A World of WarCraft movie’s been on the cards since 2009, though back then it was to be directed by Sam Raimi, maker of the Evil Dead series and the Toby Maguire Spider Man films. Then, in January, after three years of development, Raimi left the project and was replaced by Duncan Jones, director of the excellent Moon.
Speaking to Vulture, Raimi revealed that he left the project not just so he could work on Oz: The Great and Powerful but because Blizzard’s “patience ran out” with him and his script writer Robert Rodat.
According to Raimi, “First, they asked me if I wanted to make it, and I said, “Yes, I love World of Warcraft, and I think it would make a great picture.” So I read a screenplay they had that was written by the guys at Blizzard, and it didn’t quite work for me.
“I told them I wanted to make my own original story with Robert, so we pitched it to Legendary and they accepted it, and then we pitched it to Blizzard, and they had reservations, but they accepted it. Then Robert wrote the screenplay, and only once he was done did we realize that Blizzard had veto power, and we didn’t know that. And they had never quite approved the original story we pitched them.
“Those reservations were their way of saying, “We don’t approve this story, and we want to go a different way,” so after we had spent nine months working on this thing, we basically had to start over. And Robert did start over, but it was taking too long for the people at Blizzard, and their patience ran out. Honestly, I think it was mismanagement on their behalf, not to explain to us that the first story was vetoed long ago. Why did they let us keep working on it? Were they afraid to tell me?”
That said, he wholly approves of Jones involvement on the project, saying “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.”
There’s a couple of movie tie-ins on the go at the moment, most notable of which are the Assassin’s Creed and Deus Ex: Human Defiance projects. Maybe we’ll finally see someone pull off a good crossover to the big screen.