I think we have reached a moment in time when we can finally talk more abroad about the Warcraft film after months and years of partial hiatus.
The fans have awaited the Warcraft film by Legendary Pictures since 2006 — announced that year at BlizzCon.
Many things have happened news-wise since then, but I’m going to stick to the activity these past six months. Make sure to check out all reference links to be up to date on what’s happened in this six months time-frame.
On July.13.2012, Sam Raimi revealed to CraveOnline at San Diego Comic Con 2012 he was no longer director of the Warcraft film.
With Sam Raimi gone, anything we might have learned or heard since his inception into the Warcraft film is scrapped. Finito. It all started from scratch. Anew.
Let’s pretend those past six years (since 2006) did not exist. The Warcraft film now starts from the moment Charles Levitt gets assigned as screenwriter and Duncan Jones is assigned as new director.
On August.2.2012, Charles Levitt was assigned as new screenwriter of the Warcraft Film. — according to Variety
On September 2012, Nick Carpenter (Blizzard VP of Art & Cinematic Development) tweeted Blizzplanet to share casting ideas. The community sent us some interesting actor/actress names and roles.
On October 2012 – I really don’t dare to make speculations about Pixar having anything to do with the Warcraft film. We only know what Rob Pardo tweeted on October 12th: “Excited to have Mark Andrews from Pixar down at Blizzard today!”
Cameron Dayton also tweeted (on October 12, 2012) that Mark Andrews and Blizzard developers were at the Improv (a comedy club) located at Irvine Spectrum Center.
We have known Blizzard Entertainment invites celebrity personalities to their studios, and basically anyone can request a tour simply by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
To make an example, film actress Michele Morrow was invited by Blizzard artist Mark Gibbons (Red Knuckle). In short, PIXAR’s visit at Blizzard might have nothing to do with the Warcraft film. So have them in the back of your mind in the meantime.
A few weeks ago, January.30.2013, Blizzard Entertainment announced Duncan Jones — director of Source Code (2011) and Moon (2009) — is now the new director of the Warcraft film.
These six months have been a thrilling drumroll of activity.
A few days ago, Duncan Jones visited Blizzard Entertainment to talk to Chris Metzen and the Creative Team.
It’s happening folks! Hopefully, we can see something more concrete at BlizzCon 2013 (November 8-9).
Duncan Jones is looking for a freelance animator. He didn’t specify if his inquiry was about the Warcraft film, or any other unknown projects. Hypothetically, if this was for the Warcraft film, I’d think a freelancer animator could help developing animated sketches as a visual guide of some scenes to be later filmed with live actors.
Overall, I liked the direction Blizzard is taking with the Warcraft film, and that they aren’t keeping everything secret. They are very open about posting in Twitter.
In the meantime, grab your popcorn and keep watch on Duncan Jones Twitter. He seems to be very verbal about directing the Warcraft film. We need that. We also need teasers as soon and as often as possible.
Long live the Warcraft film! Slap in the face to the trolls! (and … gnomes)
I am totally not making any assumptions nor triggering any speculation or rumor mills with this. Rob Pardo (Blizzard Entertainment Chief Creative Officer) posted this via Twitter, and anyone can read it.
Filmmaker Mark Andrews (Pixar) visited Blizzard Entertainment’s Irvine headquarters today. Andrews was story supervisor for The Incredibles (2004), Ratatouille (2007), and most recently director of Brave (2012).
Recently, Rob Pardo and Chris Metzen visited the Pixar offices to talk about storytelling during an in-house panel.
Me? I’m just informing our audience ((don’t kill the messenger)) and I’ll zip my mouth, and — ((hmmff-hmf hmfff Wthoomfff?)
…. unzips mouth — Ok, I’m pretty bad at keeping my opinion to myself. I’m not particularly believing this Pixar/Blizzard visiting each other has something to do with the Legendary Pictures Warcraft film. It could merely be mutual discussions about storytelling and animation, consulting, exchanging ideas.
On the other hand, we could speculate there is something more beyond what appearances show. On top of the Warcraft film (with live actors), there could be other projects like a StarCraft or Warcraft animated film down the line after the Legendary Pictures Warcraft film. Who knows?
Update: Cameron Dayton (Blizzard Entertainment Writer, Story Developer, and Transmedia consultant) posted this via Twitter: “Story session with Pixar’s Mark Andrews at the Improv.”
The Improv is a comedy club franchise located at Irvine Spectrum Center (71 Fortune Drive # 841 Irvine, CA 92618 USA.)
- Update: Added several photos of actors proposed by fans. Tweeted the list to Nick Carpenter and Crithto. Keep sending your ideas. I’ll forward new ones.
The latest buzz was that a new writer had been assigned to the project. In August.3.2012, Variety reported screenwriter Charles Leavitt (Blood Diamond, The Seventh Son) was picked by Legendary Pictures to take the challenge of bringing the world of Azeroth to life onto the big screen. It’s unknown if Robert Rodat (Saving Private Ryan screenwriter) is still aboard sharing screenwriter credits with Charles Leavitt.
No director has been assigned to the Warcraft film yet, but Nick Carpenter definitely breaths some heavenly hope to all of us Warcraft fans. While this is by no means an official statement nor endorsed by the Blizzard Public Relations team, it’s very kind and sensitive to allow fans to give their opinion and feedback before any film casting is made.
Chad “Crithto” Wingerd (World of Warcraft community manager) and Nick Carpenter (Blizzard Entertainment Vice-President of Art & Cinematic Development) had an exchange of ideas via Twitter.
We would like our audience to jump in into this discussion, and to thoroughly tinker some talented actors and actresses, or voice actors that you envision to participate in the Warcraft film.
We will forward your opinion and feedback to Blizzard Entertainment.
You can post your ideas below in the comments section. The comments login can be your facebook, twitter, google, or yahoo login via Disqus.
Update: It just hit me square on the forehead. I recently saw Blizzard Rob Pardo posted in twitter he and Chris Metzen (SVP of Creative Development) had visited Pixar and he was glad to have met those folks. His visit to Pixar is a mystery. Does anyone dare to cast conspiracy theories and to light up the rumor mill?
