Warner Bros. is still intent on making a Minecraft movie, and the long-developing project now has a new director. Back in 2014, Warner Bros. scored the rights to adapt the popular video game into a feature film, setting The LEGO Movie producer Roy Lee to produce. Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) was subsequently attached to direct, but he fell off the project due to scheduling issues and in 2015 Warner Bros. made a left turn and hired It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creator/star Rob McElhenney. He developed the project for a couple of years, and Steve Carell at one point was interested in starring, but eventually that iteration too fell apart.
Now Variety reports that Warner Bros. is back at it, hiring filmmaker Peter Sollett to direct. Sollett is, like Elhenney, an unexpected choice. He first broke out with his 2002 drama Raising Victor Vargas and subsequently helmed the romantic drama Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and 2015’s relationship drama Freeheld. He’s directed some episodes of TV in between on shows like Vinyl and The Path, but Minecraft is certainly his most high-profile project thus far.
The report has no details as to who’s writing the script or what the story will entail, but McElhenney worked with Jason Fuchs (Wonder Woman) on a previous draft. Back in 2016, Roy Lee told us that the film would be targeting PG-13 audience in the vein of Jurassic World, and teased a logline that would find Minecraft being pat of a multiverse where humans can enter. But that was a while ago and the film has gone through development since, so it’s possible the entire approach has been reworked.
It’ll be interesting to see if, when Minecraft is finally released, the audience is still there. Kids were obsessed with Minecraft a couple of years ago, but trends change as kids age, and at the moment Fortnite is all the rage. Will Minecraft still be popular enough for that target audience in a few years? I suppose we’ll find out.