Warrior Cats Movie Announced! - Why You Should Be Excited!
by LZRD WZRD
China, may just be our salvation after all.
I went to bed last night ready to find myself a good bunker to hunker down in after suffering through the final presidential debate. Jonah Goldberg summed it up best that these things sound like a nasty divorce proceeding. I was ready to divorce myself from life last night until I woke up today to discover literally the greatest news ever: Warrior’s author Kate Cary tweeted out this morning, quote:
“Finally, I can share our big news!
All I know atm is “Alibaba Pictures” and “in development”. I’ll keep you posted.”
So unless you’re Tennelle Flowers, this is probably the greatest news of your entire life. This is in a sense, the birth of my baby. I’ve been reading Warriors for 10 years and throughout that time me and the rest of the fandom were continuously told this was never gonna happen. Now I admit, this announcement doesn’t guarantee it’ll actually happen. It also doesn’t mean that I get to star as Jayfeather in the sequel films. And most importantly, it doesn’t dispel any of the misgivings that Tennelle had in her video: Why You Shouldn’t Want a Warriors Movie. However, what it does do is give me a reason to live. The 49ers suck, Hillary Clinton’s gonna be president, and I have a calculus test on Tuesday. But, there’s a Warriors movie in the works and if there was ever proof that there’s a god watching over me, this has gotta be it. I’m LZRD WZRD and this is: Why You Should Be Excited About the Warrior Cats Movie!.
So diving into this, I always figured that the best way to adapt Warriors would be for all of you to give me a few thousand dollars per month on Patreon.com/LZRDWZRD, that’s L-Z-R-D W-Z-R-D, and with that I could produce four amazing seasons of an animated Warriors series. I actually tweeted out this plan last week, stating that I’d split the original series up so Into the Wild would be a stand-alone season, with books 2 and 3 being combined into season 2, books 3 and 4 combined into season 3, and then book 6 would be season 4. What’s nice about this order is that it will still work if we replace seasons with movies. Into the Wild would be the perfect book to adapt to film by itself. It features a fish-out-of-water protagonist in Firepaw whose desire to find freedom and a place in the world is the perfect way for people to get invested in the film’s universe. Additionally, the book features a complete villain arc with Brokenstar and ThunderClan’s desperate efforts to oppose him, while also featuring sequel bait with Tigerclaw and Fireheart’s quest to expose his treachery. This is the perfect formula for a successful first movie. We’ve already gotten to see part of it come to life via SSS Warrior Cats’ fan episodes of the first few chapters. These videos total a little over an hour and cover the first 50 pages of the 270 page book, or about 20%. When you cut out the intros, outros, and announcements, these easily come in under and hour. Then when you factor in that the videos are pretty slow-paced to begin with and feature additional material like the Whitestorm fight sequence, it’s easy to imagine this all being condensed into 15-25 minutes without losing any of the original material. So if we give it 20 minutes for this early section and multiply that by 5, we would have about an 1:40 minute film, which is about the time it took the Guardians of Ga’Hoole movie to translate three books into one movie’s worth of material. So given that, I don’t think we’d have to worry about this first film cutting much out.
Plus the middle part of the book gives plenty of leeway for the writers to add their own touches. Firepaw’s training, Yellowfang’s introduction, the trip to the Moonstone, and the battle with ShadowClan all take up a lot of narrative time but don’t contain a lot of material vital to the spirit of the story. Now obviously I’m not saying they should cut any of this out, but parts of it could easily be condensed or changed for the benefit of the film and the artists working on it. I could definitely see some dark and visually stunning sequences coming out of the Gathering and Moonstone chapters which I would love to see on screen. This movie also provides a great opportunity for Firepaw’s “romance” with Spottedleaf to be better developed. It’s easily the weakest part of the book and series as a whole in my opinion, although I might argue that Firestar’s obsession with a childhood crush at the expense of Sandstorm makes for a really compelling character flaw. But since this movie doesn’t have a guaranteed sequel to flesh that angle out, they might just give this couple actual screentime and chemistry. So if anyone should be excited about this movie, it should be the Firestar and Spottedleaf shippers, who may just get to see this relationship done proper justice. Another sequence from the book that could be improved on in the movie would be the climactic battle between Firepaw and the ShadowClan rebels against Brokenstar and his followers. In the book, this battle only takes up four pages and I’m not talking about War and Peace pages people. It always seemed like kind of a letdown that this huge event starts and ends so quickly. That’s not to say that it’s bad, as Firepaw does have a really important moment when Whitestorm jumps in and stops him from killing Clawface to avenge Spottedleaf. For all of the people who say he’s a Mary Sue, this is a scene that proves that he had to learn and grow as a character before ascending to the paragon of virtue that he later became. I really hope they keep this in the movie and give the whole scene a real theatrical embellishment. There are so many emotions going on in this scene between Firepaw’s lust for revenge and Yellowfang’s confrontation with her murderous son that it’s hard to imagine how the studio could make this battle being anything less than spectacular, let alone screw it up. Which brings me to the next part of the video: How to Screw Up a Warriors Movie and Make Tennelle Smirk at Me (in 60 seconds or less!)
Now all of this great stuff completely hinges on the studio’s decision to make this film for ONLY Into the Wild. The reason why Legend of the Guardians underwhelmed was because of the studio’s decision to crush multiple books and arcs into a single movie. If the studio decides to throw out Brokenstar or give that arc a back seat, the logical replacement would be to have Tigerstar’s coup and subsequent exile be the climactic scene. The problem with this though is that an insane amount of material would end up getting cut and characters like Ravenpaw, Cinderpelt, and Cloudtail would suffer immensely. Also forget about that Firepaw-Spottedleaf romance. Heck, they might even cut out Silverstream and Graystripe’s relationship and instead replace it with Fireheart and Cinderpelt. Cinderpelt would get pregnant and then die like Silverstream and then I would lose my mind and storm out of the theater. What would really suck about this is that the movie would end on a relative low-note, rather than the New Hope-esque ending of Into the Wild where a giant success took care of an immediate threat with another bigger antagonist lurking in the shadows.
Tigerclaw’s exile was a good thing, but the effect of it devastated Bluestar who nearly tore apart ThunderClan as a result. Not to mention, Silverstream’s death destroyed Graystripe and led him to leave the clan. The end of Forest of Secrets sees Fireheart standing all by himself with the task of carrying his adopted clan resting on his inexperienced shoulders. That’s why this is ideal as the second movie in the series, as it builds on everything the first book setup, while also shaking up the status quo drastically enough to warrant more interest going forward.
Warriors gets compared to Guardians of Ga’Hoole a lot and while it’s fair to worry that this movie may be a disappointment like that, there are two important things to note. 1) the Guardians of Ga’Hoole movie wasn’t that bad and has plenty of supporters. If a Warriors movie makes the same mistakes, it could still be salvageable if the cast and animation is good. Heck, even a major deviation in the storyline could still be well received, although I don’t see any reason for that to happen, which leads me to 2) Warriors is better setup to succeed than Guardians of Ga’Hoole. The reason why the Ga’Hoole movie combined multiple books was because of the structure of the series. Many of the main characters weren’t introduced until late in book one or even in book 2. The first book also doesn’t have the big fight climax that other books in the series have, which translate better to a cinematic story. By contrast, Into the Wild has all of its major cast members introduced immediately in the story and has a satisfying climax that builds on them. Given all of that, there’s no reason for the studio to deviate from just adapting Into the Wild. It’s still very early in production and I’m sure we’ll have a lot more to discuss and speculate on going forward. But just for now, we can sit back and celebrate. Our childhood starts again today and maybe, just maybe, it’ll be alright.