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World of Warcraft movie set to shoot next year

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(Credit: Blizzard)

While plenty of us thought it would never come to pass, it appears the World of Warcraft movie is actually happening.

Shooting on the feature is set to begin next year, which would keep it on track for its planned summer 2015 release.

"First quarter 2014 we’re going to shoot that movie,” producer Charles Roven told SlashFilm. "We’re moving forward, obviously. Legendary is making that film."

The World of Warcraft film has been in turnaround hell for quite a while now. Legendary has held the film rights since 2006, but has hit hurdle after hurdle in getting the film made.

Originally, director Sam Raimi was set to helm it, but he dropped out last summer citing conflicts. Many felt that would be the deathblow to the feature, but in January, Duncan Jones, whose directorial work on films such as "Source Code" and "Moon" earned him heaps of critical praise, signed on to shepherd Azeroth to the big screen.

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 tackle the same role on the Warcraft film.

And, to reassure fans, Blizzard's Chris Metzen is another one of the producers.

This will be the first time Jones has overseen a true tentpole release. Both of his previous films, while critically adored and notable hits, were made for relatively small amounts by Hollywood standards. World of Warcraft (which, it's worth noting, the IMDB refers to simply as “Warcraft”) is expected to budget at over $100 million, nearly three times what was spent on "Source Code."

The game could certainly use the exposure and interest that comes from a major film release. Players are leaving the once-mighty online game in droves as they seek entertainment in free-to-play alternatives.

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