Blizzard Entertainment "mismanaged" production on the World of Warcraft film, according to former director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, Oz: The Great and Powerful). Speaking to Vulture, the director gave a timeline of events from his side of the table.
"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."
After this, Raimi explained Rodat wrote the film's screenplay, but it was only then that the pair came to realize Blizzard has total veto power. This would ultimately prove to be a sticking point.
"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?"
A Blizzard Entertainment representative was not immediately available to comment.
Chief creative officer Rob Pardo did have something to say on the matter, tweeting, "I don't want to create controversy, but there are two sides to every story…"
Blizzard has since tapped Moon director Duncan Jones to direct the Warcraft film. It is believed to have a budget north of $100 million and shooting will start this year for an intended release in 2015.
Details on the untitled film's script--written by Blood Diamond scribe Charles Leavitt--are being kept under wraps.