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World of Warcraft movie gets a new director

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Duncan Jones (Credit: Getty Images)

When famed director Sam Raimi dropped out of the long-in-development World of Warcraft film last summer, fans feared it would never get made.

That discouragement has turned to optimism once again, though, as Duncan Jones -- whose directorial work on films such as "Source Code" and "Moon" has earned him heaps of critical praise -- has signed on to shepherd Azeroth to the big screen, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

Jones, the son of rock legend David Bowie, is known for his work in science fiction and in tackling projects that others consider too difficult. Legendary Pictures, which has held the film rights to Blizzard Entertainment's enormously popular online game since 2006, says the movie should hit theaters in the summer of 2015.

In addition to adding Jones as a director, Legendary also announced a slew of critical behind-the-scenes personnel, including the film's producers and a screenwriter. Charles Leavitt, who wrote the screenplay for both the Leonardo DiCaprio thriller "Blood Diamond" and Kevin Spacey's quirky 2001 science fiction film "K-Pax," will pen the World of Warcraft film.

World of Warcraft will be Jones' first time with a massively budgeted film. "Moon," shot in 2009, cost just $1 million to make. 2011's time-traveling "Source Code" was made for a still modest $35 million. Warcraft is expected to have a budget that tops $100 million.

While it's Jones' first tentpole film, it's not going to have a free ride at the box office. Among its expected competition in 2015 will be "Star Wars: Episode VII," another reboot of the Batman franchise, the sequel to "The Avengers," DC's "Justice League" and "Avatar 2."

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