It seems we’re just going to have to get used to the fact that Hollywood is adapting all sorts of beloved properties from our childhoods – everything from toys, to board games and video games. Today we get the news that Universal has bought the rights and are developing a movie based on the classic Atari arcade game, Asteroids.
That’s right, even the arcade isn’t a safe haven…
Universal recently won a four-way studio bidding war for the film rights to the ’70s/’80s Asteroids arcade game. Matthew Lopez, who has penned the scripts for Race to Witch Mountain, Bedtime Stories and the upcoming Sorcerer’s Apprentice, has been hired by Universal to write the script. Although no director has been attached as of yet, Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers, G.I. Joe) will produce.
For those of you who may have only heard of the Asteroids game and not actually played it, you basically just control a small triangle spaceship and shoot at flying “asteroids.” Since there’s no real story, premise or mythology to the game, it leaves Universal with basically a blank slate to create one. And you know what that means, don’t you? The only reason Universal has scooped this property up is to capitalize on the name recognition.
If Asteroids is going to be a space movie about destroying “attacking asteroids”, then why not just create an original movie from scratch, calling it “Giant Space Rocks Attack!” (or something)? Because Universal thinks using the name Asteroids will get people saying, “Oh yeah, I remember that game. Let’s go see that tonight…” And as far as a script, expect the same old “the Earth is going to end unless we do something,” sort of storyline (Armageddon, Deep Impact or The Core, anyone?).
Still, of all the board game, toy and video game adaptations in the works, I think Asteroids is probably one of the most harmless. Since there’s no real story to the game, there’s no real story to ruin either. But nonetheless, it’s still irritating to see this Hollywood trend continuing at full speed.
Do you think there is enough there to make a worthwhile Asteroids movie?
Asteroids is currently in the early development stages and no release date has been set as of yet.
Sources: THR and /Film