“World of Warcraft” recently gained Duncan Jones as a director, but we still haven’t forgotten the fact that it lost Sam Raimi. The “Oz the Great and Powerful” director opened up recently about why he decided to drop the video game adaptation.
“Robert Rodat was working on the script, and it was taking a long time. I think they were getting a little antsy at Legendary, the production company,” Raimi told Vulture. “Actually, what happened was even more complicated, so let me go back a little bit. 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.’ 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 with Robert, so we pitched it to Legendary and they accepted it, and then we pitched it to Blizzard, and they had reservations, but they accepted it.”
He continued, “Then Robert 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. Honestly, I think it was mismanagement on their behalf, not to explain to us that the first story was vetoed long ago. Why did they let us keep working on it? Were they afraid to tell me?”
The story behind why he dropped “Spider-Man 4” is a bit simpler. As he explained, this time it was him who couldn’t get the story right.
“It really was the most amicable and undramatic of breakups: 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,” Raimi said. “I was very unhappy with ‘Spider-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.’ And [Sony co-chairman] Amy Pascal said, ‘Thank you. Thank you for not wasting the studio’s money, and I appreciate your candor.’ So we left on the best of terms, both of us trying to do the best thing for fans, the good name of ‘Spider-Man,’ and Sony Studios.”
Fun facts: Raimi still hasn’t seen Marc Webb’s “The Amazing Spider-Man,” and he had planned to cast Anne Hathaway as Felicia Hardy. “I loved what she was doing with the auditions for ‘Spider-Man 4,'” he said. Felicity Jones will reportedly play Hardy in the upcoming “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”