"Raimi has, in the course of his career, clearly demonstrated a genius for developing and adapting existing fictional universes for mainstream audiences while staying true to the spirit of the original content," Blizzard stated in a press release.
"At its core, Warcraft is a fantastic, action-packed story," Raimi added. "I am thrilled to work with such a dynamite production team to bring this project to the big screen."
The Dark Knight and 12 Monkeys producer Charles Roven has signed on to produce the film alongside his production partner Alex Gartner, Legendary CEO Thomas Tull, Legendary COO Jon Jashni, Sam Raimi and Raimi's producing partner Joshua Donen. Another one of Raimi's partners, Robert Tapert, will serve as executive producer with Blizzard's creative development VP Chris Metzen acting as co-producer.
"From our first conversation with Sam, we could tell he was the perfect choice," noted Blizzard COO Paul Sams. "Sam knows how to simultaneously satisfy the enthusiasts and the mainstream audience that might be experiencing that content for the first time. We're looking forward to working with him to achieve that here."
The company added that more details, such as casting and a release target, will arrive "as development progresses," with the press release promising that the movie "will bring the forces of the Horde and the Alliance to life in epic live-action film."
Original: Legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi is to direct Blizzard's upcoming live-action Warcraft film, assuming Ain't It Cool News is to believed.
Official word on the matter is expected either this week or next, according to the respected site.
Little has been said of the game-turned-film since Blizzard and Legendary Pictures discussed openly discussed the movie in 2007. Back then, the duo was shooting for a 2009 release, and provided pre-production art (above) of the elven home of Teldrassil.
"The story takes place about a year before WoW begins," Blizzard creative director Chris Metzen explained at the time. "You're likely to see a lot of races you've played, the lands you know. The story really is a number of main plot points kind of rolled into a really strong two, two and a half hour tale...thematically it's about cultures and conflict."
While Blizzard has really said nothing more of the film since then, at least one solid tidbit has emerged: word that oft-chastised director Uwe Boll will not be involved, at all.