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Rob McElhenney has found success in Hollywood thanks to his role as creator, producer, writer and co-star of the FXX series It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, but since the show debuted back in 2005 he hasn't actually done much outside of it. That's about to change in a major way, as its been reported that he has just landed the job directing the upcoming video game movie Minecraft.
Deadline has the scoop on this development, noting that McElhenney has not yet had the experience of helming a feature film. His only experience as a director to this point has been on two early episodes of It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and a pilot for an FX series called Pariah starring Bill Burr. He's actually the second filmmaker to take the reins of Minecraft, as it was originally set up as a project to be made by Night At The Museum's Shawn Levy (who wound up leaving due to creative differences with Mojang, the creators of the popular video game).
At this stage, it's not entirely clear why Mojang and Warner Bros. would look to someone with so little experience to helm the Minecraft film - but Deadline definitely paints a picture of Rob McElhenney as a guy who knows how to get stuff done. Not only did he decide to create It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia after getting sick of acting auditions, but it's also noted that he went above and beyond when it came to selling Figment - a feature he is currently developing with Legendary Pictures that he is set to both write and direct. When he presented his idea for the family action film, he came prepped with a 20-minute pitch as well as a four-minute test reel. Legendary found this impressive enough to make a deal.
As it currently exists, the Minecraft movie is definitely a big mystery. Shawn Levy said that Mojang rejected his idea of creating a film with the material that is in the spirit of The Goonies - but that idea was ultimately rejected, so we're left really knowing nothing about what to expect from the in-development Hollywood feature. The "sandbox" structured source material, which allows players to build complex environments out of pixelated blocks, doesn't really offer too much in the way of narrative structure - so until we hear any official details from Warner Bros., all we really have is speculation.
Knowing that Rob McElhenney doesn't have a ton of experience as a director, what do you think about him getting the job at the helm of the Minecraft movie? Do you think he's a good choice, or would you have preferred to see someone with a bit more veteran status take on the material?