There's a wave of video game movie adaptations on the horizon (including Need for Speed in March), which aim to usher in a new generation of quality entertainment for a genre that doesn't exactly have a stellar reputation, as far as its entries breaking new creative barriers. It's not just Microsoft and Sony games that already boast fully-formed narratives either, as even Rovio Entertainment's Angry Birds has a 3D-animated feature in development for release in 2016.
In other words, today's news of a Minecraft video game movie adaptation being in the works - with Warner Bros. having acquired the rights to the gaming property that was originally created by Swedish programmer Markus "Notch" Persson and then published by Swedish developer Mojang AB - doesn't exactly come as a shock, all things considered.
For those unfamiliar, Minecraft is an "open world" game where players construct various items and structures using textured cubes (composed of sand, stone, dirt) in a 3D environment; depending on what mode you play in, players may also have to battle the natural elements (weather, hunger) and/or monsters that come out at night ("creepers"), while harvesting plants and animals for food and supplies. (For a much, much more in-depth look at the Mincraft game property, you should check out the archives at Game Rant.)
Deadline is reporting that the Minecraft film adaptation is (surprisingly) being developed as a live-action vehicle, rather than, say, as a computer-animated feature. Presumably, then, the human characters won't carry over the charmingly rudimentary designs featured in the source game - a la how The LEGO Movie retains the simple architectural aesthetic of the original toys that inspired it (often for comedic effect, no less). As it were, LEGO Movie producer Roy Lee is overseeing the Minecraft movie for WB through his Vertigo Entertainment banner.
The Minecraft gaming franchise is exceedingly popular right now - with the Playstation 3 and XBox 360 versions reaching new sales heights in recent months - so chances are good that WB will push to get the ball rolling on this project sooner than later. Lee has a hand in a number of upcoming projects - including the LEGO Movie sequel that is scheduled to arrive in 2017 - but the next key step will be to recruit a screenwriter to shape the Minecraft concepts into... well, an actual story.
Therein lies the rub, as the saying goes. A Minecraft movie could be anything from a strangely literal-minded adaptation, where the protagonist wanders about the wilderness and builds things - like some kind of indie minimalism/nature drama a la All is Lost - to a dark and gritty post-civilization thriller, where the last remaining humans struggle to build and maintain shelter, in a sparse landscape where dangerous monsters roam about under the cover of darkness, with a setting reminiscent of Oblivion.
Or maybe it'll just be about a Minecraft player who gets stuck in the game, like how the upcoming Goosebumps movie is about an R.L. Stine-esque author (Jack Black) whose spooky novels come to life in the real world. Given Hollywood's track record, we're going to bet that an approach that falls on the less imaginative side will be used (though, as with The LEGO Movie, we could end up pleasantly surprised).
Got your own story ideas for a Minecraft movie? Pitch it to us in the comments section!
We'll keep you updated on Minecraft the movie as it develops.