Before The LEGO Movie's release this past February, no one would have imagined that the film would have turned out the way that it did. Crowds loved it for its humor and heart, and the box office returns showed that if you take the right approach to a seemingly unapproachable subject, moviegoers will follow. Warner Bros is hoping to strike that iron once more with the popular video game Minecraft, and they're approaching director Shawn Levy to make the magic happen.
Deadline scooped the news of the Night At The Museum director's possible hiring into the film adaptation of the overnight video game success story. While Levy most recently directed This Is Where I Leave You, audiences will remember that the director has also made films like the forthcoming Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb and Real Steel.
Since Minecraft is basically the digital equivalent of a LEGO freestyle set, it wouldn't be hard for Shawn Levy to craft a story around the environment's open-ended potential. But much like The LEGO Movie, the question is whether there's a good enough story to base a whole movie around.
If there was anyone who could theoretically do justice to this sort of concept, Shawn Levy would be at the top of the short list, as he has been able to take the concept of educational museums and turn them into a successful trilogy of family comedies with the Night At The Museum films. In which case, it would be advisable to tap Robert Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon to tag along as the writing staff for the Minecraft movie, seeing as their wit is an important part of the formula that's made the Museum films work so well.
With everything from Tetris to Warcraft being made into narrative films, it's not surprising that Minecraft has been snapped up from the ether, as it's on the same level of popularity in the video game community. Why pass up the opportunity to create Minecraft as an open-ended theatrical experience? It could yield a lucrative franchise opportunity. But much like Ridley Scott's Monopoly project, which was snapped up during Universal's land grab of Hasbro products that lead to Battleship and Ouija movies, Minecraft isn't exactly assured that it will make it into production.
Shawn Levy and Warner Bros are going to need all the luck they can get, as Minecraft is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to its potential as a film. To put it in the terms of the game itself, Levy and company are digging for platinum ore. But if they aren't careful, they could fall straight into a lava chamber and roast themselves out of a picture. As you can see with that analogy, it's not exactly material that writes itself, but with the right staff behind it, there's room for improvement.
In the meantime, you can see Levy finish his Night At The Museum franchise with Night At The Museum: Secret Of The Tomb, when it finds its way to theaters on December 19th.