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Jack Black becoming too powerful, will star as Steve in Minecraft movie

The voice of Bowser and Claptrap lands another video game role

Jack Black attends a screening of The Super Mario Bros. Movie in Los Angeles, California Photo: Leon Bennett/FilmMagic
Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Actor-musician Jack Black continues to be Hollywood’s go-to guy for video game roles: He’ll play Steve in the upcoming Minecraft movie, according to reports from Deadline and Variety. Black joins actors Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Danielle Brooks (Peacemaker), and Emma Myers (Wednesday) in the live-action adaptation of Mojang’s massive sandbox game.

Black, of course, starred in last year’s billion-dollar blockbuster adaptation of the Super Mario Bros. franchise as the voice of Bowser (and the crooner of “Peaches,” just one aspect of what made him the best thing about The Super Mario Bros. Movie). Black also stars in the upcoming adaptation of Borderlands — he’s Claptrap — and in two Jumanji flicks. All of which is to underscore that Jack Black has serious gamer cred, thanks in no small part to his roles in Broken Age, Psychonauts 2, and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2.

We don’t know yet what the Minecraft movie is about, with Deadline (worryingly) reporting that writing credits are “still being determined.” But we do know that director Jared Hess (Napoleon Dynamite) is helming the project, and will reunite with Black after their work together on 2006’s Nacho Libre.

Some version of the Minecraft movie has been in the works for nearly a decade. Director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) was attached to the movie in its earliest stages. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creator and star Rob McElhenney was next to take a crack at it, attempting to make a Minecraft-flavored adventure in the style of 1985 cult classic The Goonies. Director Peter Sollett (The Path) also tried, with a version about “a teenage girl and her unlikely group of adventurers” who try to save their blocky Overworld from an Ender Dragon. Hess came aboard as director in 2022, alongside Momoa, and it’s not clear if the story has changed since Sollett’s attempt.

Minecraft’s Steve is the original default character avatar for the game, and has a female counterpart in Alex. Developer Mojang later added more characters in the form of Ari, Efe, Kai, Makena, Noor, Sunny, and Zuri.

Warner Bros. and Legendary have the Minecraft movie set for an April 4, 2025 release date. Production on the live-action projects is expected to kick off “imminently.”

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