Update: Your Pick
The fans have shared their voice on which actors/actresses should be considered for the Warcraft Film. Below you can see the photos of some of these actors. I’ll forward these to Nick Carpenter, thanks. I’m still listening. Feel free to submit more ideas. This is in no way an official cast crew. Just ideas submitted by fans.
Varian Wrynn/Arthas/Bolvar Fordragon)
(as Cairne Bloodhoof)
(Malygos human form)
Dear Legendary Pictures,
I have been a loyal follower of Legendary Pictures ever since the announcement of the Warcraft film.
I have visited the website often, and witnessed a few layout changes over time — love the new layout by the way.
I followed you on Facebook and Twitter after you created these accounts. Hoping I woud one day see the word “Warcraft” in your updates. Or even see your Facebook page follow the Warcraft facebook page.
We have heard very little about Legendary’s progress with the Warcraft film over the past years. The most recent update was that Sam Raimi had read a short script — and this was a very long time ago.
We, and the millions of fans who wish to watch and cherish your Warcraft film request updates to be seen in your website, twitter and facebook.
Even a photo of Sam Raimi, and everyone involved in the Warcraft film during a meeting would so make fans happy. A tease. A Concept Art. Props photos. Matte painting. Weapons. Anything will do. Updates will make fans not lose hope. It’d be thrilling.
I have heard so very much about the The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) film for a year or longer. Debates on what the main villain might be. Over 5116 news articles. Over 30 production photo updates, countless Facebook / Twitter updates. I have heard so much about that and other films.
When I think about the Warcraft film, I want to feel the same thrill, and feel the assurance that the Warcraft film is a reality, and make me and everyone think: “It’s coming, baby!”.
Hopeful wish echoed by millions of likewise fans.
Medievaldragon the Dreamer
**This Letter has been tweeted to @LegendaryEnt. Retweet to join the undersigned.
The Scream Queen Michele Morrow dubbed so for her acting performances in the horror films genre is known among World of Warcraft fans for her love for the game, but mostly for her untiring desire and resolve to obtain the role of Banshee Queen Lady Sylvanas in the upcoming Legendary Pictures WARCRAFT film directed by Sam Raimi.
Film agents usually suggest actors to get stage combat training, martial arts weapons training, Horse Riding and general weapons training when a particular film audition is in the horizon.
For the role of Lady Sylvanas, Michele Morrow must have all of these skills — which she already has according to her L.A. Casting profile.
Lady Sylvanas was formerly Ranger General of Quel’Thalas, therefore Michele Morrow must take Archery training in the event she auditions for the role. Oh wait, what did I just see in her Facebook? Ain’t that thrilling? Michele Morrow is Archery training!
I am kinda flattered to see two images I fashioned in Photoshop CS4 displayed in her Facebook’s Warcraft gallery. I took a screenshot in-game of Sylvanas, used the lasso tool to cut armor pieces, resized and strapped them on a photo of Michele, and voila. Michele Morrow disguised as Lady Sylvanas. I rushed it in Photoshop for our interview with Michele Morrow last year.
There is a Facebook campaign page titled “Michele Morrow as Lady Sylvanas” with over 2,000 followers who really want Blizzard Entertainment and Sam Raimi to consider Michele Morrow for the role. It’s a phenomena. The WARCRAFT film is still in script stage, and the Scream Queen is getting all sorts of fan support. It seems fans of the Scream Queen actress are even creating freezebees with her photo disguised as Lady Sylvanas to promote the campaign (view photo).
Just recently, Michele Morrow became co-owner of the Foam Weapon League based in California. In this League, fans are encouraged to bring their foam weapons and clash against other players in one on one duels. These are real fights with foam rubber weapons: maces, swords, daggers, etc. Participants wear some fake blood bags attached to vital points of the body. Two broken blood bags means defeat, and the winners earn the glory and acclaim of the audience. Check out their Facebook gallery, and join the Foam Weapon League (FWL) if you have the courage.
Michele Morrow is currently showing off a slo-mo video in YouTube — which is likely going viral — holding a latex Frostmourne sword replica while sporting a defiant pose. Now ain’t that a lovely Lady Sylvanas? Join the “Michele Morrow as Lady Sylvanas” Facebook page. Show your support.
Craigslist TV recently took video of the Foam Weapon League Battle #3 held on March 19th where you can watch Michele Morrow (an FWL owner), and a horde of fans like you battling it out on each other with foam weapons.
GamerLive.TV squared an interview with the new Superman actor Henry Cavill at Wondercon 2011. The Superman: Man of Steel film, by director Zack Snyder (300, Sucker Punch, Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen), will be on theaters December 2012.
Henry Cavill revealed he plays Dragon Age II, Mass Effect 2, and World of Warcraft. However, he confesses he is addicted to World of Warcraft: Cataclysm.
“GL.TV: What’s your number one video game memory, like your favorite memory growing up?
Cavill: Video game memory? Ugh, that’s a tough one! I think — on the spot — that’s really tough. I couldn’t possibly think of one. I mean, World of Warcraft always sticks on my head, because it’s an addiction.
GL.TV: Are you playing Cataclysm?
Cavill: Cataclysm? Yea, yea. I’m playing. I’m taking a break in the time being, but as soon as I’m getting a chance I’m gonna dive back into it.”
Henry Cavill is currently promoting his upcoming film IMMORTALS. Due to his weapon and fight training for The Tudors and Immortals, currently lifting weights at the gym for the Superman role, his addiction to World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, and working with Zack Snyder (a director who has developed a few films for Legendary Pictures) — Henry Cavill might be an ideal candidate for the upcoming Warcraft film.
Sucker Punch is in theaters now, apparently not doing so great in the box office with only $19 millions, and a plethora of criticism. Mostly due to the narrative story, and the lack of a logical story.
On the other hand, it has amazing CGI, and battle scenes. Elements all fantasy and sci-fi viewers love in a movie.
Now, you might think — wait, this is a Blizzard fansite, why are we reading about some silly movie titled Sucker Punch?
Sucker Punch is directed by Zack Snyder (300, The Watchmen). For those who live under a rock, the Warcraft Film is to be produced by Legendary Pictures. Sucker Punch is their project. Warner Bros and Legendary Pictures co-financed Sucker Punch which cost $75 million to produce.
