Turns out Sam Raimi really wanted to make the movie version of the popular MMORPG “World of Warcraft”, but after spending a lot of time on the adaptation, ended up not doing the film because people got “antsy”. What people, you ask? The folks at Blizzard Games, as it turns out, the makers of “World of Warcraft”.
In an interview with Vulture while out doing the promo rounds for his upcoming “Oz: The Great and Powerful”, Raimi explained what happened with “World of Warcraft” and why he eventually ended up walking on the picture:
Robert Rodat was working on the script, and it was taking a long time. I think they were getting a little antsy at Legendary, the production company. Actually, what happened was even more complicated, so let me go back a little bit. First, they asked me if I wanted to make it, and I said, “Yes, I love World of Warcraft, and I think it would make a great picture.” So I read a screenplay they had that was written by the guys at [Warcraft developer] Blizzard, and it didn’t quite work for me. I told them I wanted to make my own original story with Robert, so we pitched it to Legendary and they accepted it, and then we pitched it to Blizzard, and they had reservations, but they accepted it. Then Robert wrote the screenplay, and only once he was done did we realize that Blizzard had veto power, and we didn’t know that. And they had never quite approved the original story we pitched them. Those reservations were their way of saying, “We don’t approve this story, and we want to go a different way,” so after we had spent nine months working on this thing, we basically had to start over. And Robert did start over, but it was taking too long for the people at Blizzard, and their patience ran out. Honestly, I think it was mismanagement on their behalf, not to explain to us that the first story was vetoed long ago. Why did they let us keep working on it? Were they afraid to tell me?
“World of Warcraft”, of course, now has “Moon” and “Source Code’s” Duncan Jones attached to direct, though how that will turn out given Raimi’s story about Blizzard, who knows.
In the same article, Raimi also talks at length about his never-happened “Spider-Man 4”, which you can read for yourself at the link, but I’m not going to rehash it here because, well, what’s the point? There’s already one new “Spider-man” and a sequel coming, so I’ll leave it to the other comic book sites to endlessly beat this dead horse.
Raimi does have a story about how he originally met Joss Whedon that’s worth reading. Apparently while he was directing “The Quick and the Dead”, Raimi asked for story help, and the studio sent him Joss Whedon.