Director Shawn Levy exits Warner Bros.' 'Minecraft' movie

Shawn Levy packs up his building blocks, won't direct 'Minecraft' movie for Warner Bros.

Filmmaker Shawn Levy has packed up his building blocks and parted ways with Warner Bros.' movie project based on the popular online video game "Minecraft."

The studio had tapped Levy to develop and direct a film inspired by the game back in October, but the "Night at the Museum" and "Real Steel" director told The Times in a recent interview that "Minecraft" won't be his next movie after all.

"A writing team and I had developed a whole take on 'Minecraft,' and it did not fit with what the game makers want for their brand," Levy said. "I felt we had a good approach. It didn't sync up with what the manufacturers want. That's completely their prerogative. It's their massively successful company."

Warner Bros. will likely move quickly to find a new director for the film, which is on the fast track.

Created by the Swedish programmer Markus "Notch" Persson in 2011, "Minecraft" is a game in which players create avatars, roam around, collect material, create tools and edifices, and survive monsters and other perils.

It's no wonder that Warner Bros. is bullish on the property: "Minecraft" is played by tens of millions of children and adults worldwide. In September, Microsoft shelled out $2.5 billion to acquire "Minecraft" maker Mojang.

With its blocky 8-bit aesthetic and open-ended (that is, nonexistent) plot, "Minecraft" also recalls "The Lego Movie," one of Warner's biggest box-office successes this year.

As for Levy's next moves, he's developing a "Tinker Bell" comedy with Melissa McCarthy and an Ali Baba retelling called "Forty Thieves." His next movie, "Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb," hits theaters Dec. 19.

Follow @ogettell and @joshrottenberg for movie news

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
84°