Sam Raimi of Evil Dead fame tells how his World of Warcraft movie pitch went south.
"So I read a screenplay they had that was written by the guys at [World of Warcraft developer] Blizzard," says Raimi, "and it didn't quite work for me." Raimi wanted to revamp the Warcraft screenplay into something more in tune with his personal aesthetic, and since production company Legendary was on board with that, he and scriptwriter Robert Rodat got to work. Nine months later, the man who made Evil Dead and Spider Man suddenly realizes, to his horror, that Blizzard retains veto power over any script changes. Blizzard hadn't explicitly given its OK to Raimi's story adjustments - even though Blizzard knew about them, since Raimi had pitched to Blizzard after Legendary said OK - citing unspecified reservations. That was the rock on which Raimi foundered.
"Those reservations were their way of saying, 'We don't approve this story, and we want to go a different way,'" Raimi says, "so after we had spent nine months working on this thing, we basically had to start over." And that was what he and Rodat did, but by that point too much time had passed, and Blizzard wasn't willing to give an extension to the team that had already put in nine months on a project that Blizzard knew full well it didn't want to go ahead.
"Honestly, I think it was mismanagement on their behalf, not to explain to us that the first story was vetoed long ago," Raimi says. "Why did they let us keep working on it? Were they afraid to tell me?"
When Raimi described his departure from the Warcraft movie project last year, it sounded more like a scheduling conflict. This latest revelation is a bit more to the point; perhaps Blizzard ought to have stepped in before nine month's worth of work was wasted.
Source: The Vulture