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Raimi set to direct ‘Warcraft’

by Adam Wills

July 22, 2009 | 6:36 pm

Director Sam Raimi will direct a big-screen, live-action adaptation of “World of Warcraft,” the massive online swords-and-sorcery game, according to Variety.

Legendary Pictures and “WoW” publisher Blizzard Entertainment (whose president and co-founder, Michael Morhaime, has been involved in the O.C. Jewish community) is producing the film, with Warner Bros. set to co-finance and distribute.

The team boasts an impressive pedigree: In addition to the director of “Spider-Man,” the partners have added “The Dark Knight” producer Charles Roven to the creative mix.

The plan is for Raimi to supervise development of “Warcraft” and shoot the picture after he completes work on “Spider-Man 4,” which gets under way early next year for Columbia Pictures.

The movie will be financed under the Legendary Pictures’ co-production and co-financing deal with WB, in a manner similar to the Todd Phillips-directed “The Hangover” plus the Roven-produced “Batman Begins” and “Dark Knight.”

The “Warcraft” universe features an epic conflict between the Horde and the Alliance. The game has developed a global following since its launch in 1994 and shows no signs of slowing. Its most recent expansion, “Wrath of the Lich King,” sold more than 2.8 million copies in the first day of release and more than 4 million its first month.

And since this is probably on the minds of “WoW” fans: No word yet on a Leeroy Jenkins cameo.

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