In a long-awaited partnership with Legendary Pictures, Blizzard Entertainment, the makers of the Warcraft franchise, has announced plans to make a live-action motion picture based on this immensely popular game series. Immediately, several Warcraft fan sites, including WoWWiki, latched on to the story. Also, IMDB, Movie Chronicles, and MovieTome (a CBS Interactive site) have added pages for the film.
Blizzard and Legendary Pictures have recently selected Sam Raimi, director of the Spider-Man trilogy (with the fourth to be filmed next year) to direct this new venture, with Chris Metzen, Blizzard's vice president of creative development, who is writing the story. There are several rumors about what the story might contain, but Blizzard and Legendary Pictures seem to be keeping a tight lid on that can. Charles Roven is also allegedly signing on; his production company, Atlas Entertainment, has made such films as The Dark Knight. Warner Brothers is contributing to the financial support of the film.
There is some contention about a filming and release schedule. As Raimi has yet to begin filming Spider-Man 4, some sites are reporting that the soonest we will see Warcraft on the silver screen is 2012, while other sites, such as IMDB, list the movie as releasing in 2011. Of course, rumors are always abound when something is added to a popular franchise, and this movie is no exception. Many sites, such as Examiner.com, are speculating that Bruce Campbell (who was in all of the Spider-Man movies) will likely be in this film.
Wired.com has even gone so far as to project what Sam Raimi's production diary might look like. It jokes about Raimi hiring World of Warcraft players as extras for the film, and the massive lines of extras waiting to get on the set. "He" then pokes fun at the extras for their excessive immersion in the game.
Also, buried under the news of the movie, Blizzard has announced a service in development that will allow players to "defect" to the other faction. This service will allow players to switch characters from Alliance to Horde or Horde to Alliance while maintaining their class. This feature, long asked for but until recently profusely refused, will make some players very happy while totally frustrating others.