Raimi Blames Blizzard For Slaying His 'World of Warcraft' Movie
I'm not really sure how you'd make a World of Warcraft movie. I mean, everyone's experiences of the game are different. When I played it, I mostly remember killing boars, being called a noob by 14 year-olds, trying desperately to buy pauldrons at an auction and then finally succumbing to severe pangs of depression at four in the morning. I'm not sure if that would make a good movie. It seems Sam Raimi and Blizzard (who make World of Warcraft) had similar problems with arriving at a story everyone agreed with.
Raimi was originally approached to bring the Massive Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game to the big screen. It seems it was a job he grabbed with geeky relish, unfortunately, the relationship between the Spider-Man director and Blizzard soon fell apart when neither side could agree on a story. He told Vulture:
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?
Despite these problems, the movie, officially titled Warcraft, is still in production. In fact it recently nabbed a new director in the form of Source Code helmer (and David Bowie's son) Duncan Jones. What does Raimi think of this appointment? Well, he had only nice words to say:
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 still no word on what the actual Warcraft story will be. Will it follow the perspective of the Horde, the Alliance, or perhaps both? Who should the WoW story concentrate on?