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Posts with tag sam-raimi

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

What's your dream cast for the Warcraft movie?

A few weeks ago, Hollywood headlines were filled with talk that director Sam Raimi is trying to secure Hilary Swank for his next film, Oz: The Great and Powerful. Now, I know that's not especially interesting to the Warcraft community, but it got me thinking about the Warcraft film again, since Raimi will eventually be directing it. Who will Raimi try to cast in the Warcraft movie?

Then around the same time, the WoW Insider team got word on the further developments of Michele Morrow's campaign to land the role of Sylvanas Windrunner. This sparked the idea that someone on staff should put together a dream cast for the future Warcraft movie. As the token film school dropout, I jumped on the assignment and promptly put together the most expensive movie cast list ever.

Be sure to let us know what your picks for the Warcraft film would be!


Filed under: Warcraft Movie

Breakfast Topic: What are your Warcraft movie predictions?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the AOL guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

With the Warcraft movie on the horizon (though probably the distant horizon, at best), a lot of us are wondering what it might be like. Sam Raimi, the director of the recent Spiderman movies, is still supposedly attached the direct the film. Outside of the director, though, there aren't really any people set in stone to work on the project. That leaves open a lot of speculation of who might land starring roles.

Of course, that will also all depend on what story they end up using. As far as I know, they will not be basing the plot off any specific plot line we have now. We won't be seeing a movie about the Lich King or Deathwing's attack on Azeroth, though many of the important lore figures are likely to be around. Instead, this movie will focus on an as-of-yet unknown hero. I predict the main character will be human, both from the popularity of the race in game and the ease of casting a human, relatively. (There just aren't that many orcs in Hollywood.) I'd also go as far as to say this human will be functionally close to a warrior or a paladin, since American movies love to see brute force fighters and wrathful avengers. Someone like Chris Hemsworth is someone I could see being a lead actor. There are just so many potential plot lines, character choices, and talent specializations that could be chosen for this movie.

What do you think the movie will be like? Are you expecting a typical adventure plot or something that is highly tuned to Warcraft themes? A star-studded cast or a bunch of talented unknowns?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

Director predicts Warcraft film will break video game movie trend

Last week, Badass News posted an article detailing an interview with director Duncan Jones in which the Warcraft movie was one of the main topics of discussion. Jones is the son of David Bowie and director of the impressive science fiction flick Moon, as well as Source Code, another sci-fi title being released later this year. Though the interview reveals nothing about the production of the Warcraft movie, Jones thinks that the film is going to break the ongoing trend of terrible film adaptations of video games.

In the article, Jones says he believes it's possible to make a good adaptation -- it just has to be approached properly. "A good game adaptation is where you find the story or the emotional aspect that's at the heart of a computer game and you replicate that on film. It doesn't mean you need to have first person perspective or try and capture the mechanics of a game," he says.

Jones thinks the Warcraft film will be the film to break the mold because director Sam Raimi seems to be approaching the film correctly. "From the little I've read of interviews with him, the way he's approaching it makes so much sense. It's what I was talking about – it's not worrying about how the game plays, it's about creating the world of the game and investing the audience in that world."

Jones explains that he's a serious gamer himself and is skeptical about other directors who claim the same. He doesn't think most directors have the time to be both hardcore gamers and filmmakers. Jones, on the other hand, says he stays up all night to accommodate his gaming habit and cites titles like Starcraft 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops. He also says he's looking forward to Diablo 3.

Jones admits that he's "hugely jealous" of Raimi's getting the chance to direct the Warcraft film; the writer of the article goes so far as to suggest that Jones have a chance at directing it, since Raimi set it aside to work on The Great and Mighty Oz. That's not really quite how Hollywood works, though, so unless Raimi steps down from the project himself, I wouldn't count on his losing the project just yet.

Filed under: 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

Raimi tackling another movie before Warcraft

You remember the Warcraft movie, right? A couple weeks ago, we learned that Spiderman 4 had melted down, and director Sam Raimi, and the entire cast, are being swapped out while the Marvel Empire reboots the franchise. The link here is that Mr. Raimi is also the one who's directing the Warcraft film for Legendary Pictures.

The Spiderman fiasco drew rumors that Warcraft was coming that much sooner, since Raimi was now free to work on it. However, news appeared yesterday that his next project is The Shadow, so it looks like we're going to have to be patient a little longer. But hey, we're Blizzard fans, right? We can be patient.

And honestly, I'm still not convinced that a live-action Warcraft movie is a good idea. I mean, I like a lot of Raimi's work, and Legendary Pictures has made some great films, but... I dunno. We'll see.

Filed under: Rumors, 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.

Read more →

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

WoW Insider Show Episode 125 with Project Lore

Despite the fairly slow news week, we had a good WoW Insider Show podcast this Saturday, with Project Lore writers Tim "Heartbourne" Tusing and Jimmy "DJTyrant" Blocksom stopping by to offer their unique perspective on reader emails, the week's top stories, and having too little to talk about, for once. We discussed Sam Raimi's newfound freedom to work on the Warcraft movie, the Blizzard dev chat on Twitter, why tauren paladins really aren't that broken, and a myriad of other topics.

