Jason Momoa is reportedly in “final negotiations” to star in the very much still alive live-action film adaptation of Minecraft, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) will direct.
This announcement renews hope for the long-delayed project, which was swirling in production hell doubts after It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Rob McElhenney‘s version unceremoniously fell apart in 2018. According to McElhenney, he devoted nearly three years to developing the film and Warner Bros. committed to a $150 million budget, but when Warner Bros. movie chief Greg Silverman left the studio in 2016 to pursue other projects–Minecraft slid onto the back burner, until this report. A previous version of the film at one point was slated to star Steve Carrell.
The Hollywood Reporter is also indicating that Dune’s Mary Parent and Roy Lee will produce. Jill Messick will receive a posthumous producing credit for her work developing the film. Executive producers include Jon Berg, Cale Boyter, and Jon Spaihts.
Minecraft surging forward–though still without a production start or release date–is not a surprise as video game franchises have increasingly proven more winning at the box office than ever before. Streets of Rage is the most recent movie reportedly coming from dj2 Entertainment alone, the production company behind Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog movie series as well as the upcoming It Takes Two and Disco Elysium projects. Meanwhile, director Chad Stahelski is making a Ghost of Tsushima film for Sony, and the movie recently brought on writer Takashi Doscher.
Momoa’s return to the role of Aquaman in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is due out in March 2023.