Legendary Pictures' World of Warcraft movie finally has a director (again): Duncan Jones. The Brit filmmaker, who also happens to be David Bowie's son, burst onto the scene several years ago with Sam Rockwell's one-man show in Moon. Jones followed up his successful debut with the sci-fi thriller Source Code, and now The Hollywood Reporter confirms that he's been tapped for the WoW adaptation.
This is the same project that Legendary tried to jumpstart some years back with Sam Raimi at the helm. The Evil Dead creator eventually bowed out to tackle Oz, The Great and Powerful, but Legendary will hang onto the Warcraft script developed by Charles Leavitt when Raimi was still on board. It's looking like this is a done deal now, with THR noting that production should begin in fall 2013, ahead of a planned 2015 release.
Jones actually spoke about video games on film and Warcraft specifically a couple years back in an interview with Badass Digest's Devin Faraci. Carrying an interactive video game over to a passive medium like film has proven to be a challenge for many directors in the past. Jones, a self-professed gamer, recognizes this and hopes he can use that awareness to sidestep those pitfalls.
"I definitely think there is an intangible aspect of video games in the interactivity that a film is never going to capture. But that is not what a game adaptation needs to be," Jones said at the time. "A good game adaptation is where you find the story or the emotional aspect that’s at the heart of a computer game and you replicate that on film. It doesn’t mean you need to have first person perspective or try and capture the mechanics of a game."
"If you’re going to make a film of a game it’s got to be about the essence of why you, the audience, care what’s going on. There are certain games where that will work, and there are certain games where it doesn’t."
Incredibly, Jones specifically name-dropped World of Warcraft during the interview, admitting to being "hugely jealous" of the opportunity that was handed to Sam Raimi. "I really believe World of Warcraft could be the launch of computer games as good films. And from the little I’ve read of interviews with him the way he’s approaching it makes so much sense. It’s what I was talking about - it’s not worrying about how the game plays, it’s about creating the world of the game and investing the audience in that world."