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Warcraft Film: Gary Whitta talks about his former scrapped script

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.

TCA 2010: Tapert Confirms Warcraft Film in Script Phase

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:

“It

Legendary Pictures Leaked Warcraft Film Placeholder Page?

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?

Sam Raimi Leaves Spider-man 4!!! Warcraft Film in the Horizon?

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.

Thanks, Wow.com

Celebs Interested in the Warcraft Film: Michele Morrow Interview

michele-morrow-interview-frame



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 smile 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

Spider-man 4 Delayed … Warcraft Film Production to take the lead?

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.

Paul Sams Interviewed by Post-Gazette: Warcraft Film in Pre-Production Stage

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.

Blizzard Quote:
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.

Via: WoW.com

SDCC 2009: Warcraft Movie – Gamespy Interviews Chris Metzen

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)

Blizzard Quote:
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.

Warcraft Movie: Bruce Campbell and Metzen Talk to the Media

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.

Blizzard Quote:
“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.

Gary Whitta No Longer on WARCRAFT MOVIE

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.

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