Storywise, Warcraft shouldn’t suffer the story issues surrounding Sucker Punch. Blizzard VP of Creative Design, Chris Metzen, is on the driver seat when it comes to the film’s storyline script. As with anything developed by Blizzard Entertainment, the story script has to be as perfect and quality polished as possible before Sam Raimi and Robert Rodat get the cameras rolling.
Instead of criticizing Sucker Punch’s lunacy of a script, let’s see how Legendary Pictures and Zack Snyder wrap the fantasy and sci-fi scenery around the story.
A glimpse into the movie trailer gives you an overall idea of what to expect in Sucker Punch. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, the trailer will help you fill in the blanks. It is action packed with battle scenes, destruction and mayhem. Epic visual input from Fantasy scene to Sci-Fi scene, back and forth — lacking a coherent story or sense.
The Warcraft film won’t be your Lord of the Rings quest-like type of movie. It will be mostly an Alliance versus the Horde epic battle with a story tapestry to give it the World of Warcraft flavor and shape.
Sadly, Zack Snyder and the “300” element ain’t behind the Warcraft film; but we have Director Sam Raimi (Spider-Man, The Evil Dead), Screenplayer Rober Rodat (Saving Private Ryan), Producer Charles Roven (The Dark Knight), Executive Producer Robert Tapert (Xena: Warrior Princess, The Evil Dead, Timecop), and Chris Metzen to take the challenge not only of taking up the heavy-weight of recreating all the races, characters and vivid locations of Azeroth, and shatter all the expectations fans have built up over six years; but to actually reign supreme in the box office.
Sucker Punch and other recent pop culture movies have really gotten a beat up from critics, and a world of hurt at the box office when compared to other current competitors. Hopefully, we’ll see the Warcraft film surpass all these obstacles.
Some of the reviews I have read so far (some might have spoilers, though they are kind to label it so if there’s any):
- Hollywod Reporter
- Ain’t It Cool
- Ain’t It Cool: Mr. Beaks Excuses Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch
- Slash Film
- Slash Film: In Defense of Sucker Punch
It seems Mila Kunis’ wishes are closer than ever to turning into reality with the wave of a magic wand — pun intended.
The internet is abuzz with the word that Sam Raimi is in discussions with Mila Kunis to land a role as the Wicked Witch of the West in Oz the Great and Powerful. That’s epic. Sam Raimi is the director of the World of Warcraft film.
Devin Faraci from Badass Digest recently chatted with Duncan Jones, director of Moon (2009) and Sourcecode (2011). Duncan admitted to be a hardcore gamer and commented he is jealous of Sam Raimi, the director of the upcoming Legendary Pictures’ World of Warcraft film — who recently signed in to direct Oz: The Great and Powerful.
The Moon director expressed an interest in directing an adaptation of World of Warcraft.
“I’m hugely jealous of Sam Raimi,” Jones told me. “I really believe World of Warcraft could be the launch of computer games as good films. And from the little I’ve read of interviews with him the way he’s approaching it makes so much sense. It’s what I was talking about – it’s not worrying about how the game plays, it’s about creating the world of the game and investing the audience in that world.”
It’s unlikely for Legendary Pictures and Blizzard Entertainment to dismiss Sam Raimi. However, not long ago Sam Raimi departed the Spiderman 4 production, and Sony made the bold decision to reboot the franchise.
Not everything is set in stone when it comes to film productions, and Duncan Jones seems to be eager to be noticed.
Mila Kunis said during a video interview with MTV News that she deleted World of Warcraft from her laptop to keep her addiction to the MMO under control while on the road.
Her World of Warcraft account is still open, and she can play the game at home whenever she wishes, but for traveling purposes she will rather focus on her career commitments. A little bit of self-control ain’t that bad.
The host, Josh Horowitz, asked Mila Kunis if she would join the cast of Legendary Pictures’ World of Warcraft film. She is totally into that.
“Hell yeah! I would do it, of all things,” she exclaimed and then addressed what type of role she’d want. “I don’t know if I would want to be a big character in it,” she said. “But I would totally want to run around as a little mage. Like a kick-ass mage. With pigtails? Mmmmm… Awesome!”
Along with Mila Kunis, there are other celebrities who have pointed out in public their interest in joining the cast of the upcoming World of Warcraft film: Adrianne Curry, Brandon Routhe, and Michelle Morrow. (links to our interviews with the actors attached)
However, the Deadline website reports Sam Raimi officially took the director’s seat of Oz the Great and Powerful, leaving the World of Warcraft film in hiatus.
A few months ago, Sam Raimi revealed he had read the 40 pages script of the Warcraft film. The script is still in early stages after going through a few iterations.
Blizzard Entertainment wants this film to meet its fans’ expectations, and theirs. Deadline speculates the Warcraft film might come out around 2012 if Raimi works on the Oz film first.
Rob Pardo told MTV that Blizzard Entertainment has always wanted to bring its franchises to the silver screen, but they first need to find the right production team.
Rob Pardo thinks a Starcraft film could be possible with someone like James Cameron leading the project. He is currently involved in the sequel to the box office success Avatar. Check it out at MTV.
|“We’ve always had an interest in seeing our stuff on film or TV. It’s just tricky to find the right partners. We probably could have made a [‘StarCraft’] movie or something on TV years and years ago, but it’s really important to us that we find creative people that are really talented but also really excited about our properties. That’s always been the challenge for us. I think if Jim Cameron came to us tomorrow and said, ‘You want to make a ‘StarCraft’ movie?’ we’d probably sign that.”|
Empire interviewed Hollywood actor Brandon Routh (Superman Returns star) at the San Diego Comic Con 2010 and asked him about the World of Warcraft film.
Brandon Routh admitted he met Sam Raimi at a party a month ago (on June 2010). Both talked about their addictions to playing World of Warcraft, and about Routh’s interest in a role.
“I met Sam Raimi a month ago actually at a party Edgar Wright had, and he was very sweet, very nice, and we talked a little bit about our addictions to Warcraft. We’ll see what happens when they get it up and running.”
I have always thought Brandon Routh would do a great Blood Elf, donning some pointy ears. Who knows? He might play the role of Kael’Thas Sunstrider if the script had the character.
