Warner Bros' planning new franchise on 'World of Warcraft'

London, July 23 (IANS) Hollywood studio Warner Bros. is on the verge of launching a new fantasy franchise based on popular game "World of Warcraft", and feels it has the potential of becoming as successful as its "Harry Potter" and "Batman" blockbusters.

Wednesday's New York Times reports, the studio will co-finance and distribute Legendary Pictures' film version of "World of Warcraft", based on the most heavily played multiplayer online game, which has more than 11 million monthly subscribers.

Legendary has signed director Sam Raimi, who helmed the three Spider-Man movies and is currently working on the fourth to direct the first film, which Warner said that it plans to release theatrically in 2012.

Production of "World of Warcraft" is expected to begin after Raimi finishes work on "Spider-Man 4".

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