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Warcraft movie: Raimi blames Blizzard’s “mismanagement” for delays

Wednesday, 6th March 2013 00:53 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Sam Raimi has said Blizzard is at least partially to blame for his decision to give up directing the upcoming Warcraft movie.

Although Raimi has previously credited the chance to work on Oz as the motivation for his exit, he told Vulture Blizzard made things difficult.

“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 Blizzard, and it didn’t quite work for me. I told them I wanted to make my own original story with Robert, 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,” the director said.

“Then Robert wrote the screenplay, and only once he was done did we realize that Blizzard had veto power, and we didn’t know that. 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.

“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?”

Blizzard itself has taken responsibility for delays to the project, insisting that it will make sure the movie is done right no matter how long it takes – but that it will happen.

Raimi was replaced by Duncan Jones, the fulfilment of a long-held dream, and the director seems pretty happy with his substitute.

“I loved his movie Moon, and I think he’s a strikingly talented director. I bet that if anyone can do a great job with it, it’s him,” he said.

Thanks, IGN.

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18 Comments

  1. YoungZer0

    “but it was taking too long for the people at Blizzard, and their patience ran out.”

    That’s … that’s rich.

    Duncan Jones is attached? When did that happen? What about ‘Mute’? I love his films, but feels like his potential is wasted on a franchise like Warcraft.

    … and I wanted to see ‘Mute’.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. salarta

    Sounds like the fault is on Blizzard’s end in this game. Of course this is only one side of the story, but definitive confirmation of a dismissal of a creative direction is needed before spending all that time and energy working on something. Otherwise, working on the project starts to feel like a passionless chore and a waste of time.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. MadFingerz

    ^Yeah, if Raimi’s report on things is truthful then Blizzard really fucked up. And let’s be serious, the general story itself isn’t the selling point of a movie like this. You could probably get inspiration from a piece of WC fanfiction and still write something good. That’s how easy it is to write something within the WC universe. The screenplay (script) is way more important so it baffles me why they seemed to have ignored what the guy wrote after all that time just because they didn’t like the starting point…

    If just deciding on the story is being this hard then this project is doomed to fail. Even with a good story there are still many things that can sink a WC movie: costume design, CGI/special effects and editing just to name a few.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Imperius

    Blizzard having no patience? Yet tell us to be patient when they break our classes with a change?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Telepathic.Geometry

    I think the story and the actors is the most important thing on this kinda movie, because I have a lot of confidence in Hollywood to get the CG, choreography and costumes right, if the will is there. It’s just if the story is guff, and the actor are miscast, it’s unfixable… The director is right for the job I reckon, though I didn’t actually like Moon at all.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. MadFingerz

    @5 One would think so but look at The Hobbit? With a movie of that magnitude I was expecting amazing visual effects throughout the whole thing but the trolls and cave goblins segments in particular had dreadful CGI.

    The general story (i.e. the setting) isn’t all that important, but the script (dialogues and such) itself is. I agree that the actors are important too but with this kind of movie you only need a couple or so strong ones to lead the movie and have visual effects and the action do the rest. Obviously it would be nicer if the cast was great all around but that isn’t necessary for the movie to be worth watching, so you can save some money on cast and make sure the production values are stellar.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Telepathic.Geometry

    You may be right, but what was really wrong with that movie was the story. It was packed with filler. The shit I liked was fucking great, but there was tonnes of pointless filler rammed in to make three movies out of it for the sake of lining some execs pockets…

    #7 2 years ago
  8. MadFingerz

    Well yeah, I wasn’t saying the CGI was the only bad thing about it nor even the worst. I could still excuse it on those particular segments if the action looked great but that was lame too. And don’t get me started on the filler…I actually enjoyed the beggining of the movie with the Dwarven backstory but segments such as those with Radagast The CrapHead was almost unbearable.

    Anyway, The Hobbit is a good example of what I meant about the difference between story/setting and screenplay/script. The story itself is good, I mean, it’s one of my favorite books, but they messed up when transcribing it to a screenplay.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. DarkElfa

    Does nobody stop to think that maybe Raimi’s years in Hollywood have made him a bit of a pretentious, controlling dick about things?

    “So I read a screenplay they had that was written by the guys at Blizzard, and it didn’t quite work for me. I told them I wanted to make my own original story with Robert”

    Oh, you mean the story written by the guys who write the fucking game didn’t work for you, oh great and powerful OZ?

    Humble be not thine name Raimi. You couldn’t just do what you were hired for and direct the fucking movie? You had to write the mother fucker too?! With Robert?!?! I’m sorry, but it all sounds like too much damn Hollywood shuffle and dance combined with ego stroking.

    I for one am glad that Blizzard didn’t let their director just do what they wanted to with their property.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    @9: Blizzard has no experience with writing scripts for movies. It’s no wonder he had a problem with it.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. roadkill

    Like when was the last time Blizzard did something right and on time? :)

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DarkElfa

    @10, Did you read the fucking script YZ?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DSB

    Big difference between videogames and movies though, but I did think the WC3 arc was pretty damn epic. It gave me a whole new appreciation for it when I started on WoW.

    I mean it’s all pretty superficial pulp fiction, but it’s definitely got a hook.

    Just remember that these are also the guys who killed Deckard Cain in a cheap and poorly scripted cutscene.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. MadFingerz

    @9 You are confusing story with screenplay…

    WC3 was indeed pretty awesome. Never played WoW cause I don’t care for that kind of game so still waiting for WC4…2020 can’t come soon enough lol

    #14 2 years ago
  15. OrbitMonkey

    Yeah, yeah… Now tell me, is Jason Stathem gonna be in it?

    #15 2 years ago
  16. deathm00n

    @14 Another waiter here, I always wonder why they don’t do a WC4, WC3 was a big hit, the normal game and the DOTA mod. If they made 4 I’m sure it would sell shitloads

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Sini

    WC4 is on the way, Jay Wilson, killer of IPs, is attached to the project after he was “moved” from being diablo 3 game director.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Hybridpsycho

    I’m happy Raimi isn’t making the movie.

    Also, WC4 will never happen guys.

    @17 Don’t state it like it’s a fact, he’s director of a new unannounced game. But nothing says WC4.

    #18 2 years ago

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