Warcraft movie pushed aside - Report

Director Sam Raimi reportedly committed to Disney's upcoming <i>Wizard of Oz</i> film; movie based on Blizzard Entertainment's property on the back burner.

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The World of Warcraft franchise has been a hot-ticket item for news this week. On Monday Blizzard Entertainment nailed down a December release date for the game’s third expansion, Cataclysm. And yesterday the publisher announced that the World of Warcraft subscriber base has climbed to a new high of 12 million. Now, franchise fans are getting some not so great news.

Raimi has chosen the Yellow Brick Road over Azeroth.
Raimi has chosen the Yellow Brick Road over Azeroth.

According to a Deadline report, the film set in the Warcraft universe won’t be released any time soon. When confirmed director Sam Raimi dropped out of his directorial position on Spider-Man 4, many expected that would free up time for him to work on the Warcraft film. However, according to the report, that’s not the case, and the director is instead working on Disney’s Wizard of Oz reboot.

Announced at the 2006 Electronic Entertainment Expo, the Warcraft project remains largely under wraps. Chief details known about the project include Raimi’s involvement and that Legendary Pictures, the production company behind The Dark Knight and the in-development Gears of War film, landed the project. Warner Bros. is slated to distribute.

The most recent mention of the flick came Raimi mouth in June. He said the film was moving forward, but its script still needed attention.

"We're still working on the story," Raimi said in June. "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."

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 2012, 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.

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