As always, you can email theshow@wow.com to have your email answered on the air, and if you have any guests you'd like to see on the show (or you'd like to be a guest yourself!) you can get a hold of us the same way.

Get the podcast:
[iTunes] Subscribe to the WoW Insider Show directly in iTunes.
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[MP3] Download the MP3 directly.

Listen here on the page:

Filed under: Podcasts, Podcasting, WoW Insider Show

Rumor: Sam Raimi's next project is the Warcraft movie

According to Ain't It Cool News, Sam Raimi's next project will be the Warcraft movie. This follows on yesterday's announcement that Spider-Man 4 is canceled, and that Raimi is done with the Spider-Man franchise. The Spider-Man movie series is going to undergo a reboot (yes, already) with entirely new cast and crew, which means Raimi is free to work on other projects.

If AICN's sources are correct and Raimi is going to be working on the Warcraft movie next, this is great news for the movie. While it is probably still a few years away from release, the fact that he's focusing on it now is a good indication the project is moving forward in the right direction.

AICN points out that with the success of Avatar the time is ripe for creating immersive virtual worlds, and you'd be hard pressed to find a more immersive world than Warcraft. Although lets all hope that the Warcraft movie doesn't become a cheap rip off of Avatar -- but with Raimi at the helm it's likely in safe hands.

Filed under: Rumors

Spider-Man 4 canceled; Warcraft movie soon?

Sam Raimi will no longer be directing Spider-Man 4, and neither will anyone else for that matter. Sony Pictures announced today that they are canning the current Spider-Man franchise and will be rebooting it in the summer of 2012 with an entirely new director, cast, and crew.

Raimi's decision to withdraw from the project supposedly stems from the summer 2011 release date, and how it would compromise the creative integrity of the film. This all comes after news that complications in the Spider-Man 4 script threatened to delay the film.

For Blizzard fans, this could mean that Raimi is now free to shift his focus to the World of Warcraft movie. However, Mike Fleming of Deadline Hollywood cites an alternative project option to the Azerothian epic, The Given Day, a novel written by Dennis Lehane, author of Shutter Island and Mystic River.

No official announcements from Raimi or Blizzard yet, however Fleming is a very reliable source for rumors in Hollywood.

[Thanks to everyone for the tips!]

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Rumors

Spider-Man 4 delayed, possibly impacting Warcraft movie

The latest buzz out of Hollywood is that the fourth installment of the Spider-Man movie franchise has hit a snag. Director Sam Raimi is apparently in the midst of some major creative differences with Sony Pictures executives over the script and the villain lineup. A little bit of drama in Hollywood is nothing new, of course, but in this case its become bad enough to delay the movie, with the May 6th, 2011 release date now in serious doubt.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

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

Interview with Paul Sams, Steelers owner


As we reported the other week, Blizzard COO Paul Sams is now co-owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers (who are stepping up lately), and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette hit up Mr. Sams for a quick interview about being at the intersection of Azeroth and Steeler Nation. Turns out the man who collects everything Blizzard has also been a Steelers fan since he was four years old, even though he's from California. And we were right with all of the speculation: he got connected with the Steelers management through Legendary Pictures producer Thomas Tull, and when the chance came to own part of the franchise, he jumped.

They also talk about expanding out to Carnagie Mellon University -- Blizzard has a thriving educational program in Irvine, but Sams says that they are looking to expand that, so Pittsburgh is a possibility. And finally, he says that the Warcraft movie is being scripted at the moment -- Sam Raimi will do Spider-man 4, and then it's all Azeroth for him. In the meantime, let's see about getting some of this Steelers news in the game -- even if we can't get an epic football to toss around, surely we'll at least see a Tauren somewhere named "Bill COW-her," right?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Blizzard, Humor, NPCs, Interviews

Warcraft movie subtitled on IMDb, likely fake


A few tipsters have alerted us to the fact that the Warcraft movie now has a subtitle on the Internet Movie Database -- instead of "Warcraft," it's now called "Warcraft: Rise of the Lich King." Though keep in mind what we've said before: almost anyone can edit those IMDb entries, which means this is less than even a rumor. It could be that some IMDb editor saw the title of the book somewhere and confused it for the movie's new title, or it could just be that an overzealous fan threw in a title of their own. Especially this early in a movie's pre-production, nothing is guaranteed.

Two other things to note here: back at the BlizzCon panel a few years ago, Chris Metzen did tell us that the movie wouldn't focus on Arthas anyway, so calling the movie "Rise of the Lich King" seems like it would go directly against that plan. Then again, we do know that when Sam Raimi became attached to the project, he brought his own set of ideas, so maybe he's convinced Blizzard to tell the story of Arthas yet again. Secondly, the IDMb crew page has been updated: apparently the Aaron Sims Company has been contracted to do some early character work for the movie. Unfortunately, their work is all over the map -- he's worked on Evil Dead II (great), Men in Black (pretty good), and Doom (whoops -- one of the worst videogame-based movies around). It's early though -- we do know Blizzard won't let Uwe Boll touch the movie, so hopefully they've chosen worthy talent here already.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Rumors

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