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Sam Raimi to Direct World of Warcraft Movie

WoW, a video-game movie that might not suck!

Featuring Bruce Campbell as Edwin VanCleef. (Unconfirmed)
Blizzard has been talking about doing a World of Warcraft movie for a few years now, but today it just got serious, as it has been revealed that Sam Raimi, director of the Spider-Man and cult-favorite Evil Dead movies, is attached to direct. I don't want to jump the gun here, but this news makes me think that World of Warcraft has the potential to be the movie that finally lifts video-game film adaptations out of the squalid sub-B-movie ghetto they've occupied for the past 20 years.

For one, Blizzard has built up a deep and interesting fiction around the World of Warcraft. Sure, it has the surface traits of any other Lord of the Rings/ D&D high-fantasy epic, but its gone to great lengths to define not only a really distinct and rich history for its world, as well as stock it with loads of recognizable and dramatic characters. Two, Sam Raimi has a pretty terrific track record with adapting colorful, fantastical source material into big-budget blockbusters that manage to have a little heart and soul to them. Yes, Spider-Man 3 was terrible, but for my money superhero movies don't get much better than Spider-Man 2. Lastly, I find it reassuring that Legendary Pictures is the production company behind World of Warcraft, having previously produced both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

The real question now is what, exactly, will the World of Warcraft movie be about? The hacky thing to do would be to focus on a band of player-type characters, but I'd much rather see a story about the rise and fall of Arthas Menethil, better known as the powerful and crazy-evil Lich King. Then again, the beauty of World of Warcraft is that it's such a huge, well-realized world that there are a number of interesting directions they could go. Here's Blizzard's press release regarding this announcement in its entirety.
 

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.”
 
“Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft has become a second home for millions of players and Sam’s experience and talent make him the perfect director for this remarkable and action-packed world,” said Atlas’ Roven. “Alex and I are proud to be working with Sam and re-teaming with our friends at Legendary and Warner Bros.”
 
The film will fall under Legendary Pictures’ co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. “Warcraft is emblematic of the kind of branded, event films for which our studio is best known. We have enjoyed great success with our partners at Legendary, and this is an incredible opportunity for us to work with Sam on a project that is so eagerly anticipated by so many,” said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
 
Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft universe is a rich fantasy setting that revolves around the epic conflict between the opposing forces of the Horde and the Alliance. Since its debut in 1994, Warcraft has developed a loyal following across the globe, with several bestselling, award-winning PC games and a range of popular licensed products including novels, action figures, apparel, comic books, board games, and more.World of Warcraft®, Blizzard Entertainment’s subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the Warcraft universe, is the most popular game of its kind in the world. Its most recent expansion, Wrath of the Lich King™, is the fastest-selling PC game of all time, with more than 2.8 million copies sold in its first 24 hours of availability and more than 4 million in its first month.
 
Further details about the upcoming Warcraft movie, including cast and targeted release date, will be revealed as development progresses.

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Posted by Ryan
Featuring Bruce Campbell as Edwin VanCleef. (Unconfirmed)
Blizzard has been talking about doing a World of Warcraft movie for a few years now, but today it just got serious, as it has been revealed that Sam Raimi, director of the Spider-Man and cult-favorite Evil Dead movies, is attached to direct. I don't want to jump the gun here, but this news makes me think that World of Warcraft has the potential to be the movie that finally lifts video-game film adaptations out of the squalid sub-B-movie ghetto they've occupied for the past 20 years.

For one, Blizzard has built up a deep and interesting fiction around the World of Warcraft. Sure, it has the surface traits of any other Lord of the Rings/ D&D high-fantasy epic, but its gone to great lengths to define not only a really distinct and rich history for its world, as well as stock it with loads of recognizable and dramatic characters. Two, Sam Raimi has a pretty terrific track record with adapting colorful, fantastical source material into big-budget blockbusters that manage to have a little heart and soul to them. Yes, Spider-Man 3 was terrible, but for my money superhero movies don't get much better than Spider-Man 2. Lastly, I find it reassuring that Legendary Pictures is the production company behind World of Warcraft, having previously produced both Batman Begins and The Dark Knight.

