As much as I love The LEGO Movie, if there’s one aspect of its very well-earned success that irks me, it’s that studios now think they can take any toy/game/random concept and turn it into a box office busting movie franchise (Yes, Emoji movie, I’m looking at you!). Because of this, soon after The LEGO Movie hit it big, Warner Bros decided to corner the market on movies about stuff made out of blocks, and snapped up the movie rights to insanely popular video game
addiction sensation Minecraft.
Developed by Swedish developer Mojang, and recently sold to Microsoft for a whopping $2.5 billion, Minecraft has become entrenched in pop culture like few other video games, despite – or maybe because of – it being a plotless open world game, where players just run around crafting worlds using pixelated blocks. The game can literally be about anything, so of course it was tapped to be a movie.
Originally Night At the Museum‘s Shawn Levy was picked by WB/Mojang to direct, but he fell out of the production last September after Mojang rejected his idea to make it an adventure film with “a bit of a Goonies flair”. But now Mojang themselves have now announced that they’ve found a replacement helmer in actor/director Rob McElhenney.
Some of you may have seen this guy hanging around MINECON in London a couple weeks ago. He’s Rob McElhenney, and he’s going to be directing the upcoming Minecraft movie.
McEllhenney is best known as the co-creator of long-running popular sitcom It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia which is currently in its 10th season, with two more on the way. He was an out of work actor, tired of the endless audition process who decided to just grab a video camera and shoot episodes on the cheap for a new sitcom with friends Charlie Day and Glenn Howerton, which they then shopped around to TV studios. The show was of picked up by FX, and It’s Always Sunny was born and has been a huge success for McElhenney ever since.
Deadline elaborates that the young actor recently decided to branch out into feature film directing though (he’s directed some episodes of It’s Always Sunny), having already successfully signed a deal with Legendary to write and direct an original movie titled Figment, which is described as “a family action adventure about an imaginative boy and his family who are thrown for a loop when their greatest fears come to life”. McElhenney apparently wowed Legendary with a 4-minute test reel and a passionate 20-minute pitch to get that gig, and it looks he may have used the same charm on the folks at WB/Mojang.
At this point in time, very little is known about what a Minecraft movie from McElhenney will look like – especially since it’s his feature film debut – but I’m sure that Warner Bros is hoping that once again, everything can be awesome.
Last Updated: July 23, 2015