World of Warcraft Movie To Be Directed By Sam Raimi

So it’s official. According to Ain’t It Cool News Sam Raimi has signed up to direct a World of Warcraft movie, scheduled to be shot after Spider-Man 4 (so I’m guessing it will be come out in 2012).

To be honest, I wasn’t that excited when I found out. In fact, my reaction was downright “meh”. Maybe it’s because of the slew of terrible video game movies, particuarly fantasty based ones like Dungeons and Dragons and Dungeon Seige, but I just can’t imagine a live-action WoW film being any decent. For starters, WoW makes a great virtual world and has a fascinating lore but it lacks any central characters for a film to follow. Unlike say, X-Men or Batman, there isn’t a hero character (or characters) to centre a film around so it’s likely to follow the idea of a generic “band of adventurers” and that never ends well. I don’t think I could stand the idea of a watching another film about a warrior, rogue and mage on a quest to save the world. Dungeons & Dragons 2 is still lingering in my brain after I had the bad-sense, or borderline stupidity, to watch most of it on TV.

Plus a WoW movie has the problem of the setting. Is it going to take place in the contemporary game time? If so, how can the film have any sort of concrete ending or conclusion without having a dramatic impact on the game world? And what about all of the races? Are they going to be CG or people in make-up? Again, shades of the Dungeon Siege movie are coming back to haunt me. Poor Jason Strathom.

Maybe I’m just being overly cynical but I’m finding it hard to be positive about a movie version of WoW. An animated film, yeah, now that would’ve been nice. They could’ve got Pixar to make it or even Blizzard could have tried to create it themselves – they’ve certainly got a talent for making wonderful game intros and trailers.

The bottom line is that just because a World of Warcraft movie can be made, it doesn’t mean it has to be made. We’ve already got a wonderful product that brings happiness to millions, do we really need to milk the cash cow even more until it’s udders fall off? I’m starting to take exception to Hollywood scraping the barrel of every intectual property it can find. Let be books to books, comics be comics, games be games, and start producing some original films that are an art form in themselves. Maybe then people might feel less jaded about going to the cinema.

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14 Comments

  1. Gremrod says:

    What his Evil Dead movies. If anyone could do it… it would be raimi. And Bruce Cambell better have a part in it!!!!!!!!

  2. Shane says:

    I think it would be best to think of it as a “Warcraft Movie” Instead of a “World of Warcraft Movie.” If you look back at the pre-MMO canon, I think there’s enough to do a full multi-part movie arc.

    The first movie could cover the (first) rise of the Horde up to the fall of Stormwind. Basically you’re looking at the first WC RTS game.

    If successful, a second movie could be sort of a bridge (think Two Towers) that flushes out The Alliance of Lordaeron and works it’s way up to the forming of the Scourge.

    If that were to pan out well, then it could lead up to a big last movie involving the return of the Burning Legion, the Fall of Quel’thalas, maybe ending after the Battle for Mount Hyjal. Not sure if they’d want to get into too much Frozen Throne content or not.

    Assuming they’ve built a profitable movie franchise at this point, they could pull a “Lucas Maneuver” and go back to the War of the Ancients, leading up to the Sundering (destruction of the Well of Eternity) and Illidan’s creation of the new Well at Mount Hyjal.

    I agree with you in that I don’t see a movie well with the context of the contemporary game. I think they have a heck of an opportunity to support the game by bringing the pre-MMO story to the big screen. Let’s face it. A very small percentage of the 11 million WoW subscribers have actually played the RTS games.

    Food for thought.

  3. Beej says:

    I think that a WoW movie has a lot of potential, especially given that Raimi is not a traditional director. He’s going to be able to give the trademark Blizzard humor a real place in the movie, while still letting the weight of the “war” be known.

    There have been some decent video game movies, and knowing Blizzard, they won’t let anything be released with their name on it if it’s under whatever standards they hold.

  4. Casey says:

    When Rami has full control of his movies and doesn’t let his actors get out of control (I’m looking at you jazz dance spiderman) he does pretty good work. Additionally Blizzard has some pretty high quality bars that they requires their brands meet.

    So yes, just because doesn’t mean they need to… But then again, nobody needed to make the Lord of the Rings and by most accounts it wasn’t a bad series.

    Just my two cents.

    • Gordon says:

      I knew someone was going to bring up LOTR and use it against me :)

      Yeah, they were good films but they had a couple of things going for it that a WoW film doesn’t. Firstly, they had a predefined story with a begining, a middle and an end. What will a WoW film have and how can it do anything to conclude a continual world? Secondly, LOTR had established characters who the audience knew and respected. WoW has no one – YOU are the character.

  5. Twan says:

    While I do love Raimi lets leave WoW a virtual world.

  6. kurt says:

    I hope Bruce Vilanch will be the dwarf tank

  7. Guybrush the mighty says:

    Gordon – I agree with you, the chances of this film being great are pretty much zero. However, I can’t stop myself from thinking about the potential of awesomeness should he get it right.

    We’ve all been wowed (pun not intended) by the trailers and I’m sure I’m not the only one who appreciates high quality animation (read: pixar with a dash of dreamworks, but not too much, peppered with some old-school tim burtonesque darkness and a healthy dose of blizzard production design). All it really takes for this to be the best fantasy movie ever made is a great director (almost there), a great script, fantastic voice over actors, perfect animation, dark humor, an over 15 – or 18- rating, some amazing music, an intriguing plot, some contemporary moral dilemmas, a sweet – but not cheesy- twist or two and, of course, very solid characters.

    Is that too much to ask?

  8. luvy duvy says:

    i hope they make the movie like the intro to the game all they need to do is keep it simple have alliance group do a quest meanwhile a horde group do a quest and in the end they both get together to defeat or stop a common enemy like the scourge from taking over azeroth

    simple :)

    no they dont have to kill the lich king or thrall or make any big impact in the game all they have to do is stop the real badguys the scourge or the burning legion from taking over azeroth. the key is make it action pact a lil moment of the movie that they talk about lore but mostly action pact. and in the end they both alliance and horde say ok we saved the world now lets get back to fighting eachhother!!lol

    *the key is to make the people who play horde and the people who play alliance AND the people who dont even play Wow Satisfied by puting a good story together good actors and action pact. No matrix crap that they spend hours talking about what is the matrix and whyis neo the 1 i hate movies that they keep talking and talking and talking then lil action then moretalking omg they ruined the transformers movie they shouldve called the transforemers movie “the adventures of witwiky” cause they focused to much on the kid where they shouldve focuses on the transformers.

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