Once Sam Raimi was unceremoniously booted from Spider-Man 4 along with the cast and crew, speculation was rampant as to what he would direct next. World of Warcraft? What about The Shadow? He's wanted to do that for a long, long time and as of last January, it was chugging along quite nicely. Whatever he picked, we were rooting for him. But now The Shadow has vanished into the darkness, as Variety reports that Sony has let the rights lapse. It's hard not to read into this and see it as evidence of bad blood between Sony and Raimi. I don't want to jump to gossipy conclusions, but if things were good, wouldn't you at least agree to be friends and make The Shadow together?

Raimi's reps at CAA are now shopping The Shadow rights around town, and Raimi is still attached as a producer. So at least he gets to keep his pet pulp, even if it's standing on shaky ground. Not only does it delay a possible film, but it could all land in some uncompromising hands. One of the interested parties is 20th Century Fox. Latino Review says they've already purchased The Shadow and may have set David Slade to direct, while Variety is merely reporting Fox as "interested."

Slade and Raimi go way back (30 Days of Night) so it makes sense that Raimi would offer the chair to an old friend. But I was hoping he'd step into the director's chair for a little noir before heading into Warcraft. At least we know that's likely to be his next director's outing by sheer default. Start casting your Night Elves now!