Over the years, World of Warcraft has inspired everything from fan-made Christmas albums to knock-off Chinese amusement parks - but the grand daddy of all tie-ins, the officially-licensed motion picture, has never surfaced.
It's in the works - and has been since 2006 but - but it's moving at a bit of the sort of slow, grinding pace that one would expect from an MMORPG. Back in 2009, the movie received a jolt of fresh enthusiasm back when Sam Raimi (brother of Joxer the Mighty) was announced as its director, but time and competing projects took their toll and eventually Raimi's involvement with the project ended.
Now, almost seven years after work began on the Warcraft movie, a new director has been announced for the project: Duncan Jones, the writer and director of the critically acclaimed Moon and, fittingly, son of David Bowie.
I know, Goblins, that was my reaction too.
Unfortunately for WoW fans and geeks everywhere, there's still precious little known about the movie past the fact that the incredibly talented Jones is now attached to lead it and that the script - penned by Blood Diamond writer Charles Leavitt - has already been completed.
It'll be interesting to see what direction the movie takes, as MMOs - by their very nature - have fragmented story elements and often lack anything close to a coherent narrative. With any luck, Jones will strike gold and deliver a movie worth seeing (unlike some other movies based on games that I can think of).
There are plenty of rich and compelling characters in WoW, and if Joanes can deliver something that looks even close to this fan trailer below, I think the WoW faithful will be pleased.
...assuming, of course, that he also finds a way to work in a Leeroy Jenkins reference somewhere into the movie's big battle scene. They'll probably love that.