Video Game Invasion


As well as the current comic-book craze that’s sweeping Hollywood; the one that’s just brought Iron Man 2 to cinemas across the globe, and will see Captain America, Thor, The Green Lantern, Superman, and Spiderman, among others, hitting screens over the next couple of years; it seems like video-game adaptations are also fighting back against original material, for their own place at the Box Office.

There’s already a fourth Resident Evil movie (technically the fifth film based on the games, but the fourth movie in the live-action franchise starring Milla Jovovich of The Fifth Element) that’s due to be released in full 3D (having been filmed in Avatar style 3D, rather than simply being translated after the fact); and it was recently announced that it will also be released in glorious IMAX (although curiously not digital IMAX); the Jerry Bruckheimer produced Prince of Persia movie that’s coming out this month, and now there have been two more video-game themed movie projects thrown into the Hollywood movie-making machine.

The first announcement, is Sony’s purchase of the rights to the Atari classic Roller-coaster Tycoon (which was basically another version of the Theme Park game, albeit a very good one); the games which have made upwards of $300 million, by allowing people to manage their own virtual theme park, and design their own unique roller-coasters; which doesn’t instantly scream of Oscar winning (or even plot-having) potential, but nevertheless Sony believe that it’s a worthwhile project, and have hired David Ronn and Jay Scherick (the writers of the upcoming comedy The Zookeeper), to pen the script for the live-action/CGI hybrid.

The second announcement concerns the amusing short-film Pixels; which was made by French filmmaker Patrick Jean, and features a variety of popular 80’s video-games (from Tetris to Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders to Pac-Man) descending upon real-world New York City, and promptly turning it into a pile of pixelated blocks; and has been picked up by Adam Sandler’s production company, Happy Madison, who are currently in talks with Sony’s Columbia Division, about developing it into a Ghostbusters style action/comedy (which might not be such a bad idea, seeing as how it looks like Ghostbusters 3 is off the table indefinitely).

The only problem with Pixels is that, in order for it to work, it would need to showcase a fair few, true gaming icons, which might not be that easy, seen as how the rights to most of them are already owned by various studios, and are already on their way to becoming independent movies; which thankfully, unlike the classic superheroes, haven’t gone down the porn route just yet.

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Matt Wheeldon is the Founder, and Editor in Chief of Good Film Guide. He still refers to the cinema as "the pictures", and has what some would describe as a misguided appreciation for Waterworld.