Aside from rare hits like Wreck-It Ralph and long-running series like Resident Evil, the list of bombs is a long one, stretching from Super Mario Bros. to Final Fantasy, Prince of Persia and Pixels.

So it was only a matter of time that one of the most popular games of all time, World of Warcraft, would make it to the big screen. And with his film Warcraft, filmmaker Duncan Jones was determined to make a movie that would catch fans' attention. 

Warcraft director Duncan Jones

It helps that Jones is a fan himself. Growing up in the 1980s, Jones was obsessed with video games, something his father David Bowie watched with skepticism. "Like any parent,'' Jones recalls, "he would say, 'Why won't you just get out of the house and play outside?' But games have always presented an opportunity to escape. And they are also an opportunity to go somewhere that you come to know well."

For Warcraft, he decided to go back to the first version of the game he played, telling the story of the original contact between orcs and humans. "Here was a unique opportunity to take a game that I knew well and loved and try to craft something that would invite an audience to see what all the fuss was about," he says. "I wanted to give people a sense of why so many people play and care about the game. And what I really want to get right is to set the foundation for any other Warcraft stuff that happens after this." 

Indeed, Jones sees this as the start of a trilogy. And he's hoping to be a part of a movement to make better movies based on games, pointing out that the fantasy genre was dead before Lord of the Rings and that superhero movies were unpopular before Marvel rebooted the genre. "There is no reason why video game-based movies shouldn't be able to do the same thing," he says. "Hopefully, if people can give me the benefit of the doubt, and they'll buy a ticket and come see the first movie, I think I can bring them along on a similar adventure."

And Jones isn't the only one hoping for a resurgence of game-based movies. Later this year, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star in a film version of Assassin's Creed. And work is underway on a Lara Croft: Tomb Raider reboot starring Alicia Vikander.

Watch the trailer for Warcraft: