Is Minecraft finally going to be the film that breaks the video game hoodoo that has blighted most of Hollywood's attempts to bring the medium's stories to the big screen? That remains to be seen, but we'll now have to wait a big longer to find out. Warner Bros. have confirmed that their planned adaptation has been pushed back a year to 2019, a month that's full of huge releases from some of Hollywood's biggest franchises.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner Bros. have picked out the release date of May 25, 2019, for the live-action adaptation of the hugely popular, world-building video game, which, as of June 2016, has sold over 106 million copies, and is played by over 40 million unique Minecraft players every single month. Obviously, this is a huge market to tap into, and Warner Bros. have tasked Rob McElhenney with the task of bringing Minecraft's narrative to the big-screen and appealing to its users, as well as expanding it for a mainstream audience. As is the norm with Hollywood now, Warner Bros. will also be hopeful that it can expand into a fully-fledged franchise and universe, similar to the success of the studio's other property, The Lego Movie, which has at least three sequels or spinoffs in development.
What hasn't been fully revealed is exactly what the Minecraft film will actually revolve around. That's because there's not really too much of a narrative to the game, as there's no definitive objective, there's no winner, and you actually just have to break and build blocks. Minecraft's most distinctive feature is that its entire world is made up of rough and retro 3D objects, and players acquire different materials, such as dirt, stone, water, lava, trees, which they then maneuver into different locations on their grids. Enthralled? I didn't think so. Along the way, mobs that are made up of animals, villagers, and creatures cause some strife for players.
While that might not sound overly cinematic, this provides a huge amount of creative freedom for Rob McElhenney, who created, starred in and written It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia over the course of 11 seasons. Rob McElhenney's ascension to the big screen from the small is what makes Minecraft's impending release so intriguing. The big question is whether Rob McElhenney, whose work on It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia has skewered to a more mature audience, can produce a film that appeals to a mainstream, family demographic, especially since this will actually be his first feature film as a director
It's going to be a big ask for Minecraft to market itself and appeal to this audience, though, as May 2019 is packed to the brim with huge releases from some of Hollywood's biggest franchises. This includes the second part of Avengers: Infinity War, as well as Star Wars: Episode IX. You've probably heard something about them. However, if Minecraft can get its tone right, then it should prove to be an alluring alternative to these blockbusters, and one that the whole family can enjoy.