The World of Warcraft movie is officially on the move, after many months of stagnation we thought the project may have died a quiet death. However, behind the scenes it seems there were some exciting discussions and today, two years since the initial announcement, Blizzard and Legendary pictures have named their director, one Sam Raimi.
Raimi has directed both the Spider-man and Evil Dead series, and may be a perfect choice, as someone that can take a huge wealth of core material (with a strong fan following) and deliver something phenomenal.
Raimi is currently set to direct Spider-man 4 which is due for release in 2011, production hasn’t yet started on the fourth movie, which gives the World of Warcraft movie a release date, at the earliest, sometime in 2012. (Assuming Spider-man 4 begins early next year, takes one year to complete and meets its release date, and that the WOW movie has a similar schedule).
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – July 22, 2009 — Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. and Legendary Pictures announced today that Sam Raimi has signed on to direct the eagerly-anticipated major motion picture based on Blizzard Entertainment®’s award-winning Warcraft® universe. Raimi has, in the course of his career, clearly demonstrated a genius for developing and adapting existing fictional universes for mainstream audiences while staying true to the spirit of the original content.
Raimi directed the Spider-Man trilogy, which has broken box-office records around the world and garnered five Academy Award® nominations. Known for his imaginative filmmaking style, richly drawn characters and offbeat humor, Raimi wrote and directed the cult classic, The Evil Dead and produced 30 Days Of Night. He most recently wrote and directed the supernatural thriller, Drag Me To Hell.
“At its core, Warcraft is a fantastic, action-packed story,” said Raimi. “I am thrilled to work with such a dynamite production team to bring this project to the big screen.”
Charles Roven’s producing talents were recently seen with last summer’s blockbuster The Dark Knight, which grossed in excess of $1 billion, was nominated for eight Academy Awards® and won two. His body of work also includes the widely acclaimed Batman Begins and the sci-fi classic 12 Monkeys. Roven, with Atlas producing partner Alex Gartner, will be producing with Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull, Legendary’s Chief Creative Officer Jon Jashni, Raimi and Raimi’s producing partner Joshua Donen. Raimi’s partner, Robert Tapert, will be an Executive Producer and Blizzard Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Creative Development, Chris Metzen, a Co-Producer.
“Partnering with Sam Raimi exemplifies Legendary’s mandate of marrying the highest quality intellectual property to world-class filmmakers” said Legendary’s Tull. “Sam’s passion for ‘Warcraft’ is undeniable and we know that he will create an incredible film worthy of Blizzard’s phenomenal franchise. We look forward to collaborating with our partners at Warner Bros. and continuing our successful relationship with Chuck in bringing this rich new world to the screen.”
“Blizzard Entertainment and Legendary Pictures have a shared vision for this film and we searched at length to find the very best director to bring that vision to life,” said Paul Sams, chief operating officer of Blizzard Entertainment. “From our first conversation with Sam, we could tell he was the perfect choice. Sam knows how to simultaneously satisfy the enthusiasts and the mainstream audience that might be experiencing that content for the first time. We’re looking forward to working with him to achieve that here.”