Hundreds of attendees here at BlizzCon took time off from playing StarCraft II and the newly announced World of Warcraft expansion, Wrath of the Lich King, to attend a spirited panel on the upcoming WOW movie, plans for which finally seem to be coalescing. Blizzard COO Paul Sams and chief creative officer Chris Metzen joined Legendary Pictures’ CEO Thomas Tull and chief creative officer Jon Jashni onstage to dish on the current production status of Blizzard’s first movie, which the company has been trying to get off the ground for a good five years now.
The audience of diehard fans seemed pleased with Blizzard’s choice to partner with Legendary on the WOW movie, given the cheers that erupted at the mention of the company’s recent fan-favorite hits like 300 and Batman Begins. Tull reiterated several times his company’s commitment to creating “not a video game movie,” but rather a grand fantasy epic–one on the order of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings adaptation–that just happens to be based on a video game property. He also said Legendary is targeting a roughly $100 million budget for a film it hopes to release in 2009, and confirmed emphatically that the movie will be live-action rather than animated. No firm decisions have yet been made on director, cast, or the use of practical versus computer-generated special effects.
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