It’s no secret that Warner Bros. has been toiling long and hard to turn world-building video game Minecraft into a feature film, and today brings word that the studio has finally tapped a new director for the high-profile project: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia‘s Rob McElhenney.
The multi-talented thesp is one of the driving creative forces behind the long-running FX comedy, serving as the show’s star, creator, developer and executive producer, as well as occasional writer and director. In addition to helming three episodes of It’s Always Sunny, McElhenney also shot a TV movie called Pariah that is still awaiting release.
Shawn Levy, who directed the Night at the Museum film, was previously attached to direct the Minecraft, but he left seven months back over creative differences, taking writers Kieran and Michelle Mulroney with him.
Mojang.com first reported news of McElhenney’s involvement, and he then corroborated it with a tweet:
Hey @Mojang let’s do something strange and wonderful.
— Rob McElhenney (@RMcElhenney) July 21, 2015
Though he may seem like a way-out-of-left-field pick for the gig, the star is a passionate professional who has successfully pitched his own projects in the past, and that may have been the case here.
With a four-minute test reel of two scenes from a planned project and a 20-minute pitch, McElhenney last year closed a deal at Legendary Pictures to make his feature writing and directing debut on Figment, a family action adventure about an imaginative boy and his family forced to face their greatest fears when they come to life.
And even before that, McElhenney, Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton and company shot episodes of It’s Always Sunny from their own idea and sold it to FX based on what they shot, after going to seven networks with the idea. Clearly, he’s determined, and WB was taken in by whatever pitch he gave for Minecraft.
WB acquired rights to a Minecraft movie after hitting it big with The LEGO Movie, and the studio is certainly hoping for another franchise here. We’ll bring you more on McElhenney’s vision for the pic as it comes out.