For the role of Sylvanas Windrunner, we already heard from Michelle Morrow, during our interview, she was interested in the role.
Production of the World of Warcraft film is still a ways off, but it’s a matter of time before we learn whether any of these actors get their heart’s desire.
TheCollider had the opportunity to talk with film director Sam Raimi at the red carpet of The 35th Saturn Awards, where mostly he just talked about World of Warcraft. Pretty much the first time since he signed up as the Warcraft movie director (7.21.2009) that he talks this much on this topic.
Among the random topics he talked about we have answers to the recent rumors about The Hobbit and Oz.
- He loves the script of Oz, the Great and Powerful, but he’s not really committed to it yet.
- The rumors about The Hobbit are just that: rumors.
- Raimi loves working creatively with Thomas Tull, a WoW player himself, and Legendary Pictures/Warner Bros.
Sam Raimi: “I’ve been reading scripts, been reading books. I’ve been doing work with Robert Rodat on the treatment for the movie of WORLD OF WARCRAFT, and that’s coming along very well.
The rumors I don’t follow that much, but the reviews, good or bad, I live and die for. I really want people to like the movies, and if they don’t, it’s a real bummer. I’m thrilled when they like them. I don’t follow the rumors too much.
Right now, I’m not really committed to OZ. We’ll have to wait to see how that all goes. I did read it and I love the script and think it’s a great project. It’s something I would like to become involved with.
I love the visual world that the guys over at Blizzard have created. It’s incredibly, engrossingly terrifying and exciting. I like their use of scale and the giant monsters that they have. I love the different landscapes that your character can move through.
I like the personal interactions that you have with other players online. There are so many aspects about the game that I really enjoy. Like the sword battles, the performing spells. Learning new spells, getting to the next level.
We’re still working on the story right now. We have a 40-page document that needs more work. But every draft gets better and better. We’re finding the characters, and through the characters we’re finding the story. And the angle, there is no real angle on it. We’re trying to create realistic characters that can live in the world of WARCRAFT, as though you were in the game itself, in one of its environments, and have that interaction with those great mythical, iconic characters.
There are so many characters in the game that we’re really trying to pull out the most exciting and different characters of the game. It’s so overwhelming. It’s a real big universe. There are so many worlds, in fact, and characters, I don’t think we could touch on them all satisfactorily.
So we are trying to choose the characters that are interesting, and play a part in our drama that we’re developing.
I had a level 29 shaman that somebody deleted by accident. Now I’ve worked a new character all the way up to level 72. That’s how big of a fan I am. I’ve spent that many days in the world of Warcraft.
The studio is very enthusiastic. It’s Legendary Pictures. Tomas Tull is running Legendary. He’s a great fan of the game itself. He really produces good-quality pictures, and he wants to make a top-quality movie. That’s his only concern. So he’s very excited about the process. I love working with him.
I really love working with World of Warcraft. It’s still a long ways away. It’s only a 40-pages story. I really want to direct the picture, but it’s possible that a film that is ready to make could come in. I mean, I haven’t seen it yet. I love making movies. The development process is a little less interesting to me, but it’s something you have to do if you want to start something from scratch. That’s what we did with World of Warcraft.”
Recent speculation circled around the web after Guillermo del Toro left The Hobbit’s director’s seat. Sam Raimi was interested in that film back on 2007, according to an interview by EW Online. Chances are now that Guillermo del Toro stepped down, he might give it a thought.
However, just out of the oven, The Vulture Blog (New York Magazine) claims to have inner knowledge that Sam Raimi was approached to direct Oz, the Great and Powerful, a Disney film written by Mitchell Kapner and produced by Joe Roth.
It is unclear if Sam Raimi will accept Disney’s proposal.
Chris Metzen told VG247 the WarCraft film script is basically a work in progress, so don’t expect to watch it at a cinema any time soon. Boo aside, the Vice-president of Creative Development wants the story to feel right and to leverage expectations of those who have played WarCraft games.
On the bright side, fans can tell from experience that when a Blizzard game takes long in the making and goes to several iterations, the end product is worth the wait. If the father of the WarCraft mythos wants the film’s story to be the best it can possibly be, then we can wait and trust him. You can read two more questions about the WarCraft film here.
|Are you spending a considerable amount of time on the Sam Raimi-directed Warcraft film?
Chris Metzen: I wouldn’t say “considerable” at all just yet. We’ve been through a number of story meetings, and we’re still kind of getting it together with Raimi and his team and jamming on themes that we want to chase. We’re kinda getting a lot of values together – what kind of story we want to tell, what do we want people to feel, what is the best way to look at this big franchise. We had had some script iterations previous to Raimi coming on board that were cool, that had some really good bits – sometimes a little too overcooked or a little too undercooked. We’re still trying to feel out that space, so as he came in he wanted to have fresh eyes and look at the content of Warcraft in such a way as to dig out what will most people feel: “Oh, I get it, that matches my expectations when I played.”
You can aim the camera in a hundred different directions in a place like Warcraft so it’s kind of finding that right one. But in terms of division of time, or whatever, it doesn’t take up a tremendous amount of time these days. It’s really just strategic phone calls or strategic meetings from time to time until things really get moving on the Hollywood side.
There has been quite a lot of buzz around the net that Sam Raimi might direct the revamped film adaptation of The Shadow. It was a crime-fighting vigilante radio drama back in the 1930s featured in comic books, newspaper comic strips, television and videogames.
Last time this character appeared on the big screen was with Alec Baldwin in 1994. Sam Raimi has wanted the rights of The Shadow since late 1980s, but things didn’t work out. Thus he created a film in 1990 which resembled The Shadow. He directed Darkman.
The film websites around the net have gone red alert with speculation that Sam Raimi will direct this The Shadow film. This fits with what Robert Tapert said earlier. That Sam Raimi might take on a small film. According to Robert Tapert, the Warcraft film is still in the outline/story/script phase.
GamePro interviewed Gary Whitta to discuss his recent film The Book of Eli. The interview shed a short comment about Gary Whitta’s involvement as writer of the Warcraft Film prior to Sam Raimi signing as its director. Gary’s script was scrapped, and the new script and plot is unknown at the moment. Blizzard, Legendary, Robert Rodat and Sam Raimi have been silent and haven’t offered any hints on what the new story is all about. Read the full here.
GamePro: Did you find it challenging taking the massive universe of Warcraft and turning it into a movie script?
Gary Whitta: I had fun working on the Warcraft movie’s script — and I should state that I don’t think they’re making my version of it. Since Sam Raimi (Spider-Man series, Evil Dead series) came on, he decided he wanted to go in a very different direction creatively
As far as Warcraft was concerned, I actually saw that as an opportunity rather than a problem. Often times when you have games that tell very specific stories, you’re just following the story and the narrative is somewhat in place. You have to take some license with it, but it’s almost like painting by numbers. I had fun working on the Warcraft movie’s script — and I should state that I don’t think they’re making my version of it. Since Sam Raimi (Spider-Man series, Evil Dead series) came on, he decided he wanted to go in a very different direction creatively and they’re probably exploring something else now. But the script I worked on looked at the whole Warcraft universe as a very rich playground from which we can concoct almost any story we wanted. So I actually really liked having the latitude to kind of go off in almost any direction we wanted because we weren’t being given a story.
It’s been a week since SONY announced Sam Raimi’s departure from the Spider-man 4 production, and expectations have been the director might tackle the World of Warcraft film as his next project. There has been no word from Sam Raimi on what he is gonna work next.
On the other side of the coin, IF Magazine caught up with Robert Tapert (Warcraft film executive producer) at the Television Critics Association (TCA) Winter Edition to find out what the status of the Warcraft film is in relation to Sam Raimi’s freedom from the Spider-man 4 commitment.
While he didn’t want to speak for Sam Raimi or put words on his mouth, Robert Tapert admited the Warcraft film is in fact in production on a very early stage:
A few years ago, I reported a glitch in the system on the Legendary Pictures website where the word Diablo appeared under the “Upcoming Projects” section. I contacted several gaming sites to let them know, and it echoed all around the web. However, the Diablo listing was removed in less than 24 hours after all the attention it got.
Oddly, the Hollywood Reporter claimed Gary Whitta was working on a Diablo film for Legendary Pictures and Blizzard Entertainment.
No explanation was ever given whether it was a mistake. Was there truely a Diablo film in their plans? Or did the webmaster make a mistake? We might never know, or at least not for a long time. Legendary Pictures nor Blizzard Entertainment did never issue a press release announcing a Diablo film. It would be awesome, regardless.
At least, Mike Morhaime admited to Gamespot during the 2007 Austin Game Developers Conference that Starcraft and Diablo are strong enough worlds to be made into films.
Within weeks of the Diablo film listing / delisting incident, the Legendary Pictures website underwent some maintenance and converted the HTML layout to a Flash template. Ever since, I have camped the site visiting it daily, multiple times at different random day/night shifts … for the past two years. Yea, I’m a freako like that.
A few days ago, before I posted the interviews with actress Michele Morrow, I noticed a change in the Legendary Pictures website that granted some attention.
I have seen movies listed in the Upcoming Titles, now renamed to Coming Soon, come and go as they hit the big screen and the box office: The Dark Knight, 10,000 B.C., The Watchmen, Observe & Report, and lastly The Hang Over.
The last two projects on queue: The Clash of the Titans and Warcraft.
Well, a few days ago The Clash of the Titans was moved from the “Coming Soon” section to the “Current” section. This caught my attention. Especially because the coming soon section was now empty; and the next film on queue is naturally: Warcraft.
The Clash of the Titans page is now active with a video trailer which you can watch here. It’s amazing!
As I kept watch on the Legendary Pictures website, I was curious to see the Coming Soon section empty. Then something unexpected happened. As I hovered my mouse upon the Coming Soon text, and clicked on the text itself, I was accidentally forwarded to … a Warcraft film placeholder page filled with ipsum lorem.
I made sure to take a screenshot as evidence, because I knew last time they removed the Diablo link and I wouldn’t have evidence. So there you go folks. Legendary Pictures has a placeholder page for the Warcraft film, and all of this happened within the past 5-6 days, coincidental with the recent events where Sam Raimi departed Sony’s Spider-man 4 production — as reported on January 7.
As of yesterday, Clash of the Titans was moved back from the Current section, back to the Coming Soon section. And the Warcraft film placeholder page has vanished. These pages are there to display story synopsis, photos, video trailer and wallpapers. Thus, it’s food for curiosity to see a Warcraft film placeholder page pop-in and out of existence, don’t you think?
A few days ago, I informed the Spider-man 4 shooting meant to take place on March 2010 had been postponed; and speculated Sam Raimi might start work on the Warcraft film. One of the ideal situations I mentioned for the Warcraft film to go “max speed ahead” was if Sam Raimi abandoned production altogether of the Spider-man 4 film.
Guess what? Deadline Hollywood has reported that Sony will reboot the Spider-man franchise with a new director and new actors, thus Sam Raimi is no longer working on the film. In short, there is a very good chance he starts work on the Warcraft film anytime during the next few months.
We will stay alert for further news on this thrilling project helmed by Sam Raimi (director), Robert Rodat (screenplay), Chris Metzen (co-producer/writer), Legendary Pictures and Blizzard Entertainment.
For months there have been a few celebrities who have openly revealed in interviews they would love a role in the upcoming Warcraft film, to be directed by Sam Raimi. The first one was Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), and now an actress has done so. A few days ago, Michele Morrow revealed to Fangoria during their interview her interest in the Warcraft film. I reached her to learn more about her career, and her interest in games. I was surprised to hear she is a guild leader in World of Warcraft and currently tackling Saurfang Jr. in the Icecrown Citadel.
The actress is in love with the story and characteristics of Lady Sylvanas Windrunner, the leader of the Forsaken, and she admits she would love to earn the role in the upcoming Warcraft film. That’s not just words. Her agency, L.A. Management will back her up once auditions are called by the production.
Michele Morrow has been actress in Basement Jack (2009), Bled (2009), The Seer (2007), True Love (2007), Alias (2006), Slaughterhouse of the Rising Sun (2005), Ashley’s Ashes (2009) and VideoDome Rent-O-Rama (2009) — among other films, especially Horror, Thriller and Drama films.
Medievaldragon: Hi Michele, you have talked widely about your gaming life in some of your film interviews. Which games have you played?
Michele: I got an NES at age 10 and was the only kid on the block with one for a few months, so my roots are in Zelda, Mario, Tetris, Ghosts and Goblins consumed most of age 12.
Currently I play Bioshock, God of War (beat II but never played the original til now) and I’m stoked for both of the sequels due out this spring. I saw God of War III at E3 this year and it looks sick. I love Lumines on Xbox when I need that Tetris on drugs fix, and World of Warcraft.
Medievaldragon: When and How did you start playing World of Warcraft?
Michele: Crappy story actually a couple years back, I screwed up my neck in a stunt accident for this slasher movie called BASEMENT JACK. I jumped on an Air Ram it shot me up and out about 15 feet and I landed on my head. I’m VERY lucky to be recovered and not dead or paralyzed. I was in a neck brace for about a year. During that time I got a copy of The Burning Crusade.
Medievaldragon: A career as an actress is probably harder than other types of jobs like a normal 9am-5pm office work, or other freelance jobs. Your mind needs to be awake and alert, you need to read a lot and memorize your script lines. You need to go to the gym, eat healthy, stay fit, and train on whatever your role requires (horse riding, gun shooting, swords, etc.) lot of work. How do you manage your time between your acting career and leading a raiding guild?
Michele: HAH! Wow, someone is actually asking me that. Yes. I’ll tell you when I finally recovered from my injury, it wasn’t easy to pry away from, having to weave my normal life and work-out schedule back in. Its sorta hilarious how obsessed people get about this game. I mean, I even had dreams about the game. Although, that happened with Bioshock too. I guess that’s when you know a game is good. It seeps into your dreams. You’ll be at some dream supermarket buyin dream beer and a cartoon Orc will be behind the register saying: Ooooprah!, and im like WTF get out of my DREAM.
Medievaldragon: What have you liked the most about World of Warcraft through your level 1-80 experience?
Michele: I guess the thing I liked the most 1-80 as a new player, was how the game naturally unfolded for me. I liked the stories. In some ways it feels like reading an interactive book. It’s a pretty incredible experience for a first timer, make sure to play with some big headphones and just zone out for awhile. It can be a bit tedious for starting alts, but relaxing all the same, especially with lvl 80 raiding pressures.
However, at level 80, it’s a new game. I co-lead a raiding guild on Thorium Brotherhood – I know, RP server, but honestly its no different from a PvE server just don’t go to Silvermoon City at midnight dressed as a pirate and you’ll be alright. I have a toon on Mug’thol as well and very much enjoy PvP servers, I’m just glad I didn’t start out on one lol.
Medievaldragon: The other day you told me how much you love the lore behind Lady Sylvanas and Jaina Proudmoore. What do you enjoy out of all the lore diversity and rich characters in World of Warcraft?
Michele: I love Sylvanas and Jaina. I think I most enjoy the fact that Warcraft has very powerful female matriarchs. I mean, even Lord of the Rings. I grew up on that had very few important women. Most of them filled the stereotypical chick roles, love interests, healers, mothers. Galadriel is one of the few that really stands out for me. And the Narnia series, although rich with female characters, mostly don’t let women in battle.
But it has always been this way. Helen of Troy launched a battle only by being abducted and I think I remember something about the dude sacrificing his daughter to get sweet winds for his travel to save Helen. the whole sacrificing virgins thing lol. I realize that some people believe that true power comes through the female roles through healing and comfort and reflection. And, wisdom generally comes from old men with long beards. I don’t disagree with any of that, but it’s pretty awesome that Warcraft lore features female heroes and leaders who struggle with similar issues that the men do.
Women fall too like Azshara – and not because they were being slutbags, or because they were virgins, or because they were kidnapped. They fail because they are flawed. Or they teach because they know how to lead. Sylvanas has the coolest story for me, hands down death by Frostmourne, mutilated and tortured, used against her own people, only to regain her free-will and build the Forsaken with the sole purpose of hunting down Arthas. I love her grit, her courage and her potential of fallacy. But Jaina is pretty rad too. She’s a gifted mage, a major leader, and big advocate for peace. Not only that, but she was engaged to Arthas so that’s crazy.
Medievaldragon: Do you think stories such as these should be engaged by film directors more often?
Michele: Absolutely they’re why I became an actress. I grew up in a neighborhood called Camelot where all the streets were named after the knights of the round table, we lived on King Arthur Drive. Everything seemed so lofty and magical when I was a kid. I loved Star Wars, The Neverending Story, The Dark Crystal movies were imagination land. They were an escape from real life. I think the only reason these movies don’t get made as much it’s because it’s a lot of money to make big epic features. I’m pretty sure each one of The Lord of the Rings & Harry Potters cost about $100 million to make. They did make an insane amount of money in return, but I’m sure it’s hard to get people to fork over that kind of cash.
Medievaldragon: Have you seen a lack of films based on fantasy worlds beyond Lord of the Rings from 2000-2010?
Michele: Well, the Narnias, Harry Potters probably can all be categorized as the like. I think we saw a lot of comic book movies that cross-promoted the fantasy demographic.
Medievaldragon: Your previous film roles are focused mostly in the Terror genre, have you considered other genres or have you been invited to play roles in those?
Michele: I’ve done comedies and drama, but horror is certainly the genre I’ve worked the most in. I’m open to any genre that has a strong story attached. It’s all about the story.
Medievaldragon: Why do you wish the role of Lady Sylvanas Windrunner in the Warcraft film?
Michele: To be honest, I’d be happy to play any of the characters in the movie. But, Sylvanas, I love her because she’s determined. She’s insidious. She’s arrogant and spiteful, but you can’t really blame her. She’s very tortured. http://www.wowwiki.com/File:Sylvanas.jpg I love this imagination of her. She truly takes her own council.
Medievaldragon: Have you played Warcraft III or have you read its facsimile World of Warcraft: Arthas, Rise of the Lich King? That’s where her story as a cunning and stubborn High Elf Ranger and all the drama with Arthas as her biggest nemesis starts at. What about her rich past did catch your attention the most?
