And it’s Duncan Jones, David Bowie’s kid. That’s weird. Blizzard has been trying to make a World of Warcraft movie for what seems like forever, but considering that video game movies that aren’t Tomb Raider generally tank, it’s been tough to get momentum going. Legendary Pictures first optioned the rights in 2006, when the game was at its peak, and spent the next half-decade talking directors and writers. Sam Raimi was attached to the project for quite some time, especially after it was announced that he was leaving the Spider-Man franchise, and even Uwe Boll made a play for the property only to be shot down by Blizzard. The screenplay was originally penned by Saving Private Ryan scribe Robert Rodat, and Charles Leavitt (Blood Diamond) has been brought on to punch it up. And now a director is officially on board, and it’s a pretty weird pick.
The Hollywood Reporter has the news that Duncan Jones is the official World Of Warcraft director. Jones has two movies under his belt – the claustrophobic sci-fi head-screw Moon and the underrated actioner Source Code. Both of them were good movies, but they didn’t really position him as the kind of guy who can helm a massive fantasy flick (last estimates on the budget brought the movie at a quarter million at least, astronomical for a video game flick). So why did he get the gig?
Jones, the son of David Bowie from his first marriage (he briefly went by Zowie Bowie, which is just painful), is a huge gamer first and foremost, which probably gave him a little more pull with the studio. Blizzard has co-producer power on the project and are very territorial about their universe and lore, so having somebody helming the movie who understands that is important to them. He’s going to have to hit the ground running, though, as reports have the producers wanting production to start this fall for a 2015 release. No casting has been announced yet, but there’s buzz that Johnny Depp is being eyed for the lead.