The last time we reported on the World of Warcraft movie (more than two years ago), we shared an interview with director Sam Raimi, who talked about his love for the game and how the film would include monsters and magic spells. In the very same interview, Raimi also mentioned that he was considering working on Oz: The Great and Powerful as his next project.
As we all now know, Raimi did indeed pick Oz as his next project - Disney released the first trailer for the film last week - but that left some unanswered questions about the status of the World of Warcraft movie. One of those questions was answered in a recent interview with Raimi at Comic-Con, where the director revealed that he's no longer involved with the film.
Raimi explained that when he signed on for Oz - courtesy of Crave Online - the studio decided to move on without him:
"Actually, they don’t have me directing 'World of Warcraft' anymore because when I took the 'Oz' job, they had to move on to another director. They had to start making it."
The question is, who is the replacement director? We haven't heard about any other directors vying for the position, or even an official announcement from Activision Blizzard that Raimi was no longer involved in the project. Could it be that the World of Warcraft film has entered the seventh circle of development hell? (After all, the movie has been in some form of development since 2006.)
Raimi is one of only a handful of Hollywood directors who has proven he can turn big-budget projects into big box office returns, so it's hard to imagine Blizzard finding someone else as capable to bring the company's famous online role-playing game to the big screen.
That being said, I'm sure there are plenty of young directors out there who would love to take a crack at such a high-profile project. Either way, Activision Bilzzard should make a decision about how it wants to proceed with the film soon. In recent financial reports, the company has said that World of Warcraft subscribers are decreasing. Naturally, this begs the question - what good is a movie based on a branded property if nobody cares about the brand?
Oh wait, this is Hollywood. If a Stretch Armstrong movie is still happening, then a World of Warcraft movie is definitely still happening.
What do you think of Raimi's departure from the film? Were you excited about a World of Warcraft movie to begin with?
Source: Crave Online
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