There are multiple game properties that are currently being adapted into movies, though two in particular – Tetris and Minecraft – are peculiar choices for adaptation to multiple platforms simply because they neither have a conventional narrative, nor readily lend themselves to one as a film. The Tetris movie has been described as an intergalactic adventure (one that may only be tangentially connected to the source game), while all we know about the latter is that the original game – where players are dropped into a blank world where they must create and build various tools and/or structures while fending off monsters at night – might become a live-action film.
Deadline is reporting that Shawn Levy has entered talks with Warner Bros. for him to develop Minecraft, with the intention being that he will also direct the film. WB recently hit it big when it recruited Phil Lord and Chris Miller to turn a similarly tricky-to-adapt product, the LEGO toyline, into a motion picture. Lord and Miller’s resulting The LEGO Movie was a critical and financial hit, and now two LEGO film spinoffs (along with a direct sequel) are scheduled to arrive over the next four years.
However, in terms of his artistic credibility, Levy is no Lord and Miller. He is, though, a filmmaker with a number of financial successes under his belt, such as the Night at the Museum franchise (the third installment in which opens this December) as well as the film Real Steel (which could still get a sequel).
Levy being approached to direct Minecraft also clearly signals that WB intends for the project to kickoff a family-friendly brand; though Levy has worked on more adult fare in the past (most recently with the R-Rated dysfunctional family drama This Is Where I Leave You), that’s not at all his bread and butter. Indeed, as entertaining it would be if an indie filmmaker were hired to turn Minecraft into, say, a surreal depiction of a lonely architect’s struggle to battle their internal demons (which manifest themselves as literal demons at night), that’s not going to happen.
In all seriousness, though, the question of what a Minecraft film would be about, is not one that has an obvious answer. Levy’s movie could, for example, feature a plot where a magical plot device allows humans to enter the digital Minecraft world – recalling how the Night at the Museum films are all about magical historical museum exhibits coming to life – or, instead, take place in a fantasy setting where dangerous creatures attack the citizens at night only.
The possibilities are endless(?), but best bet is that Minecraft will involve some typical kids’ movie plot device and/or gimmick, rather than something more daring along the lines of LEGO Movie‘s metafictional narrative about the movie-making industry right now. Still, there’s the chance that Levy will manage to surprise (he’s arguably done it before), so we’ll let you know when we have more information to offer on the matter.
Minecraft currently does not have an official theatrical release date.