Sam Raimi blames Blizzard for Warcraft film woes

Sam Raimi has finally spoken publicly about the Warcraft movie he was famously attached to from its inception. The director blames Blizzard for delays, and explains the communications breakdown that eventually ended the relationship in 2012.

Raimi tells Vulture:

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 Blizzard, and it didn’t quite work for me. I told them I wanted to make my own original story with Robert [Rodat, scriptwriter], 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.

Warcraft Movie concept art: The World Tree

Still the only piece of concept art we’ve seen from the film

…but, as Raimi soon learned, Blizzard had “never quite approved” the story – and even worse, the publisher still had veto power over the project. After nine months of working on the new screenplay, Blizzard revealed its “reservations” about the story, forcing Rodat and Raimi to start the process again.

While this was going on, production company Legendary Pictures was “getting a little antsy”, says Raimi, as things started to take too long. “[Blizzard‘s] patience ran out,” he says.

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?

This all happened before July 2012, with Raimi announcing at the time he was too busy with Oz: The Great and Powerful to continue working on the video game adaptation.

After that bombshell, we didn’t hear much about the project, before the January revelation that Source Code director Duncan Jones had signed on. This is a decision Raimi approves of, calling Jones “a strikingly talented director”.

Obviously, no dates or specific details for the Warcraft film adaptation just yet: Legendary and Blizzard are aiming for a cinematic release some time in 2015.

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