Last week Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time surpassed the Tomb Raider franchise and became the highest-grossing video-game-based film of all time. This week, the director of the upcoming and still unnamed World of Warcraft motion picture shed some light on the project.
Interviewed outside the Saturn Awards in Los Angeles by Collider, Sam Raimi gushed details on the film, praised Blizzard's art design, and said the project is still very much in preproduction.
"We're still working on the story," Raimi said. "We have a 40-page document that needs a lot more work...we're finding the characters and through the characters we're finding the story...we're trying to create realistic characters that can live in the world of Warcraft, as though you were in the game itself."
Speaking of the project's allure, Raimi said he loves the game's use of scale and its monsters and called its locations "incredibly [and] engrossingly terrifying and exciting." He said the film will take place entirely in World of Warcraft's universe, and not feature the real world a la Tron.
When pressed for comment regarding how the director relates to the massively multiplayer game, Raimi said he has leveled two characters in Blizzard's game. The first was a level 29 Shaman that was "accidentally deleted," and the second was an unspecified level 72 character.
In October 2009, Raimi revealed that Saving Private Ryan and The Patriot screenwriter Robert Rodat was on board with the project. The Internet Movie Database is listing the film as arriving in 2013, but no official date has been released by Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures, the companies distributing and producing the film.
Raimi is the director of the multibillion-dollar-grossing Spider-Man films and the horror cult classics Evil Dead and Army of Darkness. His most recent effort was the recent Drag Me to Hell, a horror thriller that won critical acclaim despite a PG-13 rating and so-so box-office returns. The Warcraft film will be produced by Atlas Entertainment's Charles "Chuck" Roven, Legendary Pictures' Thomas Tull, and Raimi producing partner Joshua Donen. Blizzard Entertainment's senior vice president of creative development Chris Metzen will coproduce.
Currently, World of Warcraft is one of the most popular massively multiplayer role-playing games in the world, accruing some 11.5 million subscribers worldwide since its launch in late 2004.