Spider-Man 4 director Sam Raimi felt as though he could not realistically deliver the film he wanted to make by the studio's due date, causing the director to pull out of the comic book franchise, scrapping the film.
According to website Deadline.com, Raimi told Sony before walking from Spider-Man 4: "I can't make your date. I can't go forward creatively." It seemed that Sony wanted Spider-Man 4 to be shot in 3D, something that no one on the crew was apparently knowledgeable about and something that would have added six months to production.
In the wake of Spider-Man 4 falling apart, Sony has since decided to focus on a reboot of the Spider-Man franchise without star Tobey Maguire. The reboot was apparently planned for when Spider-Man 4 was finished and is believed to be a "gritty, contemporary" take on the Spider-Man story for release in 2012. (Gritty Spider-Man?)
What does this all mean for Raimi's other project, Warcraft? It means that Raimi's schedule has freed up considerably. The original plan was to begin work on the Warcraft film, which is based on Blizzard's popular online gaming franchise, as soon as Spider-Man 4 wrapped.
Raimi has two projects lined up: historical novel The Given Day, from Mystic River author Dennis Lehane, and the film adaptation of Blizzard's Warcraft. Which one he moves forward on first is up to Raimi, but, like Spider-Man, Warcraft is a huge property with a massive following. If the filmmaker is feeling like he is itching to tackle a big project, then he'll most likely move forward on the Warcraft film. But if he is feeling stymied by the prospect of doing a huge effect-heavy film, then he'll probably do The Given Day.
Last fall, the director said this about World of Warcraft: "You could make a brilliant World of Warcraft movie - as fine as any of the best superhero movies - if you had the right writers and directors."
Saving Private Ryan and The Patroit screenwriter Robert Rodat has signed on to scribe the Warcraft film.