The ‘Minecraft’ Movie Seeks a New Director as Shawn Levy Departs
The news in a nutshell: Warner Bros. is seeking a new director for their film adaptation of the beloved video game ‘Minecraft’ now that Shawn Levy has departed the project. Our commentary in a nutshell: Okay, that’s certainly news, but how the hell are they planning to make a ‘Minecraft’ movie in the first place?
Variety reports that Levy and screenwriters Kieran Mulroney and Michele Mulroney recently presented their take on the project and were told that it “didn’t mesh” with what the developers of the original game were looking for in an adaptation. Rather than work together to find some common ground, Levy decided to depart the film altogether. It’s hard to tell if this was a friendly parting of ways or something more bitter.
And we can’t even wager a guess as to what Levy’s take on the property would have looked like! Sure, he’s best known for noisy family comedies like the ‘Night at the Museum’ series, but he’s shown his serious (but still awfully noisy) side with films like ‘Real Steel.’ Did the studio reject a silly, comedic take or a more straightforward, fantasy/action take on this material? Based purely on his past as a filmmaker, he could have gone in either direction.
Guesswork on this production is made even more difficult by the fact that ‘Minecraft’ doesn’t have a story. It doesn’t even have characters! The game offers players a massive sandbox in which they can build whatever they want and do whatever they want. Although some gamers prefer the basic mode, where you have to build while surviving in a hostile landscape filled with monsters, the game’s massive rise in popularity has more to do with enemy-free (and therefore, drama-free) modes, where the players can construct whatever they want without fear of being killed while meticulously recreating the famous structure of their choice. If that is what the audience for ‘Minecraft’ enjoys about the game, what will they even be looking for in a movie? Would a film that follows the loose “build in a dangerous world” set-up of the standard game mode even appeal to them?
But alas, ‘Minecraft’ is a massive brand that has tapped into younger games like nothing in recent memory. A movie is an inevitability and the original article says that Warner Bros. hopes to have a new director by the time 2015 rolls around. Meanwhile, Levy is certainly not hurting for work. ‘Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb’ is out later this month and whether we like it or not, Levy is going to keep making movies and Warner Bros. is going to force a ‘Minecraft’ movie into existence.