The real question now is what, exactly, will the World of Warcraft movie be about? The hacky thing to do would be to focus on a band of player-type characters, but I'd much rather see a story about the rise and fall of Arthas Menethil, better known as the powerful and crazy-evil Lich King. Then again, the beauty of World of Warcraft is that it's such a huge, well-realized world that there are a number of interesting directions they could go. Here's Blizzard's press release regarding this announcement in its entirety.
 

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.”
 
“Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft has become a second home for millions of players and Sam’s experience and talent make him the perfect director for this remarkable and action-packed world,” said Atlas’ Roven. “Alex and I are proud to be working with Sam and re-teaming with our friends at Legendary and Warner Bros.”
 
The film will fall under Legendary Pictures’ co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. “Warcraft is emblematic of the kind of branded, event films for which our studio is best known. We have enjoyed great success with our partners at Legendary, and this is an incredible opportunity for us to work with Sam on a project that is so eagerly anticipated by so many,” said Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group.
 
Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft universe is a rich fantasy setting that revolves around the epic conflict between the opposing forces of the Horde and the Alliance. Since its debut in 1994, Warcraft has developed a loyal following across the globe, with several bestselling, award-winning PC games and a range of popular licensed products including novels, action figures, apparel, comic books, board games, and more.World of Warcraft®, Blizzard Entertainment’s subscription-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in the Warcraft universe, is the most popular game of its kind in the world. Its most recent expansion, Wrath of the Lich King™, is the fastest-selling PC game of all time, with more than 2.8 million copies sold in its first 24 hours of availability and more than 4 million in its first month.
 
Further details about the upcoming Warcraft movie, including cast and targeted release date, will be revealed as development progresses.

Staff
Posted by Bubahula

will there be mountain dew robots?

Posted by Coolarman

well i don't care about WoW so maybe i will watch it

Posted by Pie

Well this should be intersting to see unfold.

Posted by Hamz

But the Spiderman films were, for lack of a better word, horrid compared to their source material. How can he direct a film based on such established lore and source material as the Warcraft world has and not do what he did to Spiderman.....

Posted by RandomInternetUser
@Pie said:
" Well this should be intersting to see unfold. "
Yeah, I hope it turns out good.
Posted by Ghostiet

Spider-Man 3 wasn't terrible. It was probably the closest to the comics of all adaptations of the Marvel Universe. Still, people label it as the worst. Spider-Man 2 with the horribly miscast Alfred Molina was better?

Besides, WEEEE, RAIMI! Although I'd like to see more a full-length CGI WoW movie. 2,5 h of kickass.

Posted by Vision

I am definitely with you on the story of Arthas concept rather than a band of player type dudes saving the world.

Posted by spiceninja

It should be about the fall of Arthas and him becoming the Lich King. It would make a great movie.

Posted by Kraznor

I'm not nearly as optimistic about this news. The man made Spider-Man 3. Not sure if you remember, but that movie was GARBAGE! And "For Love of the Game" and "The Gift" aren't really the beloved classics Evil Dead and...well, Evil Dead 2 are. Drag Me to Hell was pretty good as well but it also falls into that "comedic horror" vein, and that mood wouldn't really serve this source material. I still hope this movie just never happens at all.

Posted by pirate_republic

Oh c'mon people, Spiderman 3 wasn't THAT bad.

Posted by Milkman

There are so many different events in the Warcraft fiction that this movie could be about that this can't possibly fail....right? RIGHT?!

Online
Edited by SJSchmidt93

No Arthas please. The current expansion deals with him, plus ALL of Warcraft 3, if you want to know Arthas' story in depth, go play that game.. Not to go all nerdy Warcraft lore with you guys but I think the expansion should cover that WoW (the game) hasn't. Meaning Emerald Dream, getting Sargeras out of his tomb, the Titans banishing the Old Gods, and many other storylines they could follow.

