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It has just been announced the Sam Raimi has been signed on to direct a movie version of the popular World of Warcraft online multiplayer game.

As a WoW player and a massive Sam Raimi fan, this news has gotten me all kinds of excited.  Sam Raimi is a gifted filmmaker capable of incredible visuals and a unique style of direction.  He has given us some great cult classics like the Evil Dead series, Quick and the Dead and more recently, the Sipderman films.  With the backing of Blizzard and the expected massive budget, this could well be a film gamers and cinema goers alike will embrace.

It isn’t without its risks though.  Raimi has never directed a fantasy film before, the closest he has gotten is being a producer on Xena Warrior Princess which he co-created with his brother Ted Raimi.  However, his time on Xena could well be a deciding factor on where the Warcraft film is made.  I am predicting that he will head to New Zealand to make the film.  Not only are the locations ideal for a fantasy film but the WETA workshop and Peter Jacksons production facilities are world class. 

However, he needs to be careful that he doesn’t come off like a Lord of the Rings rip off since Warcraft fans are as rabid, if not moreso, than the Tolkien fan base.

At Blizzards yearly game convention, Blizzcon, it was announced a couple of years ago that the Warcraft movie was in the works but that they wouldn’t move on it until they had found a director that would be true to the material and make a film that honours the Warcraft universe.  While director and hack Uwe Boll tried to secure the rights to the franchise, it’s good to see Blizzard hold out for someone of Raimi’s calibre.

Expect to hear a lot more about the film at this years Blizzcon, being held in august. Until then we will just have to hold out and hope this film ends up being made unlike the unfortunate “Halo” film that never happened.

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