The long-awaited Warcraft movie has been given a release date, the game's official Twitter has announced.
"We're pleased to announce that @Legendary Pictures' WARCRAFT will be released by @UniversalPics on December 18, 2015" read the tweet. That places it in the festive fantasy blockbuster slot that proved enormously successful for several of the Harry Potter films, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
The film has been in development since 2006. Spider-Man and Evil Dead director Sam Raimi came aboard as director in 2009, but left the project rather acrimoniously in 2012 claiming that Blizzard's "mismanagement" had left him and screenwriter Robert Rodat working on a script that the publisher hadn't approved.
The story has a happy ending, however, as Duncan Jones, director of Moon and Source Code stepped up. A keen gamer, Jones said in 2010 that he was "hugely jealous" of Raimi for landing the Warcraft job. "It's not worrying about how the game plays," he said at the time, "it's about creating the world of the game and investing the audience in that world."
The movie begins production in early 2014 and is said to be based around the Warcraft novel, The Last Guardian, with Colin Farrell rumoured as the star. A teaser for the film, showing a human fighting an orc, debuted at the San Diego Comic Con earlier this year. You can see Jones introducing the footage - but sadly not the footage itself - below.