Production on a Minecraft film adaptation has been start-stop for years. Developer Mojang began receiving feelers from Hollywood producers as far back as 2012, but the Sweden-based studio barely entertained any offers. That changed when an industry titan came knocking; come the end of 2014, Mojang and Warner Bros. were said to be in "early development" on a Minecraft film.
Since then, movement on the video game story has been quiet. Real Steel director Shawn Levy was initially tapped to helm the project, but dropped not too long after. Minecraft would go through multiple other directors throughout the 2010s, and failure to lock down any names put the movie's ambitious May 2019 release date in limbo. It would then be delayed to March 2022, but the pandemic made that new date unattainable once more.
While film adaptations of video games have been misses historically, recent releases have added some big W's to the hit column. Spring 2021's Uncharted and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 left both franchises' fans satisfied, and the receipts did not disappoint.
With Sony and Paramount crushing their video game adaptations, Warner Bros. is looking to cash in on their decade-old ticket by bringing in a proven box office draw as Minecraft's top-billed star.
Aquaman's Jason Momoa Negotiating Minecraft Role
The King of Atlantis might be heading to the Overworld.
According to The Ankler, Aquaman and Dune star Jason Momoa is "in negotiations" to voice the main protagonist of Warner Bros.' Minecraft film. The report states Warner has hopes that this first adaptation could turn into a film franchise. Napoleon Dynamite's Jared Hess is slated to direct the project, while Hidden Figures writer Allison Schroeder has been attached to pen the movie since June 2019.
Warner's film rights to Minecraft expire in just nine months. In order to retain those rights, the studio has to be in active production on a Minecraft film by January 2023.
This would be Momoa's third go at a voice-acting role. The former Khal Drogo lent his pipes to both The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part and a 2019 episode of The Simpsons, where he voiced Aquaman both times.
Warner's Fast Lane to Minecraft
While WB has no shortage of iconic intellectual property, the studio knows its sitting on a winning lottery ticket with Minecraft.
As of January 2021, Minecraft boasts 131 million active monthly users and has sold over 200 million copies of the game. Users are incredibly engaged as well, as the 8-bit style open world game has accumulated an insurmountable 68 million years of total gameplay across all of its players.
With that and the recent box office appeal of video game movies in mind, Warner's fast progress on Minecraft makes it clear that they do not want to let these rights expire.
Unlike 1994's unreleased The Fantastic Four, which was solely made to ensure executive producer Bernd Eichinger would retain the film rights to Marvel's first family, Warner is taking this first crack at a Minecraft film seriously. Bringing in a bonafide draw like Momoa indicates Warner is bent on honoring former Mojang CEO Carl Manneh's wishes that a Minecraft film only be made if it's the "right idea."
Minecraft is currently in development, and will aim to go into production before the end of 2021.