Legendary Pictures to Handle Diablo Film

Production company Legendary Pictures will be handling development of an upcoming film based on Blizzard's Diablo series of action RPGs. Indication of the studio's involvement came with the listing of Diablo in the "Coming Soon" section of the official Legendary Pictures site.

The news partially confirms a story last month by the Hollywood Reporter, which noted in passing Legendary's connection to the Diablo film and stated that the screenplay will be scribed by Gary Whitta, whom longtime gamers may remember as the first editor of PC Gamer. Whitta also wrote the series of graphic novels based on Backbone Entertainment's Death Jr. game franchise, and contributed to the scripts of Epic Games' Gears of War, Human Head's Prey, and 3D Realms' upcoming Duke Nukem Forever.

Legendary previously announced its involvement in a film based on Blizzard's Warcraft series. Though the movie was announced as drawing from the Warcraft franchise as a whole, the company's site lists the movie as "World of Warcraft." The Burbank, California-based studio has produced Chris Nolan's Batman Begins, M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water, and Zack Snyder's adaptation of Frank Miller's 300.

In 2001, Blizzard successfully filed an injunction against New Line Cinema, demanding the Warner Bros. subsidiary cease its usage of the word "Diablo" as the title of one of its films. At the time, Blizzard substantiated its suit by claiming that it had its own Diablo-related film in the works. New Line released its own work as A Man Apart in 2003.