Director Sam Raimi claims that nine months worth of work on a World of Warcraft film was wasted because Blizzard Entertainment "mismanaged" production. Speaking to Vulture, he made his case for why the movie he was directing never happened:
"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. I told them I wanted to make my own original story with [Saving Private Ryan and The Patriot writer Robert Rodat], 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."
Raimi said that Rodat then wrote the film's screenplay, but after it was complete realized that the WoW maker had "total veto power." This ultimately put the film maker and Blizzard at an impasse.
"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," Raimi said. "And Robert did start over, but it was taking too long for the people at Blizzard, and their patience ran out. 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?"
While Blizzard would not comment on the story, Chief creative officer Rob Pardo said the following on Twitter:
I don't want to create controversy, but there are two sides to every story…vulture.com/2013/03/sam-ra…
— Rob Pardo (@Rob_Pardo) March 6, 2013
Blizzard has moved on from the Raimi fiasco to tap Moon director Duncan Jones to helm the film. The script is being written by Blood Diamond writer Charles Leavitt. The film supposedly has a budget just north of $100 million. Shooting will begin this year in hopes of having the film ready for a theatrical release sometime in 2015.