July 23, 2009 / 3:33 AM / 8 years ago

Spiderman director takes on "World of Warcraft" movie

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - Film director Sam Raimi brought Spider-Man to life on the big screen and now he is set to bring the orcs and dwarves from the hit role-playing fantasy videogame “World of Warcraft” to the big screen.

Blizzard Entertainment Inc., a unit of Activision Blizzard, and Legendary Pictures said on Wednesday that Raimi has signed to make a film out of the Warcraft universe of Azeroth.

“Warcraft” made its debut in 1994 as a real-time strategy game based on a conflict between the Horde and the Alliance and was developed into the massively multiplayer online game “World of Warcraft” in 2004 which has developed a huge following.

“World of Warcraft” now holds the Guiness World Record as the most popular massively multiplayer online game with more than 11.5 million monthly subscribers as well as having a lucrative range of licensed products.

The two companies said they were confident that Raimi, who also directed “Evil Dead,” was the ideal man to satisfy Warcraft enthusiasts as well as a mainstream audience.

“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,” the companies said in a joint statement.

Raimi most recently wrote and directed the supernatural thriller “Drag Me to Hell.”

“At its core, Warcraft is a fantastic, action-packed story,” said Raimi in the statement. “I am thrilled to work with such a dynamite production team to bring this project to the big screen.”

The film will be produced by Charles Roven who brought “The Dark Knight” to screen last year.

The film will fall under Legendary Pictures’ co-production and co-financing deal with Warner Bros. Pictures, a unit of Time Warner inc..

There were no immediate details on cast or release date.

Writing by Belinda Goldsmith; Editing by David Fox

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