Warner Bros.’ big video game adaptation, Minecraft, won’t be hitting cinema screens anytime soon, after it was reported earlier this week that director Shawn Levy had left the movie. Signing onto the adaptation of Mojang Games’ best-selling game in October, it was a fast turnaround when he bowed out less than two months later. At the time there was little reason given for his sharp exit, but Levy has since opened up about the topic in an interview with the Wall Street Journal (via /Film).
On the surface, it seems like the brief reason offered in the initial announcement – creative differences – holds true. In a lighthearted approach, Levy jokingly says he’s “let the children of America down,” before expanding on the specifics of the split:
What happened simply is, Warners asked me to develop kind of how might this ever be a story for a movie, because it’s not a narrative game. 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 gonna see a movie get made. We don’t know what we want, but that doesn’t feel right. And I said okay, well that feels like — that’s a movie I can envision.
When asked on what he had planned for the flick, Levy said it had a bit of “Goonies flair” (wipe your eyes folks, it’s not gonna happen!) before outlining his overall idea:
“It was gonna be an adventure movie. I thought it could have been a lot of fun and fulfilled a lot of the qualities people love about the game. But you know what it’s not my game, they know what they’re doing. And the truth is there is a long history of trying to make great movies out of games, and they’re rarely done well. I think Mojang is still figuring out what they want. We gave it a shot and it wasn’t the right fit, and so these things happen.
While we’re ultimately gutted that Levy’s take will never reach the big screen, he’s still got plenty to keep him busy in the meantime. His next move will be a selection from several options, including the Will Smith-starrer The City That Sailed, the Tinkerbell adaptation with Melissa McCarthy, the Ali Baba story 40 Thieves or a Real Steel sequel.
As for Minecraft, it’s back to the drawing board for Warner, as the hunt for a new director continues.