Blizzard's official World of Warcraft Twitter account reports that Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures have set a definitive street date for the highly-anticipated Warcraft movie: December 18, 2015. This should fit nicely outside the 2015 summer blockbuster marathon that supposedly includes Star Wars Episode VII, Batman Vs. Superman, The Avengers: Age of Ultron and the rebooted Fantastic Four.
December is the same time slot previously used by many Harry Potter films, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the most recent The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Slated to arrive this December 13 is the latter film's second installment, The Desolation of Smaug. That said, the December release window typically plays well with fantasy-based movies, whereas the more action-packed offerings are highly popular during the summer.
The Warcraft movie has been in development since 2005. Directing the film is Duncan Jones, AKA Duncan Zowie Hollywood Jones, the son of musician David Bowie and Mary Angela Barnett. He graduated as a director from the London Film School and went on to direct 2009's Moon and 2011's Source Code.
Thomas Tull and Jon Jashni will reportedly be producing the film for Legendary while Charles Roven and Alex Gartner will be producing for Blizzard and Atlas Entertainment. Serving as executive producer will be Stuart Fenegan while Chris Metzen will co-produce for Blizzard.
"The opportunity to do something like Warcraft is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. You hope that you're going to get the chance to make films where you really get to delve into fantasy," Jones said during San Diego Comic-Con in July. "And with Warcraft, I actually get to create a world and there's not that many filmmakers who get the chance to start from scratch and build something that big. I know how lucky I am and I am so excited to do it."
A lot has changed over the years regarding the production crew including writers (Metzen, Robert Rodat), directors (Uwe Boll, Sam Raimi) and the film's budget ($100M+, $220M). The last we heard, Raimi (Evil Dead, Spider-Man) said that he could no longer be associated with the project due to Oz: The Great and Powerful. He claimed that Blizzard "mismanaged" the film.
Unfortunately, the Warcraft storyline is still unclear. In 2007, Metzen said it would be a current, "familiar one" from the MMORPG but altered for "film continuity." It would be seen from an Alliance perspective with the protagonist portrayed as a "kick ass human character." However, the project is reportedly sticking with a script written by Charles Leavitt (K-PAX, Blood Diamond), which is supposedly based around the Warcraft novel, The Last Guardian.
Filming will begin on January 13, 2014. Colin Farrell is rumored to be taking the leading role along with Mission Impossible's Paula Patton and Star Trek's Anton Yelchin. Looper's Paul Dano, Vikings' Travis Fimmel, and Hell on Wheels' Anson Mount may also be candidates.