Duncan Jones was recently announced as director of the forthcoming World Of Warcraft adaptation , but it wasn’t so long ago that Sam Raimi was attached to the project. What went wrong then? Raimi spoke to Vulture (opens in new tab) about what happened.
“First, they asked me if I wanted to make it, and I said, ‘Yes, I love World Of Warcraft , and I think it would make a great picture.’” Says Raimi. “So I read a screenplay they had that was written by the guys at [ Warcraft developer ] Blizzard, and it didn’t quite work for me. I told them I wanted to make my own original story.
“Then Robert [ Rodat ] wrote the screenplay, and only once he was done did we realize that Blizzard had veto power, and we didn’t know that. And they had never quite approved the original story we pitched them. Those reservations were their way of saying, ‘We don’t approve this story, and we want to go a different way.’
“So after we had spent nine months working on this thing, we basically had to start over. And Robert did start over, but it was taking too long for the people at Blizzard, and their patience ran out.”
Raimi went on to wish Jones well, professing himself a fan of his films, before claiming that his departure from the Spider-Man franchise is also no longer the sore point it's been reported as being.
“It really was the most amicable and undramatic of breakups,” says Raimi. “It was simply that we had a deadline and I couldn’t get the story to work on a level that I wanted it to work. I was very unhappy with S pider-Man 3 , and I wanted to make Spider-Man 4 to end on a very high note, the best Spider-Man of them all.
“But I couldn’t get the script together in time, due to my own failings, and I said to Sony, ‘I don’t want to make a movie that is less than great, so I think we shouldn’t make this picture. Go ahead with your reboot, which you’ve been planning anyway.’
“We left on the best of terms,” he concludes, “both of us trying to do the best thing for fans, the good name of Spider-Man, and Sony Studios.”
Intriguingly, the director confirms that he was pursuing Anne Hathaway to play Felicia Hardy, AKA Black Cat. At least she got to scratch the feline superhero itch with Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises .
Raimi’s current film, Oz: The Great And Powerful , opens in the UK on Friday.