Minecraft says a live-acton film adaptation is still moving forward, and is currently scheduled to reach theaters in 2022. Released in 2011, the Minecraft video game franchise started out as a simple sandbox game (that is, one without a clear-cut storyline or goal) where players mine for resources, gather supplies, and craft items in a world where everything's made of low-res blocks (the characters included). It has since become one of the biggest-selling video games of all time, been adapted for multiple platforms, and spawned (no pun intended) tie-in merchandise galore, alone with a Minecraft: Story Mode spinoff game.
Unsurprisingly, in light of the IP's popularity, Warner Bros. has been trying to get a live-action Minecraft movie off the ground since 2014. So far, though, the project has struggled to gain much traction, with directors like Shawn Levy (Stranger Things) and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia's Rob McElhenney having passed on the film over the years. It looks like that's finally changing, now that Peter Sollett (Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist) has signed on to write and direct the project for WB.
Minecraft has posted a fresh update on the movie to its official website, revealing that it's now scheduled to hit theaters on March 4, 2022, with Sollett at the helm. According to the announcement, the film will indeed be live-action, and will follow a teenaged girl as she and her fellow "unlikely" adventurers set out to save "their beautiful, blocky Overworld" from a "malevolent" villain called the Ender Dragon.
It's no mystery as to why the Minecraft movie has struggled to move forward up to this point. For starters, the original game doesn't have a narrative (the Story Mode spinoff aside), and is even more inherently "plotless" than recent video games-turned films like Angry Birds and Rampage. As a result, it doesn't immediately lend itself to a movie interpretation the way that action or story-driven gaming properties like Tomb Raider and Resident Evil do. There's also the tricky nature of the Minecraft universe. It's a place where everything is, well, blocky, so the physics and design of that world will require some tinkering in order to work in a live-action setting (even one that's primarily brought to life through CGI).
On the other hand, a live-action Minecraft film might feel all the more unique and imaginative because of this. Taking place in a quirky live-action video game universe has certainly helped to set next month's Detective Pikachu apart from the rest of the blockbuster crowd, so it stands to reason that a tentpole set in the world of Minecraft could feel equally innovative and fresh. The Minecraft film's plot sounds like a straightforward adventure so far, but that might be for the best, given the sure-to-be peculiar nature of its setting. And as far away as the project's 2022 release seems right now, Sollett will undoubtedly appreciate having the time he needs to fine-tune his vision for what a Minecraft movie should even be like.