The movie adaptation of Blizzard’s immensely popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (RPG) World of Warcraft has suffered a setback as director Sam Raimi has detached himself from the project.
Talking with CraveOnline at the Comic-Con last week, Raimi revealed that he had stepped down as the director of the forthcoming film based on the popular World of Warcraft franchise as he was going to be busy working on Oz: The Great and Powerful, a film that he had agreed to direct for Disney in 2010.
Taking the filmmaker’s latest commitment into account, the producers of World of Warcraft film decided to move on without him instead of putting the project on hold for the sake of accommodating 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,” Raimi said. “They had to start making it.”
In 2006, Blizzard had claimed that it was going to make one of the best films in the world. Raimi was brought onboard in 2009, while the Saving Private Ryan scribe Robert Rodat was selected as the film’s writer later that year.
The very next year, Remi had revealed that work on the story had begun and that he already had a 40-page document with him, though it still needed a lot of work in order to make the film more immersive. He further dished out the detail about how the story was being developed.
“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,” conceded the director of the film at that time.
The story was never finalised and thus the development of the World of Warcraft film appeared to be headed nowhere.
With Raimi agreeing to direct Oz: The Great and Powerful for Disney, it became difficult to determine the fate of the film based on Blizzard’s popular game.
World of Warcraft had garnered huge critical and commercial success since its launch in 2004. Featuring an open world for the players to explore, along with a wide range of monsters to hunt/battle, long list of items to collect, countless quests to go on either alone or with fellow players, there was very little that the game did not offer.
The global following had reached nearly 12 million in the peak years of the game, but since the last few years, a significant decline in its popularity has become apparent. This came as a wake-up call for Blizzard, creating a sense of urgency and prompting them to get serious about the film adaptation of the game as soon as possible. Waiting for Raimi to get done with his current commitment no longer seemed like a viable option and thus it was decided to bring in a new director.
It has not yet been revealed who Raimi’s replacement would be, but one thing is for sure; the highly-anticipated film will not keep the fans waiting for too long from here on.