Sam Raimi to direct live-action Warcraft movie. This is happening.

More than three years after Blizzard announced their intentions to produce a live-action feature film based on the Warcraft universe, and after a fairly long news drought regarding the issue, it has come to light that director Sam Raimi of Evil Dead and Spider-man fame, has been sign on to direct the film.

This movie still has my vote to be the first successful (critically and commercially) film based off a video game. When they initially announced the Prince of Persia film, I was hoping that would be the first one, but looking at it now, I highly doubt it. I’ve got confidence that Blizzard has enough pride in their work that they would not allow a sub-par product to ship.

The film will be produced jointly by Blizzard and Legendary Pictures (300, The Dark Knight, Watchmen), and distributed by Warner Bros. Per previous announcements made many years back, this movie will not lack in the budget department. Blizzard initially reported that the movie’s budget would exceed $100 million. With all the big names being tacked onto the movie thus far, I would not doubt it.

In terms of plot, Blizzard originally stated that it will not be one of the main plotlines from within Warcraft lore, although it may run concurrent to one of them. The main character will most likely also not be one of the well-known ones from the game. It’ll be interesting to see what Blizzard comes up with.

Hit the jump for a copy of the Variety.com article covering it and the official press release from Blizzard.

Sam Raimi has signed on to direct “Warcraft,” the live-action film adaptation of the fantasy videogame franchise “World of Warcraft.”

Legendary Pictures and vidgame publisher Blizzard Entertainment are mounting the film, and Warner Bros. will co-finance and distribute. The team boasts an impressive pedigree: In addition to the director of “Spider-Man,” the partners have added “The Dark Knight” producer Charles Roven to the creative mix.

The plan is for Raimi to supervise development of “Warcraft” and shoot the picture after he completes work on “Spider-Man 4,” which gets under way early next year for Columbia Pictures.

The movie will be financed under the Legendary Pictures’ co-production and co-financing deal with WB, in a manner similar to the Todd Phillips-directed “The Hangover” plus the Roven-produced “Batman Begins” and “Dark Knight.”

The “Warcraft” universe features an epic conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The game has developed a global following since its launch in 1994 and shows no signs of slowing. Its most recent expansion, “Wrath of the Lich King,” sold more than 2.8 million copies in the first day of release and more than 4 million its first month.

“Warcraft” is “emblematic of the kind of branded, event films for which our studio is best known,” said Warner Bros. Pictures Group president Jeff Robinov. The deal revives a long-dormant pact made by Legendary and Blizzard for a film adaptation of the game (Daily Variety, May 8, 2006).

“At its core, ‘Warcraft’ is a fantastic, action-packed story,” Raimi said in a statement.

Raimi most recently directed “Drag Me to Hell.”

Roven and his Atlas producing partner Alex Gartner will produce with Legendary’s CEO Thomas Tull and chief creative officer Jon Jashni, Raimi and his producing partner, Joshua Donen. Rob Tapert will be executive producer, and Blizzard senior VP of creative development Chris Metzen will be co-producer.

Source: Variety.com

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.

Source: Blizzard.com

Advertisements

One Response to “Sam Raimi to direct live-action Warcraft movie. This is happening.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: