Devin Faraci from Badass Digest recently chatted with Duncan Jones, director of Moon (2009) and Sourcecode (2011). Duncan admitted to be a hardcore gamer and commented he is jealous of Sam Raimi, the director of the upcoming Legendary Pictures’ World of Warcraft film — who recently signed in to direct Oz: The Great and Powerful.
The Moon director expressed an interest in directing an adaptation of World of Warcraft.
“I’m hugely jealous of Sam Raimi,” Jones told me. “I really believe World of Warcraft could be the launch of computer games as good films. And from the little I’ve read of interviews with him the way he’s approaching it makes so much sense. It’s what I was talking about – it’s not worrying about how the game plays, it’s about creating the world of the game and investing the audience in that world.”
It’s unlikely for Legendary Pictures and Blizzard Entertainment to dismiss Sam Raimi. However, not long ago Sam Raimi departed the Spiderman 4 production, and Sony made the bold decision to reboot the franchise.
Not everything is set in stone when it comes to film productions, and Duncan Jones seems to be eager to be noticed.
Mila Kunis said during a video interview with MTV News that she deleted World of Warcraft from her laptop to keep her addiction to the MMO under control while on the road.
Her World of Warcraft account is still open, and she can play the game at home whenever she wishes, but for traveling purposes she will rather focus on her career commitments. A little bit of self-control ain’t that bad.
The host, Josh Horowitz, asked Mila Kunis if she would join the cast of Legendary Pictures’ World of Warcraft film. She is totally into that.
“Hell yeah! I would do it, of all things,” she exclaimed and then addressed what type of role she’d want. “I don’t know if I would want to be a big character in it,” she said. “But I would totally want to run around as a little mage. Like a kick-ass mage. With pigtails? Mmmmm… Awesome!”
Along with Mila Kunis, there are other celebrities who have pointed out in public their interest in joining the cast of the upcoming World of Warcraft film: Adrianne Curry, Brandon Routhe, and Michelle Morrow. (links to our interviews with the actors attached)
Empire interviewed Hollywood actor Brandon Routh (Superman Returns star) at the San Diego Comic Con 2010 and asked him about the World of Warcraft film.
Brandon Routh admitted he met Sam Raimi at a party a month ago (on June 2010). Both talked about their addictions to playing World of Warcraft, and about Routh’s interest in a role.
“I met Sam Raimi a month ago actually at a party Edgar Wright had, and he was very sweet, very nice, and we talked a little bit about our addictions to Warcraft. We’ll see what happens when they get it up and running.”
I have always thought Brandon Routh would do a great Blood Elf, donning some pointy ears. Who knows? He might play the role of Kael’Thas Sunstrider if the script had the character.
For the role of Sylvanas Windrunner, we already heard from Michelle Morrow, during our interview, she was interested in the role.
Production of the World of Warcraft film is still a ways off, but it’s a matter of time before we learn whether any of these actors get their heart’s desire.
TheCollider had the opportunity to talk with film director Sam Raimi at the red carpet of The 35th Saturn Awards, where mostly he just talked about World of Warcraft. Pretty much the first time since he signed up as the Warcraft movie director (7.21.2009) that he talks this much on this topic.
Among the random topics he talked about we have answers to the recent rumors about The Hobbit and Oz.
He loves the script of Oz, the Great and Powerful, but he’s not really committed to it yet.
The rumors about The Hobbit are just that: rumors.
Raimi loves working creatively with Thomas Tull, a WoW player himself, and Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros.
Sam Raimi: “I’ve been reading scripts, been reading books. I’ve been doing work with Robert Rodat on the treatment for the movie of WORLD OF WARCRAFT, and that’s coming along very well.
The rumors I don’t follow that much, but the reviews, good or bad, I live and die for. I really want people to like the movies, and if they don’t, it’s a real bummer. I’m thrilled when they like them. I don’t follow the rumors too much.
Right now, I’m not really committed to OZ. We’ll have to wait to see how that all goes. I did read it and I love the script and think it’s a great project. It’s something I would like to become involved with.
I love the visual world that the guys over at Blizzard have created. It’s incredibly, engrossingly terrifying and exciting. I like their use of scale and the giant monsters that they have. I love the different landscapes that your character can move through.
I like the personal interactions that you have with other players online. There are so many aspects about the game that I really enjoy. Like the sword battles, the performing spells. Learning new spells, getting to the next level.
