe 26 actually qualify. I mean, I’m going to watch all of the Pokemon movies, just not in the context of BMT)

Notes – Director Uwe Boll contacted Blizzard about directing the film, but Blizzard refused. As quoted by MTV news Uwe Boll stated: “I got in contact with Paul Sams of Blizzard, and he said, ‘We will not sell the movie rights, not to you… especially not to you. Because it’s such a big online game success, maybe a bad movie would destroy that ongoing income, what the company has with it.” (Good fucking choice considering he directed 6 of the top 12 BMeTric video game adaptations)

The source for the movie adaptation is being taken from the books “Rise of the Horde”, which tells how the Orcish Horde was formed; as well as “The Last Guardian”, which shows the human side and reaction to Orcish invasion. (Oh well I guess I should have read this book… but nope. I did not.)

The film was going to be released in December 2015 but was pushed back to May 2016 to avoid the release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015). (Again solid choice)

Duncan Jones said that the original script was very one sided in terms of the two factions (Horde and Alliance). after signing on to direct, he made major edits to the story, as well as the script, so both factions could tell their side of the story. (ehhhhhh, probably not a great choice)

Bill Westenhofer, the lead visual effects supervisor for the film, is a long time World of Warcraft player and has mentioned getting up at 2 AM to raid with his guild while on film sets. Robert Kazinsky is also a die hard Warcraft player and recalls producers telling him to turn the game off while on the set of Pacific Rim (2013). (uh oh, you mean you intentionally signed someone who worked on the other gigantic domestic catastrophe for Legendary, Pacific Rim? Yikes)

An Orcish dialect was created specifically for the movie. (And people will undoubtedly learn it. I look forward to it. Let’s leave it there).