Posted by NoPantz

This is going to be a movie I'm going to rent from netflix. I'll be too embarrassed to see it in the theater and even go to blockbuster to rent it.

Posted by Pie
@xobballox said:
" @Pie said:
" Well this should be intersting to see unfold. "
Yeah, I hope it turns out good. "
Im kinda hoping that it will be bad and all the mega awesome supers players of world of warcraft will hold some protest in game complaining about how awful it is. Also im intersted to see if they Blizzard will do anything in game like advertising it or setting up a carnival on the films realese.
Posted by TomA

I think that the movie should be about Papa Murhpy's Pet Biscuits. That would rule. No but seriously i think they should make a new storyline, one that involves characters from the current lore, but in a brand new setting. I dont want to see a film adaptation of something that has already happened in the Warcraft universe.

Posted by Milkman
@Hamz said:
" But the Spiderman films were, for lack of a better word, horrid compared to their source material. How can he direct a film based on such established lore and source material as the Warcraft world has and not do what he did to Spiderman..... "
Barring Spider-Man 3, the Spider-Man series is as good as comic book movies get. I don't know what the hell you are talking about.
Online
Posted by Imbalance

Huh. Never thought THAT would happen.


Posted by ponyslayer
@Milkman said:
" @Hamz said:
" But the Spiderman films were, for lack of a better word, horrid compared to their source material. How can he direct a film based on such established lore and source material as the Warcraft world has and not do what he did to Spiderman..... "
Barring Spider-Man 3, the Spider-Man series is as good as comic book movies get. I don't know what the hell you are talking about. "
ya, the first 2 Spider-man movies were fine
Posted by snide

The big key for me is to make the Horde sympathetic. It's a big part of the Warcraft universe that the two sides aren't black and white in regard to good and evil. It'll be interesting to see how this turns out.

Posted by Death_Unicorn

I want a white mage who shouts "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!"

Posted by zoozilla

Looks like there's a lot of good talent behind this.  Will it be enough to break the game-to-movie curse?  I dunno.

Posted by Jimbo

Stay after the credits for TV remote / ass action.

Posted by giyanks22
@Death_Unicorn said:
" I want a white mage who shouts "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!" "
Lol....


The reason Spider Man 3 was so terrible, was because Sony pictures forced Rami to put too many villains into the movie, so it could have more action in it, which detracted from Rami's ability to bring out the characters. Rami wanted to just have Harry Osborne, and Vulture, but Sony made him put in Sand Man and Venom.

I think with Legendary Pictures helping produce it (They also produced 300, along with TDK and BB) the movie will be very good and well thought out, because previous Legendary Pictures stuff was based off of something other than a script (300: Graphic Novel) (Batman Begins and the Dark Knight: Comic Books) . This has good potential...
Posted by Hamz
@ponyslayer said:
" @Milkman said:
" @Hamz said:
" But the Spiderman films were, for lack of a better word, horrid compared to their source material. How can he direct a film based on such established lore and source material as the Warcraft world has and not do what he did to Spiderman..... "
Barring Spider-Man 3, the Spider-Man series is as good as comic book movies get. I don't know what the hell you are talking about. "
ya, the first 2 Spider-man movies were fine "
I disagree gentlemen. I found the three Spiderman films to be a disfunctional mess. Not only because the acting was horrid but the story and general feel of Spiderman was just no there at all. For me personally I've never been a fan of Sam Raimi and those Spiderman films have cemented that feeling for me. This news is disheartening that he will be directing a WoW movie.
Posted by PositivelyGreg
@snide: Actually, I'd be totally behind a movie that basically retold the tale of the cancelled Warcraft Adventures... basically the backstory of Thrall.  If not that, honestly the rise and fall of Arthas has been picked over several times already and I'd much rather they went forward in the timeline and started setting up Whatever Comes Next... also so that they can have some major characters enter the scene who weren't created by authors like Knaak.
Posted by Gearhead
@Milkman said:
" There are so many different events in the Warcraft fiction that this movie could be about that this can't possibly fail....right? RIGHT?! "
Wrong.
Posted by Linkyshinks

It will suck on the evidence of his latest shit movie.

