A new player has just logged into the long-developing World Of Warcraft movie. With Sam Raimi revealing at Comic-Con that his Oz: The Great And Powerful duties had forced him to drop the project, Legendary Pictures have decided they might as well make it all-change at the top. Hence, a new Warcraft screenplay from Charles Leavitt.
Last we heard, a script was being hammered out by Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan), but whether Leavitt will be continuing his work or starting entirely from scratch is unclear. Leavitt turned heads at Legendary with his work on Seventh Son, based (very loosely) on Joseph Delaney's kids' fantasy novel The Spook's Apprentice. Legendary will be hoping he can work similar magic with the Alliance and the Horde.
World Of Warcraft, should you somehow be unaware, is a multiplayer online fantasy role-playing game, currently being played by about nine million subscribers. It's already spun-off into board games, trading card games, comics and novels, and while its proprietors Blizzard Entertainment have resisted movie options on their other properties, they clearly feel this one is a no-brainer.
"It's important to Blizzard and it's important to me," says company honcho Bobby Kotick. "We're very excited about a World Of Warcraft film. We've been very careful and thoughtful about the development process."
It's a while away yet though: with Raimi gone it's obviously in need of a director, and Variety believes the very earliest we could possibly see World Of Warcraft in theatres would be 2014. In the meantime, Seventh Son, directed by Sergey Bodrov and starring Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore and Ben Barnes, is out in October next year.