Know this: When a big name director signs on to direct a video game movie adaptation, it is a sure sign that the project is never going to come to fruition. This has been happening for years now. John Woo (Harboiled) was supposed to produce Metroid back in the day. Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean) was going to do BioShock. Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings) and Neil Blomkamp (Elysium) were going to do Halo together. These movies never get made.
Mark another promising director and video game pairing on the death list. Sam Raimi, he of Evil Dead and Spider-man fame, signed on to direct a movie based on Blizzard’s World of Warcraft way back in the forgotten era of 2009. It was actually 3 years after the movie was initially announced that Raimi was attached as director. He told Crave Online at the San Diego Comic Con however that he gave up the spot to direct Oz: The Great and Powerful instead.
“[They] don’t have me directing World of Warcraft anymore because when I took the Oz job, they had to move on another director,” said Raimi, “They had to start making it.”
Raimi had been working on a story for the picture with Robert Rodat, writer of Saving Private Ryan and the screenplay for Marvel’s upcoming Thor: The Dark World. The two had what Raimi called a “40-page document” written out for the WoW movie but that the story was never finalized.
It’s unknown who Raimi’s production company Legendary Pictures put in WoW’s driver seat, but the company was clearly eager to get the movie made and rightfully so. Forget the fact that the movie’s been in pre-production for 6 years; World of Warcraft as a brand is fading quickly. It’s still the world’s most recognizable MMO, but its membership is in decline, falling from a peak of 12 million to around 10 million over the past two years. Activision Blizzard would undoubtedly like to see a movie of World of Warcraft come out sooner rather than later so as to milk the 8-year-old game of the last few drops of subscriber revenue before it goes entirely free-to-play, but it’s questionable how much a movie would help.
If the World of Warcraft movie does get made, remember: Only bad directors make game movies. Never forget Paul W.S. Anderson’s army of horrible Resideny Evil movies or pretty much everything Uwe Boll has ever done.