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Sam Raimi to direct Warcraft movie

Oscar-winning Spider-Man director to link with Charles Roven for live-action "epic"

Activision Blizzard has announced that the long-planned live-action movie adaptation of MMO World of Warcraft is moving ahead with the revelation that Sam Raimi - much-decorated director of the Spider-Man trilogy - has signed up to steer the project.

He'll be working with Charles Roven, whose Atlas Entertainment company has produced numerous hit films - including The Dark Knight - and the movie will be released by Legendary Pictures.

"Blizzard Entertainment and Legendary Pictures have a shared vision for this film and we searched at length to find the very best director to bring that vision to life," said Paul Sams, COO of Blizzard Entertainment. "From our first conversation with Sam, we could tell he was the perfect choice. Sam knows how to simultaneously satisfy the enthusiasts and the mainstream audience that might be experiencing that content for the first time. We're looking forward to working with him to achieve that here."

And Roven added: "Blizzard Entertainment's Warcraft has become a second home for millions of players and Sam's experience and talent make him the perfect director for this remarkable and action-packed world."

Other names on the production slate include Roven's producing partner, Alex Gartner as well as Legendary CEO Thomas Tull, the company's COO Jon Jashni, Raimi himself and Raimi's producing partner Joshua Donen.

Raimi's partner, Robert Tapert, is executive producer while Blizzard's senior VP of creative development, Chris Metzen, is co-producer.

The film will be made under Legendary's co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros, and the latter's Jeff Robinov was pleased to see the production going ahead: "Warcraft is emblematic of the kind of branded, event films for which our studio is best known. We have enjoyed great success with our partners at Legendary, and this is an incredible opportunity for us to work with Sam on a project that is so eagerly anticipated by so many."

Activision Blizzard has promised to release more details about the cast and release date at a later date.