Renegade film director Uwe Boll has told MTV that he approached Blizzard for the film rights to World of Warcraft.

He was not-so-politely refused. According to Boll, "I got in contact with [chief operating officer] Paul Sams of Blizzard, and he said, 'We will not sell the movie rights, not to you... especially not to you.'"

Boll is the director of a string of game-licensed films - including BloodRayne, Alone in the Dark, Postal, House of the Dead, Dungeon Siege and the forthcoming Far Cry - that have been poorly received by gamers. So much so that Boll famously challenged his critics to a series of boxing matches.

"Because it's such a big online game success, maybe a bad movie would destroy that ongoing income, what the company has with it," said Boll of Blizzard's decision.

Blizzard did eventually sell the movie rights, however. A live-action Warcraft film is in production by Legendary Pictures, the outfit behind Batman Begins and 300. It's currently slated for a 2009 release, although no director or cast has been attached as yet.

Speaking at last year's BlizzCon convention in Los Angeles, the producers revealed that the film has a USD 100 million budget, and will be set slightly before the time frame of the original WOW release. Blizzard story guru Chris Metzen added that it would concentrate on the war between Horde and Alliance from an Alliance perspective, feature a new hero character, and be "absolutely a war movie".

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Oli Welsh

Oli Welsh

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Oli is the editor of Eurogamer.net and likes to take things one word at a time. His friends call him The European, but that's just a coincidence. He's still playing Diablo 3.

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