A Minecraft movie based on the popular video game has been delayed after its director and co-writer Rob McElhenney left the project.
McElhenny told The Wrap that the film's expected May 2019 release date "is not happening." Instead, Warner Bros. has announced that Aaron and Adam Nee will write a new script to replace the previous screenplay written by McElhenny and Jason Fuchs. McElhenny, who also plays Mac on It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, did not get into specifics about why he left the project.
Since Warner Bros. acquired the rights to adapt the game to film in early 2014, the project has been hit with numerous setbacks. The movie was originally going to be directed by Shawn Levy until he dropped out of the project in late 2014 due to creative differences with Minecraft developer Mojang. At the time, Levy told The Wall Street Journal, "We came up with an approach that felt good to us, and I discussed it with Mojang, the game makers who make Minecraft, and they were like, 'That doesn't sound like what we want. If we're going to see a movie get made, we don't know what we want, but that doesn't feel right.'"
Roy Lee is still named as the film's producer. In 2016, he spoke with Collider about Mojang's hands-on approach with the project. "The company, Mojang, is very involved in the development," he explained. "So they know everything is going to be in the movie that can give us insight into future updates so we can put things into the movie around the same time they relaunch newer versions of the game and at the same time, potentially taking ideas from the movie and putting them into the game. So I don’t know exactly what things are going into the game, but they know exactly what’s going into the movie."
Lee also revealed to Collider that the Minecraft film will be going after "the same target audience as Jurassic World."