Former World of Warcraft Movie Director Claims Blizzard Mismanged Production

March 7, 2013 -

Director Sam Raimi claims that nine months worth of work on a World of Warcraft film was wasted because Blizzard Entertainment "mismanaged" production. Speaking to Vulture, he made his case for why the movie he was directing never happened:

"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 [Warcraft developer] Blizzard, and it didn't quite work for me. I told them I wanted to make my own original story with [Saving Private Ryan and The Patriot writer Robert Rodat], 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."

Raimi said that Rodat then wrote the film's screenplay, but after it was complete realized that the WoW maker had "total veto power." This ultimately put the film maker and Blizzard at an impasse.

"And they had never quite approved the original story we pitched them. Those reservations were their way of saying, 'We don't approve this story, and we want to go a different way,' so after we had spent nine months working on this thing, we basically had to start over," Raimi said. "And Robert did start over, but it was taking too long for the people at Blizzard, and their patience ran out. 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?"

While Blizzard would not comment on the story, Chief creative officer Rob Pardo said the following on Twitter:

Blizzard has moved on from the Raimi fiasco to tap Moon director Duncan Jones to helm the film. The script is being written by Blood Diamond writer Charles Leavitt. The film supposedly has a budget just north of $100 million. Shooting will begin this year in hopes of having the film ready for a theatrical release sometime in 2015.

Source: GameSpot



Re: Former World of Warcraft Movie Director Claims Blizzard ...

I for one welcome Blizzard's intervention.  Too many game franchises have been screwed overf by Hollywood doing their own thing ... after all, name the last decent movie based on a game franchise; I know I'm struggling.

WoW has a pretty tight 'lore' behind it.  They seem to have plans for where they are taking that lore.  So who knows if Raimi's proposed script contradicted that plan?

Finally putting my nerd hat on .... Spiderman 3.  Need I say more?

Re: Former World of Warcraft Movie Director Claims Blizzard ...

While I don't completely disagree with you, I should point out that letting two people spend nine months working on a screenplay, when you intended to veto it from the get go, is not good for anyone involved.  If Blizzard has something that they want out of their film, then they need to spell that out to the people involved in its production.  Creating something within an existing universe requires the content owners and anyone building adaptations to work together.

Lets take something equally geeky... A Song of Ice and Fire for example.  George R. R. Martin has given the makers of the television adaptation the outline of what is going down in the upcoming books.  He hasn't told anyone else.  Why?  Because as the content owner, and creator of the original source material that the television show is being adapted from, they need to know.  Game of Thrones isn't A Song of Ice and Fire.  It is an adaptation.  And the same will be for any movie that Blizzard wants to make.  Unless the story is original, and allowed to tell its own story that doesn't touch on world changing events, then it can only be an adaptation.


"If you really want to enslave people, tell them you are going to give them Total Freedom." - L. Ron Hubbard

Re: Former World of Warcraft Movie Director Claims Blizzard ...

Yeah.  I do take you're point about putting that much work into a script and THEN being told Blizzard had veto.  I can see he'd be a bit bitter about that.

Re: Former World of Warcraft Movie Director Claims Blizzard ...

Resident Evil is really the only franchise that comes to mind, mostly because they managed ot keep Uwe Bol's hands off of it. I tried to give one of his movies a chance, specifically Farcry, I lasted maybe five minuted into it.

Re: Former World of Warcraft Movie Director Claims Blizzard ...

"Shooting will Shooting will begin....."

On topic, I see this story one way. The ex employee is bashing his former employer. Anyone surprised?

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