It looks like HBO Max is sneaking up on Netflix and Paramount+ with a new gaming IP under their belt. the hollywood reporter confirmed that Jason Momoa is in final negotiations to star in Warner Bros.’ live-action “Minecraft” movie.
The popular video game Minecraft, loved by 11-year-olds and YouTube gamers, debuted in 2011 and allows players to create worlds and structures with pixelated blocks of brown, green and other colors. The game exploded in popularity, as stores filled their aisles with merchandise such as foam swords and mystery toy boxes. Then in 2014, a few years after its release, Microsoft acquired Mojang for $2.5 billion.
The Minecraft franchise continues to be very popular, having been ported to multiple video game systems, given spin-offs, and winning many awards since its release. In December it exceeded one trillions points of view (yes I said billions) on YouTube and in 2021 there was more than 140 million monthly users. So it’s no surprise at all that Warner Bros. wants to get their hands on such a popular IP universe.
The studio has been developing a project based on the game since 2014, with Shawn Levy first directing, then “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” star Rob McElhenne coming on to direct, but also leaving the project in 2018. However, to release last month on March 4, it was delayed due to “The Batman.”
Jared Hess (“Napoleon Dynamite,” “Nacho Libre”) is now set to direct from a script written by Chris Bowman and Hubbell Palmer. The film will be produced by Mary Parent and Roy Lee, along with Jill Messick who will receive a posthumous production credit for developing the film prior to her passing in 2018. Executive producers include Cale Boyter, Jon Berg and Jon Spaihts. Lydia Winters and Vu Bui of Sweden’s Mojang Studios will also produce.
It’s not exactly clear who Momoa will play in the film, or even if Minecraft Steve will appear.
TechCrunch requested comment to confirm the report and its details.
Mojang Studios released the history in 2019, which read:
The malevolent Ender Dragon sets out on a path of destruction, leading a young woman and her group of unlikely adventurers to set out to save the Overworld.
No release date has been set, however, Warner Bros.’ lease of rights to “Minecraft” will expire next year. That said, production will have to start soon, according to the anklet.
Movies and game shows have been on a hot streak lately, with the recent release of Paramount+’s “Halo” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” as well as Sony’s “Uncharted” and 20the Century’s “Free Guy”, among many others. The “Halo” series is based on the hit sci-fi game franchise of the same name, whose new installment “Halo: Infinite” was released in December.
Additionally, another upcoming HBO title is based on the “Last of Us” video game.
Netflix has been pushing gaming titles with a new series “Exploding Kittens” and of course this is paired with their Netflix Games division. The company also has the “Arcane” animated series from “League of Legends” on its platform, as well as “The Witcher,” “The Cuphead Show!” and the new interactive “Trivia Quest”, based on the mobile game “Trivia Crack”.
Other game-based programs coming soon on netflix they include “Resident Evil,” “Cyberpunk: Edgerunners,” and “Assassin’s Creed.” Additionally, the streamer has commissioned projects like “Sonic Prime” starring Sonic the Hedgehog and a “Tomb Raider” series.
“Westworld” creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy are developing a “Fallout” series for Amazon, based on the post-apocalyptic game series. Prime Video was also reported to be in talks for a live-action movie. TV series “God of War”based on the PlayStation action-adventure game franchise.
We’ll have to see if upcoming video game-based titles like the Chris Pratt-directed “Mario” movie and “Minecraft” will keep up with the trend that Hollywood is so determined to push.