Michele: She’s really effing brave. And she’s been through hell. To be honest, its not far off from many of the horror movie roles I’ve played. Karen Cook in Basement Jack is a lot like her. At 18 years old she finds her entire family slaughtered, posed around the dining room table, tied to glasses and silverware, with the dog as the main course. It’s a horrific thing to imagine. She has an epic battle in the basement with the killer and narrowly escapes. 11 years later she has sharpened her combat skills, and he gets let out of a mental institution. Now she’s hunting him – and he’s happy to kill her. She’s sorta on another level you are able to see her as a tragic hero, it kinda takes gender away, it’s past that, if that makes sense. You can see her mind working, always thinking, always one step ahead. She’s smart and beautiful and tragic and courageous all at once.
Medievaldragon: What new things have you learned about Lady Sylvanas in your raid advancement through Forge of Souls, Pit of Saron, the Halls of Reflections and Icecrown Citadel that you feel have allowed you to learn this character inside and out?
Michele: Mostly I really dislike her voice over lol. I have an alliance toon and get to see Jaina do something similar so its not super unique enough to learn anything more than I already did from the 5 mans. But it is cool to see the story progress. Besides, I’m mostly only thinking about the 10,000g I can make from that Battered Hilt drop to pay any attention lol.
Medievaldragon: What do you think about World of Warcraft: Cataclysm?
Michele: You know, I’m sure however all the details will undoubtedly change, it’ll be cool. This MMO is more popular than any other of all time, I think the guys at Blizzard know what they’re doing. I have a high amount of faith in their imaginations based on what they’ve produced so far.
Medievaldragon: If you were a WoW developer, what would you do to further enrich the world of Azeroth and the player’s gameplay? (story, features or fixes)
Michele: ALTERAC VALLEY! HELP!! People do not know how to play. Period. They just run to the group and fight in the road and make me want to tear out all my hair. Has anyone noticed that AV Chat has become like Trade Chat but with more insults? Which is awesome and annoying all at once.
Mmmaybe in CATACLYSM, the earth shakes up Alterac Valley and the battleground gets a facelift. Maybe even do some sort of strat guide or in-game tutorial for people when they queue for the first time. Redesign the map because its not clear enough for new players, they’re all like "Towers? Bunkers? Cap what? Who’s Bal?" — except they don’t ask for fear of ridicule lol. Because regardless of the infinite resources they could find online by simply minimizing their screen, they won’t lol. The double honor thing for defending is a start, but you really do miss out on a lot of action. Maybe they can up that reward to encourage better game play. The other Battlegrounds are much smaller and easier to catch on to, there’s just too much going on in AV for the legions of noobs.
Medievaldragon: Which recent and upcoming films or TV projects fans can find you working on?
Michele: I have a film in the summer shooting in Tennessee, its currently untitled but revolves around a meth addict. I’ll be starring next to Katrena Rochell from the upcoming Kickass. I’m also producing a reality show about a big cat rescue facility called Cat Tales Rescue with my childhood best friend, Jan-Michael Gambill who is a professional tennis and another wow player. Pilot season is coming up as well, so anything can happen. I recently heard Spidey got pushed back too, so maybe Warcraft?!?!? fingers crossed
Medievaldragon: Which have been your biggest achievements both in your persona life and in your career?
Michele: My biggest achievement has yet to surface in my career, I am sure. But so far, personally I’m proud of my recovery from my neck injury, that I didn’t let it stop me. It’s so easy to quit, and I’ll tell you, I did get close to giving everything up. I gained 25 pounds, I lost two movie roles, and fairweather friends certainly slunk into the shadows. When you hit the bottom, you can either sulk there forever or pick yourself up. Determination can do a lot for a person.
Medievaldragon: I listened to your Voice Over Reel. Awesome. Have you done voice over for games or would consider proposals for them?
Michele: Thank you Besides my demo, I also did a voice over for G4’s X-Play. I would love to do voices for games! That would be so stupidly fun.
Medievaldragon: Thanks, It was great having you, Michele. Hope you get the role of Sylvanas in the Warcraft film. What do you think guys?
You can find Michele Morrow’s credits and gallery over at her website: http://www.michelemorrow.com
I posted over at Worldofwar.net an interesting speculation article that might be of interest to WoW fans. The internet is abuzz with the delay of Spider-man 4’s production. I speculate Sam Raimi might decide to commence work on the Warcraft film while the Spider-man 4 script woes are resolved.
The Deadline Hollywood news site reports Sam Raimi is not happy with the Spider-man 4 script and the villains line-up. This potentially causes a major delay and postponement of its filming production — meant to have taken place in a few weeks. Thus the Spider-man 4 film won’t be ready for its May 5, 2011 release date.
A script started from scratch could take a year or more, not even considering if it is again rejected then and needs to be taken back to the drawing board till it is right and liked by the director. Could this be a good sign for the Warcraft film to take priority over Spider-man 4? Read my full article here.
The Post-Gazette interviewed Paul Sams concerning the recent news that he is one of the co-owners of the Pittsburgh’s NFL team The Steelers. He confirmed his friendship with Thomas Tull (Legendary Pictures CEO), who is also a new co-owner and shareholder of The Steelers. At the end of the interview, the Post-Gazette pitched a question to find out the current status of the Warcraft Film.
For now it is in pre-production stage, putting the script together, while Sam Raimi works on Spider-Man 4.
|Post-Gazette: When is the “World of Warcraft” movie coming out?
Paul Sams: Sam Raimi has been attached as the director. We’re working really hard with Legendary [Pictures] and Sam—he has “Spider-Man 4” first, then he’ll move to this project. We’re in the process of developing the scripts.
Gamespy cornered Chris Metzen to ask a few questions about the Warcraft Movie now that Sam Raimi is known worldwide to be the official director of the film. The answers are very interesting. I really enjoy listening to Chris Metzen—hey buddy! —love his worlds. Can’t wait to meet him again, and do another lore interview. It feels like just a few days since our last interview. (laughs, wink, wink, notch, notch)
|GameSpy: What most excites you about co-producing the movie?
