The genre of film adaptations of video games is only getting stranger with the latest news about a Minecraft movie. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jason Momoa is "in final negotiations" to play the lead in a film version of the beloved building block game. Here's what we know about the project so far.
Sources at Warner Bros. said that a Minecraft movie has been in development since at least 2018, and now it is beginning to take shape. The movie will reportedly be directed by Jared Hess — best known for Napoleon Dynamite — and produced by Mary Parent, Roy Lee, John Berg, Cale Boyter, John Spaihts, Lydia Winters and Vu Bui. Acclaimed producer Jill Messick will get a posthumous credit on the movie, and since she passed away in 2018 we know that the movie has been in the works for a while. Still, Momoa's involvement remains the biggest surprise to fans, many of whom have a hard time imagining this action star taking over a passive franchise with little to no narrative.
Minecraft challenges players to create structures, habitats and entire worlds with simple templates mostly shaped like cubes. It was created by Mojang Studios in Sweden and it debuted in 2011. It has since become a global sensation with over 100 million users. Mojang Studios was acquired by Microsoft in 2014 for $2.5 billion.
Warner Bros. has reportedly been developing this project for some time and has gone through a few different iterations of talent along the way. At one point Shawn Levy was attached to direct, and at another Rob McElhenney was up for the job. It's unclear if any stars besides Momoa have been considered.
Historically, film adaptations of video games have gone badly and fans still have a healthy mistrust of the whole concept. However, in recent years there have been a few successes that have bolstered confidence in the idea. Just this month we saw Sonic the Hedgehog 2 zoom into theaters as a commercial and critical success.
Other success stories include the recent Mortal Kombat movie, Uncharted, Tomb Raider and Detective Pikachu, all of which have been reasonably well-received, if not beloved. There have also been movies like Free Guy which play on familiar video game tropes without adapting a specific intellectual property. However, it's going to take a lot more success than that to make fans forget about the Super Mario Bros. movie, among others.
There's no word yet on when the reported Minecraft movie will go into production or what it will really be about. The Minecraft game is available in various forms on mobile devices, video game consoles and computers.