Well, Harry, nicely played.
Leave it to Grande Rojo to break one of the biggest out-of-the-blue scoops of the year so far on the eve of Comic-Con so he can roll into San Diego with that omnipresent shit-eating grin intact. And deservedly, because breaking the news that Sam Raimi is set to direct "Warcraft," the mega-budget adaptation of the insanely popular "World Of Warcraft" MMORPG, is a huge story in the geek world.
Actually, it's a huge story. Period. Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures have been working to develop a "WOW" film for a while now. I first reported on this project back in 2007, and at that point, they were working to try to get it onscreen by... well... now. Obviously, that didn't happen. I know a lot of filmmakers have approached them about the project, and they've talked to many directors. But holding out for someone with as strong a voice as Raimi was a great decision, one that should pay off nicely for them in the end.
Raimi obviously digs fantasy. Aside from producing the "Hercules" and "Xena" series, he's also a producer on "Legend Of The Seeker" right now. And there's a lot of interesting fantasy material working its way towards the screen still, even six years after the end of "Lord Of The Rings" on the bigscreen. I'm dying to see what HBO does with the George RR Martin books, for example.
But I'll admit I know very little about the world of "World Of Warcraft." I don't have time to give to MMORPGs. It just sounds like such a huge investment of headspace and energy. Obviously, there's something to it. You don't create rabid addicts the way Blizzard has if you're delivering a weak experience, so people are definitely getting something out of WOW as they play it. The biggest question is, will they get the same thing out of a film version?
[more after the jump]
Or does that matter? After all, the film has got to work for a much wider array of people if it's going to be a hit, and no doubt, any Sam Raimi studio fantasy film is going to have to have a huge budget behind it. We're talking about world-building here, and to do that well, you can't cheap it out. I know Raimi's got the visual imagination to do it justice, and now the key is finding a story that is going to resonate with people who have never played the game just as much as it works for people who play it every day.
It's a long time still before we see this one, but this news just made the film a little more real and a whole lot cooler.
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