The Live-Action Minecraft Movie Just Cemented an Exciting Hollywood Trend
These newfangled “video games” just might be here to stay.
For decades, movies and TV shows based on video games were considered so risky the term “video game curse” was automatically attached to every project. Recently, however, game adaptations have finally shed their terrible reputations. From The Last of Us and The Super Mario Bros. Movie to Halo and the upcoming Fallout, games have finally broken through at the box office and on streaming platforms.
Now, the upcoming Minecraft movie could prove that the success of one of 2023’s biggest movies wasn’t an anomaly, but the confirmation of a growing trend.
The Last of Us is generally credited with hammering the final nail into the video game curse’s coffin, but its dead-serious tone and “Peak TV” production values seemed to suggest that only the grittiest game adaptations could find a mainstream foothold. Then The Super Mario Bros. Movie proved darkness wasn’t the only path to success, making over a billion dollars with its bright and goofy adventure.
According to Deadline, Mario Bros. Movie star Jack Black (of “Peaches” fame) will also star in the Minecraft movie, a live-action adaptation of the open-world sandbox game directed by Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre director Jared Hess. Black, who’s reportedly playing main character Steve, will join Jason Momoa, Emma Myers, and Danielle Brooks in the cast.
Minecraft’s story and writing credits are still under wraps, but with an iconic star onboard, the movie has all the ingredients for a hit. If so, it will be the latest in a long line of lighthearted video game fare: Sonic the Hedgehog, Detective Pikachu, even Angry Birds. Those all saw good box office returns, and Super Mario Bros. saw incredible profit, but Minecraft is a generation-defining game and could be the biggest entry into this subgenre yet.
Maybe it’s not shocking that cute movies based on popular video games are making good money, but most of those titles are just a few years old. Before them, “video game movie” meant a muddled PG-13 action flick that probably bombed, so it’s exciting to see that video game fare is now likely to give families a good time at the multiplex.
If it lives up to its potential, Minecraft could prove for good that a “video game movie” isn’t as niche as people may think. Like any other genre, it’s full of variety and chances for experimentation. Any game can be adapted into something fun: sweeping epics, sci-fi adventures, and low-stakes platformers. Failing that, Black will likely perform an amusing song about creepers, so that’s something.