Wow, Indeed! Raimi Readying Warcraft for Big Screen
Josh Grossberg @ E! Online wrote:Goodbye, nasty Evil Dead demons. Hello, orcs, trolls, elves, dwarves, knights, gnomes, raiders, conjurers and warlocks—and just in time for Comic-Con.
Sam Raimi, the innovative director behind the Evil Dead and Spider-Man trilogies, has signed on to helm a big-screen version of World of Warcraft, heralded by the Guinness Book of Records as the most popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) of all time.
Getting his Avatar freak on, the filmmaker is teaming up with Legendary Pictures to translate Blizzard Entertainment's hit online game and fantasy universe—which follows various heroes on a Lord of the Rings-type quest on the planet of Azeroth—into what is hoped will be a blockbuster film franchise.
"At its core, Warcraft is a fantastic, action-packed story," reveled Raimi. "I am thrilled to work with such a dynamite production team to bring this project to the big screen."
"From our first conversation with Sam, we could tell he was the perfect choice," added Blizzard's chief operating officer Paul Sams. "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."
Helping Raimi realize his fantastical vision will be Charles Roven, veteran producer of last year's biggest hit, The Dark Knight, which is now the second-highest grossing movie ever—not far behind Titanic.
He'll supervise production on Warcraft through his Atlas Entertainment banner, while Legendary will coproduce and cofinance the flick with Warner Bros.
The helmer's propensity for thrills and chills mixed with an inventive camera style and a touch of slapstick comedy often compared to the Three Stooges earned him a cult following, starting with 1981's camp horror classic Evil Dead, which spawned two successful sequels.
After branching out into comic-book adaptations (1990's Dark Man), he took a stab at more mainstream fare (1995's box-office bomb The Quick and the Dead, 1998's acclaimed thriller A Simple Plan, and the 1999 baseball weeper For Love of the Game) before returning to genre filmmaking with 2000's The Gift.
Those credits ultimately prepared him for the job of a lifetime, making the first of what would eventually be three hit movies based on Marvel Comic's Spider-Man.
After taking a break to make the just-released comedy horror flick Drag Me to Hell, Raimi is due to start lensing a fourth Spider-Man adventure this fall, which will unspool in 2011.
If it doesn't get stuck in development hell, expect World of Warcraft to storm theaters as early as 2012.