Back in January it was announced that Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones would be directing a World of WarCraft movie for Legendary Pictures and they were aiming for a 2015 release date.
It wasn’t too long ago that Spider-Man director Sam Raimi was attached (before he decided he’d make Oz: The Great and Powerful), and in a new interview Raimi spoke about why he left the game adaptation.
“Robert Rodat was working on the script, and it was taking a long time. I think they were getting a little antsy at Legendary, the production company. Actually, what happened was even more complicated, so let me go back a little bit. 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 [Warcraft developer] 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?”
Raimi isn’t worried about Duncan Jones taking on the project though, describing him as “a strikingly talented director. I bet that if anyone can do a great job with it, it’s him.”
World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game where players explore the landscape, battle monsters, and complete quests. The universe contains elements from fantasy, steampunk, and science fiction with dragons, elves, zombies and werewolves all in the mix. The game has developed a global following since its launch in 1994, and had 10.2 million subscribers as of December 2011.