Warner Bros. has slated a release date for their upcoming film adaptation of the popular video game, Minecraft. Directed by It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creator Rob McElhenney, Minecraft will take aim at the summer movie season on May 24, 2019.
After the success that The Angry Birds Movie showcased earlier this year, it’s no wonder that studios are looking to mine (ugh) every popular game property out there, especially ones that are targeted towards younger consumers and family audiences. The rise of casual gaming — primarily thanks to the mobile phone market — has installed new franchises that will become cornerstones of our pop culture landscape. The pervasiveness of Minecraft makes that clear; the game is a juggernaut when it comes to merchandising and cultural saturation.
What has me remaining cautious is the narrative potential of Minecraft and its world. Granted, Telltale Games has produced Minecraft: Story Mode which proves that the possibility for story and character development is there. However, it will take the right hands to make something special out of it. As a die-hard fan of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I have a ton of faith that Rob McElhenney will bring that specialness to the table. It’s obvious that Warner Bros. wants to recapture some of the magic they had with The Lego Movie — which featured McElhenney’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia co-star Charlie Day as Benny the astronaut — and Minecraft is a property that’s malleable enough to allow someone comedically talented like McElhenny to run wild with it.
We’ve got a while to wait when it comes to Minecraft, but hopefully that gives the filmmakers involved enough time to craft (UGH) a movie that a non-Minecraft fan such as myself will find amusing and interesting. I was utterly cynical about The Lego Movie and that turned out to be one of the best films of 2014. I wish the same for Minecraft.