It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia star and co-creator Rob McElhenney has signed on to direct Warner Bros.' Minecraft video game adaptation. The filmmaker replaces Shawn Levy, who backed out of directing Minecraft back in December, with screenwriters Kieran Mulroney and Michele Mulroney also parting ways with the project. It isn't known if Rob McElhenney will also take a crack at the script, or if the studio is seeking new writers. Here's what Vu Bui, CEO of Minecraft publisher Mojang, had to say in a statement.
"Some of you may have seen this guy hanging around MINECON in London a couple weeks ago. He's Rob McElhenney, and he's going to be directing the upcoming Minecraft movie."
Back in October, Rob McElhenney set up a project entitled Figment at Warner Bros., which was slated to be his directorial debut. Since it isn't known when either Figment or Minecraft will move forward first, it remains unclear which of these projects will hit theaters first. Aside from these two movies, he has directed three episodes of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and the pilot episode for an FX series entitled Pariah, starring Bill Burr.
Warner Bros. acquired the rights to this popular video game back in February, with Roy Lee producing through his Vertigo Entertainment company alongside Jill Messick. Shawn Levy had been set to direct for just a few months before backing out, since the filmmaker's ideas didn't match up with what Mojang was looking for. Warner Bros. hasn't issued a release date for Minecraft quite yet, so we're not quite sure when production may begin at this time, or when casting may start.
Minecraft was created in 2009, and is currently one of the most popular "open world" games, with over 100 million registered users for the online game at Minecraft.net. The XBox 360 version has also sold over 10 million units. The game allows users to use bricks to build massive walls to protect them from the evil creatures in a realm known as The Nether. Since there isn't exactly a narrative story that unfolds in the game, we'll have to wait and see how they develop this into a feature film.
Rob McElhenney himself responded to the news on his own Twitter page, stating he wants to do somethign "strange and wonderful" with the video game adaptation. Do you think Rob McElhenney has what it takes to bring the Minecraft world to life on the big screen? Let us know what you think, and stay tuned for more details on Minecraft.