Sam Raimi's relationship with film adaptations of videogames is more storied than most.
He was heavily involved in several aborted attempts to get Warcraft off the ground before he eventually left the project - only for Duncan Jones to come in and try make it his own. The other adaptation Raimi took on was Naughty Dog's The Last Of Us, which would have been right up his alley.
After all, it's a zombie horror apocalypse mixed with family drama and action beats. Neil Druckman, the creative director of Naughty Dog and screenwriter of the adapted film, admitted in a recent interview that no work had been done on the film in over a year and a half and, just now, Raimi has backed up Druckman's claims and even gone a step further.
"Right now it's just sitting there," explained Raimi in an interview with IGN. "They don't want to move forward, and it's not my place to say why, and Neil, I think, is in a slight disagreement with them about how things should go so there's a standstill. And I don't have the power to move it."
Raimi went on, revealing that "Neil's plan for it is not the same as Sony's."
"And because my company doesn't have the rights, I actually can't help him too much. Even though I'm one of the producers on it the way he set it up, he sold his rights to Sony, Sony hired me as a producer by chance, and I can't get the rights free for him so I'm not in the driver's seat and I can't tell you what Sony and Neil together will decide on. If they do move forward I'd love to help them again."
That, folks, is a clear-and-cut case of development hell if ever we saw. Studio in-fighting, ego and a script that's gathering dust and what with the underwhelming box office performance of Warcraft, it's no surprise that The Last Of Us isn't going anywhere.