Back in 2015, Warner Bros. and Mojang announced that It’s Always Sunny star Rob McElhenney would direct the Minecraft movie. McElhenney at the time said he was looking forward to doing something “stranger and wonderful” with the movie. Now he’s left the project, and the movie has been delayed beyond its previously announced May 2019 release window, apparently.
“No, that is not happening,” McElhenney told The Wrap.
The website also reported that Warner Bros. has hired new writers, Aaron and Adam Nee (Band of Robbers), to pen the latest draft of the script. Wonder Woman writer Jason Fuchs wrote the previous draft.
McElhenney is at least the second director to leave the Minecraft movie. Night at the Museum and Stranger Things director Shawn Levy was previously attached to direct a movie that was going to be a Goonies-style adventure. However, Mojang vetoed this idea and Levy exited the project. Levy is now set to direct the upcoming Uncharted film starring Tom Holland as a young Nathan Drake.
Little is known about the Minecraft movie. Mojang COO Vu Bui stressed back in 2015 that the film is not going to be the definitive, official take on Minecraft’s story–because it doesn’t really even have one. “We don’t want any story that we make, whether it’s a movie or a book, to create some sort of ‘this is the official Minecraft, this is how you play the game’ thing,” he said. “That would discourage all the players who don’t play in that way. When coming up with a story [for the movie], we want to make sure it is just a story within Minecraft, as opposed to the story within Minecraft.”
Part of what Minecraft so great is that has central, defining story but it rather an open-ended sandbox experience where players can create and do anything they want. Mojang experimented with story-telling in the Minecraft universe with its partnership with Telltale for the adventure game series Minecraft: Story Mode.
The film will be produced by The Departed’s Roy Lee.