We’re still working on the story right now. We have a 40-page document that needs more work. But every draft gets better and better. We’re finding the characters, and through the characters we’re finding the story. And the angle, there is no real angle on it. We’re trying to create realistic characters that can live in the world of WARCRAFT, as though you were in the game itself, in one of its environments, and have that interaction with those great mythical, iconic characters.
There are so many characters in the game that we’re really trying to pull out the most exciting and different characters of the game. It’s so overwhelming. It’s a real big universe. There are so many worlds, in fact, and characters, I don’t think we could touch on them all satisfactorily.
So we are trying to choose the characters that are interesting, and play a part in our drama that we’re developing.
I had a level 29 shaman that somebody deleted by accident. Now I’ve worked a new character all the way up to level 72. That’s how big of a fan I am. I’ve spent that many days in the world of Warcraft.
The studio is very enthusiastic. It’s Legendary Pictures. Tomas Tull is running Legendary. He’s a great fan of the game itself. He really produces good-quality pictures, and he wants to make a top-quality movie. That’s his only concern. So he’s very excited about the process. I love working with him.
I really love working with World of Warcraft. It’s still a long ways away. It’s only a 40-pages story. I really want to direct the picture, but it’s possible that a film that is ready to make could come in. I mean, I haven’t seen it yet. I love making movies. The development process is a little less interesting to me, but it’s something you have to do if you want to start something from scratch. That’s what we did with World of Warcraft.”
Recent speculation circled around the web after Guillermo del Toro left The Hobbit’s director’s seat. Sam Raimi was interested in that film back on 2007, according to an interview by EW Online. Chances are now that Guillermo del Toro stepped down, he might give it a thought.
However, just out of the oven, The Vulture Blog (New York Magazine) claims to have inner knowledge that Sam Raimi was approached to direct Oz, the Great and Powerful, a Disney film written by Mitchell Kapner and produced by Joe Roth.
It is unclear if Sam Raimi will accept Disney’s proposal.
Chris Metzen told VG247 the WarCraft film script is basically a work in progress, so don’t expect to watch it at a cinema any time soon. Boo aside, the Vice-president of Creative Development wants the story to feel right and to leverage expectations of those who have played WarCraft games.
On the bright side, fans can tell from experience that when a Blizzard game takes long in the making and goes to several iterations, the end product is worth the wait. If the father of the WarCraft mythos wants the film’s story to be the best it can possibly be, then we can wait and trust him. You can read two more questions about the WarCraft film here.
Are you spending a considerable amount of time on the Sam Raimi-directed Warcraft film?
Chris Metzen: I wouldn’t say “considerable” at all just yet. We’ve been through a number of story meetings, and we’re still kind of getting it together with Raimi and his team and jamming on themes that we want to chase. We’re kinda getting a lot of values together – what kind of story we want to tell, what do we want people to feel, what is the best way to look at this big franchise. We had had some script iterations previous to Raimi coming on board that were cool, that had some really good bits – sometimes a little too overcooked or a little too undercooked. We’re still trying to feel out that space, so as he came in he wanted to have fresh eyes and look at the content of Warcraft in such a way as to dig out what will most people feel: “Oh, I get it, that matches my expectations when I played.”
You can aim the camera in a hundred different directions in a place like Warcraft so it’s kind of finding that right one. But in terms of division of time, or whatever, it doesn’t take up a tremendous amount of time these days. It’s really just strategic phone calls or strategic meetings from time to time until things really get moving on the Hollywood side.
There has been quite a lot of buzz around the net that Sam Raimi might direct the revamped film adaptation of The Shadow. It was a crime-fighting vigilante radio drama back in the 1930s featured in comic books, newspaper comic strips, television and videogames.
Last time this character appeared on the big screen was with Alec Baldwin in 1994. Sam Raimi has wanted the rights of The Shadow since late 1980s, but things didn’t work out. Thus he created a film in 1990 which resembled The Shadow. He directed Darkman.
The film websites around the net have gone red alert with speculation that Sam Raimi will direct this The Shadow film. This fits with what Robert Tapert said earlier. That Sam Raimi might take on a small film. According to Robert Tapert, the Warcraft film is still in the outline/story/script phase.
GamePro interviewed Gary Whitta to discuss his recent film The Book of Eli. The interview shed a short comment about Gary Whitta’s involvement as writer of the Warcraft Film prior to Sam Raimi signing as its director. Gary’s script was scrapped, and the new script and plot is unknown at the moment. Blizzard, Legendary, Robert Rodat and Sam Raimi have been silent and haven’t offered any hints on what the new story is all about. Read the full here.