Posted by ponyslayer
@Hamz said:
" @ponyslayer said:
" @Milkman said:
" @Hamz said:
" But the Spiderman films were, for lack of a better word, horrid compared to their source material. How can he direct a film based on such established lore and source material as the Warcraft world has and not do what he did to Spiderman..... "
Barring Spider-Man 3, the Spider-Man series is as good as comic book movies get. I don't know what the hell you are talking about. "
ya, the first 2 Spider-man movies were fine "
I disagree gentlemen. I found the three Spiderman films to be a disfunctional mess. Not only because the acting was horrid but the story and general feel of Spiderman was just no there at all. For me personally I've never been a fan of Sam Raimi and those Spiderman films have cemented that feeling for me. This news is disheartening that he will be directing a WoW movie. "
by no means am i crazy about them, but with the caveat of being a superhero movie i feel like it accomplishes what it sets out for. Being an adaptation of a comic is probably a terrible burden in the same way as an adaptation of a novel is, having to deal with established canon and scenes that are important to that canon compared to what plays on film. I feel like the 3rd spider man fails on the same levels that the 3rd x-men movie does by throwing to many villians into it and being to much like a comic and becoming laughable because of it. how did you feel about the dark knight?
Posted by Osphere

Interesting...

Posted by Hamz
@ponyslayer: I personally found the Dark Knight to be a great film. But not because of Heath Ledger and not the best film of 2008 which I consider WALL-E to be. I enjoyed it, it was Batman through and through and they nailed a lot of things perfectly but I felt some could be done better.
 
As for the Spiderman films they just, for me anyway, seemed to ignore all that makes Spiderman great. The quick witted insults and replies from Peter, the lovable girl next door Mary Jane who steals his heart and villians that have purpose. That and every actor / actress he chose I felt was wrong for the role. But that is just me.
Posted by empfeix

you have never been a fan of  Raimi?  Ever heard of the Evil Dead series?  Ya your an idiot.  Oh by the way, if Bruce Campbell is in it its already a winner!

Posted by AllThatBacon
@Linkyshinks said:
" It will suck on the evidence of his latest shit movie. "
He made one mediocre superhero movie. Great evidence you got there...
Edited by avantegardener

Rami is a little over-rated in my opinion, but I did enjoy spider bloke 2. The sooner people realise that one medium does not nessecality translate into others, the be better off we'll all be, and artists can apply there craft in suitable environments. Anyway the 1st 4 hours of this film will just be killing boars.

PS. I'm really looking forward to the Asteroid movie...

Posted by The_A_Drain

I swear to god if Bruce Campbell is not in this at least as a Cameo, NO SALE!. Heck, he was so good in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena that he really should have a substantial role in this imo.

Posted by ponyslayer
@Hamz said:
" @ponyslayer: I personally found the Dark Knight to be a great film. But not because of Heath Ledger and not the best film of 2008 which I consider WALL-E to be. I enjoyed it, it was Batman through and through and they nailed a lot of things perfectly but I felt some could be done better.  As for the Spiderman films they just, for me anyway, seemed to ignore all that makes Spiderman great. The quick witted insults and replies from Peter, the lovable girl next door Mary Jane who steals his heart and villians that have purpose. That and every actor / actress he chose I felt was wrong for the role. But that is just me. "
thats understandable and i agree with strange casting for villians and kinda all around though J.K. Simmons i thought was good. and WALL-E is very good, i loved seeing wall-e going around picking up trash to louie armstrong songs. anyways nice talking to ya
Posted by sarahsdad
@NoPantz said:
"This is going to be a movie I'm going to rent from netflix. I'll be too embarrassed to see it in the theater and even go to blockbuster to rent it."

You win. go to the head of the class.
This could be one of the greatest movies ever made. The margin of error for keeping WoW players and everyone else happy though makes me think that it's going to Fail in the short term, and that recouping the investment will be a 5 or ten year affair.
Posted by jakob187

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  AWESOME!!!

Also, Bruce Campbell had BETTER be Van Cleef.

Posted by dbz1995

Evil Dead-bad name, great movie.

I actually wanna watch this, despite the fact that Ive never played WoW and my friends would call me a massive nerd for doing so.

Posted by SJSchmidt93
@sarahsdad said:
" @NoPantz said:
"This is going to be a movie I'm going to rent from netflix. I'll be too embarrassed to see it in the theater and even go to blockbuster to rent it."
You win. go to the head of the class.This could be one of the greatest movies ever made. The margin of error for keeping WoW players and everyone else happy though makes me think that it's going to Fail in the short term, and that recouping the investment will be a 5 or ten year affair. "
"greatest movie ever made."

THAT is an overstatement.
Posted by Sick_Sick_Sick

this film needs to be real life dude is playing wow somehow gets sucked into the game with sexy results

Posted by stinky

i hope Perdition's Blade makes an appearance.


that was some crazy awesome loot back in the day.
Posted by Babylonian
@Hamz said:
" But the Spiderman films were, for lack of a better word, horrid compared to their source material. How can he direct a film based on such established lore and source material as the Warcraft world has and not do what he did to Spiderman..... "
Not do what he did to Spider-Man? Why would he want to not make them interesting, funny, vivid, excellent popcorn movies? The Spider-Man movies were absolutely great, and shitting on them out of all the comic-to-film adaptations out there seems like a really bizarre and needlessly nerd-ragey thing to do.

Barring the third one, of course.
Posted by addictedtopinescent

If it contains any reference to mountain dew it deserves an oscar

but seriously, this looks promising
Posted by Hamz
@Babylonian: I didn't like any of the three Spiderman films. Thought they were somewhat crap, but that is my opinion and take from that what you will. Plus I find Sam Raimi to be a useless director and again that is my opinion.
Posted by artofwar420

The WoW movie could be really good, but let's not forget Spiderman 3:

  

Posted by GhostStrykre

Bruce Campbell as Van Cleef? noooo. that wouldn't be right. Bruce Campbell should star as none other than Leeroy Jenkins. truthfully Leeroy Jenkins is the kind of charcter kameo (spelling?) that i would expect for Bruce Campbell.

Posted by HeliumSpoon
Posted by HeliumSpoon
@ponyslayer said:
"@Hamz said:
" @ponyslayer said:
" @Milkman said:
" @Hamz said:
" But the Spiderman films were, for lack of a better word, horrid compared to their source material. How can he direct a film based on such established lore and source material as the Warcraft world has and not do what he did to Spiderman..... "
Barring Spider-Man 3, the Spider-Man series is as good as comic book movies get. I don't know what the hell you are talking about. "
ya, the first 2 Spider-man movies were fine "
I disagree gentlemen. I found the three Spiderman films to be a disfunctional mess. Not only because the acting was horrid but the story and general feel of Spiderman was just no there at all. For me personally I've never been a fan of Sam Raimi and those Spiderman films have cemented that feeling for me. This news is disheartening that he will be directing a WoW movie. "
by no means am i crazy about them, but with the caveat of being a superhero movie i feel like it accomplishes what it sets out for. Being an adaptation of a comic is probably a terrible burden in the same way as an adaptation of a novel is, having to deal with established canon and scenes that are important to that canon compared to what plays on film. I feel like the 3rd spider man fails on the same levels that the 3rd x-men movie does by throwing to many villians into it and being to much like a comic and becoming laughable because of it. how did you feel about the dark knight?"

If this post gets quoted one more tine we might crash the site.
Edited by Spacetrucking
Yes! Sam Raimi is awesome for this project and so is Bruce Campbell. God I hope he gets some kind of role in this movie.

And guys quit complaining already. Atleast they didnt get THIS d-bag:
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