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Sam Raimi explains why he's not directing the Warcraft movie [UPDATED]

warcraft movie
It's been an awfully long time since we've heard much about Blizzard's Warcraft movie -- long enough that we wondered if the project had faded into legend, much like the Dance Studio. Sam Raimi was announced as director way back in 2009 and spoke enthusiastically about the project as recently as 2010. And since then? A heck of a lot of silence, right up until the beginning of this year when Blizzard announced that Duncan Jones would be directing the film instead. So what happened?

Well, while doing press for his new movie Oz the Great and Powerful, Raimi explained: Blizzard had reservations about the story he and writer Robert Rodat had pitched them. Ramai and Rodat spent nine months working on a script before realizing Blizzard had veto power, and, in the end, things fell apart. It doesn't surprise us at all that Blizzard would insist on having full creative control, but it does surprise us that some kind of miscommunication might have killed Raimi's version of the film. Of course, this is just Raimi's perspective, but except for a single tweet from Rob Pardo, Blizzard is keeping mum on the deal.


However, at least the movie is now moving ahead -- and even Raimi seems excited by Duncan Jones directing: "I loved his movie Moon, and I think he's a strikingly talented director. I bet that if anyone can do a great job with it, it's him."

Now that we know that, we can finally get back to talking about important things, like debating our ideal casting choices.

Update: Added comments from Rob Pardo.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Warcraft Movie

Sam Raimi discusses Warcraft movie

Sam Raimi revealed quite a bit of information about his work on the Warcraft movie in a recent video interview with Collider.com at the Saturn Awards.

Many promising things were said during the interview, but some points of interest include:
  • Raimi and scriptwriter Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot) are working on a treatment for the film. So far they've written a 40-page document.
  • Raimi is playing WoW to get a feel for the game world. He has a level 72 character.
  • Legendary Pictures (Batman Begins, Inception) is excited about the project and Legendary Pictures founder and producer, Thomas Tull is a big fan of the game.
  • The movie will be set entirely in the Warcraft universe. No video game component will exist in the film. (Thank Elune.)
Raimi also addressed where he is at with the Oz prequel, a project he signed onto last week. Raimi is now currently signed on to direct both films, and though he does not provide any confirmation on which film he will direct first, in the interview he seems much more invested in the Warcraft film at the moment. He says in the interview, "well, right now, I'm not really committed to Oz. We're going to have to wait and see how that all goes, but I did read it. I love the script. I think it's a great project. It's something I'd like to become involved with."

For the highlights from the interview, hit the jump.

Read more →

Filed under: Interviews, Rumors, Warcraft Movie

Warcraft movie update: Metzen says "still getting it together"

It's been months since we've heard a peep on the Hollywood news lines about the Warcraft film or director Sam Raimi. When Spider-man 4 was canceled in January, there was speculation that Raimi might be headed to the Warcraft film next. A month later, we reported a rumor that Raimi's next project might not be Warcraft, but a film adaptation of The Shadow. Seeing as Sony let the rights to the film lapse in March, it doesn't sound like The Shadow is in any state of serious development; but it does raise the question of what exactly is Raimi up to right now?

While we still have no exact answer to that, Chris Metzen gave us a small update on the film in an interview over at vg247 published yesterday. When asked if a considerable amount of time was being spent on the movie, Metzen replied, "I wouldn't say "considerable" at all just yet. We've been through a number of story meetings, and we're still kind of getting it together with Raimi and his team and jamming on themes that we want to chase."

Sadly, the interview didn't reveal many specifics, but Metzen responded favorably when asked if he was concerned about dissappointing Warcraft fans: "Nobody wants to screw it up: we all want to hit it hard and have it be something that is as resonant and canonical as it can be. But given what Warcraft is, with all these moving parts, we're going to have to take some liberties here and there. I'm under no illusions about that fact ... "

It's hard to draw any new or concrete conclusions from the interview, but it's good to see that the movie is still being talked about. WoW.com will keep you updated as we learn more.

Filed under: Interviews, Warcraft Movie

What we know about the Warcraft movie


Last week, we reported that the Warcraft movie may be on its way. Previously there had been speculation that the film's development would be pushed back, since director Sam Raimi was tied up by problems with Spider-Man 4. Raimi then unexpectedly walked away from Spider-Man 4, citing creative reasons, and it suddenly looked hopeful that he might soon be turning his attention to the Warcraft film.

So now, in preparation for more news on the film, we will be bringing you up to date on what we currently know about the Warcraft movie.

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Filed under: News items, Features, BlizzCon, Rumors, Warcraft Movie

Robert Rodat to write the Warcraft screenplay


Sam Raimi spoke with MTV News about his upcoming Warcraft movie, and while he didn't confirm (or deny, we guess) the whole subtitle thing, he did mention a new writer. Robert Rodat is apparently putting a screenplay together -- he's best known for writing Saving Private Ryan (and of course if we can get a Warcraft movie as good as that Spielbergian epic, we'll all be happy), and he's also penned Fly Away Home and The Patriot. Most recently, says his Wikipedia page, he did some work on 10,000 B.C., though if you saw that movie, you probably wouldn't be able to tell, anyway -- it was terrible.

Raimi says he wants to stay faithful "to the Horde and the Alliance and the mythology that takes place in the game," as well as "choose one or some of the lands that are portrayed in the game with as much accuracy and authenticity as possible." He calls Rodat a great character writer, and says a great character-based story within the world of Azeroth is his goal. Sounds good. The picture above is the only art we've ever seen of the movie (it was presented at BlizzCon a few years ago), but since then, it sounds like the movie has changed quite a bit, so we'll have to wait and see what Rodat and Raimi are coming up with.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Lore, NPCs, Fan art

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