GamePro: Did you find it challenging taking the massive universe of Warcraft and turning it into a movie script?
Gary Whitta: I had fun working on the Warcraft movie’s script — and I should state that I don’t think they’re making my version of it. Since Sam Raimi (Spider-Man series, Evil Dead series) came on, he decided he wanted to go in a very different direction creatively
As far as Warcraft was concerned, I actually saw that as an opportunity rather than a problem. Often times when you have games that tell very specific stories, you’re just following the story and the narrative is somewhat in place. You have to take some license with it, but it’s almost like painting by numbers. I had fun working on the Warcraft movie’s script — and I should state that I don’t think they’re making my version of it. Since Sam Raimi (Spider-Man series, Evil Dead series) came on, he decided he wanted to go in a very different direction creatively and they’re probably exploring something else now. But the script I worked on looked at the whole Warcraft universe as a very rich playground from which we can concoct almost any story we wanted. So I actually really liked having the latitude to kind of go off in almost any direction we wanted because we weren’t being given a story.
It’s been a week since SONY announced Sam Raimi’s departure from the Spider-man 4 production, and expectations have been the director might tackle the World of Warcraft film as his next project. There has been no word from Sam Raimi on what he is gonna work next.
On the other side of the coin, IF Magazine caught up with Robert Tapert (Warcraft film executive producer) at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Edition to find out what the status of the Warcraft film is in relation to Sam Raimi’s freedom from the Spider-man 4 commitment.
While he didn’t want to speak for Sam Raimi or put words on his mouth, Robert Tapert admited the Warcraft film is in fact in production on a very early stage:
A few years ago, I reported a glitch in the system on the Legendary Pictures website where the word Diablo appeared under the “Upcoming Projects” section. I contacted several gaming sites to let them know, and it echoed all around the web. However, the Diablo listing was removed in less than 24 hours after all the attention it got.
Oddly, the Hollywood Reporter claimed Gary Whitta was working on a Diablo film for Legendary Pictures and Blizzard Entertainment.
No explanation was ever given whether it was a mistake. Was there truely a Diablo film in their plans? Or did the webmaster make a mistake? We might never know, or at least not for a long time. Legendary Pictures nor Blizzard Entertainment did never issue a press release announcing a Diablo film. It would be awesome, regardless.
At least, Mike Morhaime admited to Gamespot during the 2007 Austin Game Developers Conference that Starcraft and Diablo are strong enough worlds to be made into films.
Within weeks of the Diablo film listing / delisting incident, the Legendary Pictures website underwent some maintenance and converted the HTML layout to a Flash template. Ever since, I have camped the site visiting it daily, multiple times at different random day/night shifts … for the past two years. Yea, I’m a freako like that.
A few days ago, before I posted the interviews with actress Michele Morrow, I noticed a change in the Legendary Pictures website that granted some attention.
I have seen movies listed in the Upcoming Titles, now renamed to Coming Soon, come and go as they hit the big screen and the box office: The Dark Knight, 10,000 B.C., The Watchmen, Observe & Report, and lastly The Hang Over.
The last two projects on queue: The Clash of the Titans and Warcraft.
Well, a few days ago The Clash of the Titans was moved from the “Coming Soon” section to the “Current” section. This caught my attention. Especially because the coming soon section was now empty; and the next film on queue is naturally: Warcraft.
The Clash of the Titans page is now active with a video trailer which you can watch here. It’s amazing!
As I kept watch on the Legendary Pictures website, I was curious to see the Coming Soon section empty. Then something unexpected happened. As I hovered my mouse upon the Coming Soon text, and clicked on the text itself, I was accidentally forwarded to … a Warcraft film placeholder page filled with ipsum lorem.
I made sure to take a screenshot as evidence, because I knew last time they removed the Diablo link and I wouldn’t have evidence. So there you go folks. Legendary Pictures has a placeholder page for the Warcraft film, and all of this happened within the past 5-6 days, coincidental with the recent events where Sam Raimi departed Sony’s Spider-man 4 production — as reported on January 7.
As of yesterday, Clash of the Titans was moved back from the Current section, back to the Coming Soon section. And the Warcraft film placeholder page has vanished. These pages are there to display story synopsis, photos, video trailer and wallpapers. Thus, it’s food for curiosity to see a Warcraft film placeholder page pop-in and out of existence, don’t you think?