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Sam Raimi: Blizzard mismanaged Warcraft film

Issues over story led to director leaving project

Hollywood director Sam Raimi has explained why he is no longer working on the World Of Warcraft film, claiming that publisher Blizzard mismanaged the screenplay approvals process by allowing him to work on a new story for nine months before rejecting it.

"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?" he told Vulture

Raimi had initially been enthusiastic about the project, but dropped out after it clashed with the recently released Oz the Great and Powerful. The director is also known for the Evil Dead, Spider-Man and Drag Me To Hell.

"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," Raimi explained.

"I told them I wanted to make my own original story with Robert, 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. Then Robert wrote the screenplay, and only once he was done did we realize that Blizzard had veto power, and we didn't know that. 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. And Robert did start over, but it was taking too long for the people at Blizzard, and their patience ran out."

Moon director Duncan Jones is the project's new director, and tweeted his excitement when the news was announced in January.

"So the gauntlet was thrown down ages ago: Can you make a proper move of a video game. I've always said it's possible. Got to DO it now!"

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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