Chris Metzen: The thing that would excite me most is just that it translates boldly. That it feels like a fan experience, and that a couple years from now, you sit down in a theater and you’re like, “They did it. They got it. That feels genuine.” It may not be about your Level 12 Night Elf Hunter, specifically, but all the familiarity—the locales, the places, the characters, the storylines—it all feels contiguous and one-to-one with your expectations. That’s my great hope.
IGN writer Eric Goldman was at the San Diego Comic Con 2009 today, and found no other than … Bruce Campbell … at the event, promoting his Burn Notice series. IGN took the opportunity to ask what would be his role in the upcoming WARCRAFT MOVIE now that Sam Raimi is officially announced to be the director of the film. To this Bruce Campbell denied he knew anything about his childhood old-friend’s role in the WARCRAFT MOVIE, until the day it was announced.
Campbell said the following:
“I’ll get a call.” What did he expect Raimi will tell him when that call comes? Raimi imagined his old friend will tell him, “You play some schmuck. Some idiot guy. Some garbage man.”
Ya’know, back in the day, my grandma had a lot of sayings from the old guard (1930s-70s). I don’t remember any that applies here, out of the tip of my mind, but I ain’t buying it. He might not have stellar roles in some of the movies, but they were fun as heck. Tell me a single person that—even if they didn’t know who Bruce Campbell is—didn’t enjoy Jack of All Trades in Hercules and Xena: Warrior Princess [for example]. I LOVED IT. It was many years later that I realized Bruce was the same guy that played in Evil Dead: Army of Darkness. That was a movie I watched around age 20 back on 1992. I enjoyed watching movies with my family every week. Army of Darkness was among my favorites, and enjoyed his role there.
Anyway, either he knows and denied, or he really didn’t know Raimi would be involved in the project. However, if we read what Gary Whitta said recently, Raimi knew about it for a while as he was who approached Blizzard showing interest in the film. When someone like Raimi has interest in something, how wouldn’t you call your best friend to tell him, and to see if you are free to play a role? Come on !!!
In short, I have a feeling Bruce Campbell is playing a big role. Chris Metzen is involved in the WARCRAFT FILM, and I know he will pick a role for the actor. Metzen jokingly talked to Kotaku at the San Diego Comic Con today about Bruce Campbell. A sign the actor may have heard already, and denied it.
|“I keep thinking [Campbell] might make a killer Goblin,” Metzen said during today’s Warcraft “Epic Loot” Comic-Con panel. “He’s got a kick ass chin.”|
Ok, that made a few fans laugh out loud. Any role would suit the actor, but I don’t doubt he would play a big role: King Varian, Bolvar Fordraagon, Malfurion, Medivh, Thrall … you name it. What role do you think Bruce Campbell could play in this film? Let’s hear your thoughts and creativity.
A few years ago, I spread through the net the Diablo Film was listed at the Under Development section of the Legendary Pictures website. It was removed from the list within 24-hours after it went all around the world. I remember looking around the net for clues, and I remember Gary Whitta appeared in my radar as writer of the script. Also as been involved in the Warcraft movie script. I think he also had a Starcraft story in his website. Suddenly, his website disappeared, with all trace and evidence.
I didn’t save anything of what I found on his website nor took pictures—to my shame, and he redirected the domain name to his blog. I contacted him, shortly after and he never replied. He is been hidden in some underground fallout bunker—a la Blast From The Past—because I rarely managed to find any comments linking him to the Warcraft or Diablo film, except for his Death, Jr. Series. His blog hasn’t been updated since July 29, 2007.
Today, Gary Whitta incredibly made a statement about his involvement in the WARCRAFT FILM’s script, which is now void with the introduction of Sam Raimi to the project. Really gives me a headache to think, I didn’t download anything of what I found on his website back then. The guy literally disappeared after the whole Diablo Film buzz, until now. Read below his statement.
Gary Whitta: I had actually been working on this for the past two years. Had to keep it under wraps at the time but it doesn’t really matter now.
I worked very closely with Legendary and Blizzard to come up with a screenplay that distilled the sprawling Warcraft mythology into a narrative that was easily accessible to the non-player, and everyone was really pleased with the results – I personally thought my last draft of the script in particular was really kick-ass and did a good job of introducing the Warcraft world to non-players while also satisfying hardcore players who knew every nook and cranny of the universe. When Sam expressed interest in the property, however, he had his own pretty specific vision of what he wanted to do story-wise so that’s the version they’re now pursuing. I’m no longer involved but I wish them all the best with it; so far as I’m concerned Raimi is the best possible director for this.
Blizzard has dropped the bomb on fans with their latest press release revealing the director of the upcoming WARCRAFT
Blizzard Entertainment and the Legendary Pictures executives have been too strict and cryptic about revealing the Warcraft Film’s Director, writer and cast. Rumors went around a few years ago that the writer was Gary Whitta, but it has not been confirmed. On 2005, Blizzard and Legendary revealed one concept art from the Warcraft film ideas. It was an image of Teldrassil seen from a Darkshore perspective.
Chris Metzen said at the same event there were plans for an Alliance character, an anti-Thrall. Obviously, this was in reference to King Varian Wrynn, who was still missing at that point until he debuted in the comic book, unveiled in July 2007 at the San Diego Comic Con. Brandon Routhe (Superman) showed interest in working on the Warcraft Film. He plays World of Warcraft. Will Routhe play as King Varian? Hmm. The latest update on this Warcraft Film was reported by Ancilorn on the official wow-europe forums:
The Writers Guild of America, Hollywood writers union and Screen Actors Guild claim that Film studios aren’t fulfilling their agreement after the strike held a year ago. The writers and actors want to be paid royalties for internet reruns on Films made after 1971 and TV shows made after 1977 as the agreement stipulated. The film studios want to pay royalties for internet reruns for films and shows made after February 13, 2008.
There is obviously a great deal of problems ahead of the industry if this dispute is not settled. If a new strike is held, this could potentially affect the development of the World of Warcraft film … yet again. As of two weeks ago, Frank Pearce revealed a screenwriter and a director have not been appointed by Legendary Pictures to date. This process would gain further delays if the strike becomes reality in upcoming weeks.—Read more.
The two unions appear to be reading from the same script with an eye to disrupting the upcoming Hollywood awards season, much as last year