Back in July of 2009, Universal first snagged the rights to turn the beloved ’70s and ’80s video game, Asteroids, into a movie. Four years later, that still hasn’t happened, but producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura is on it, and based on what he told us while promoting his latest, RED 2, he’s focusing a good deal of time and energy on finally making the Asteroids movie a reality.
Di Bonaventura is actually attached to both Asteroids and the big screen adaptation of Space Invaders, but when asked about the progress of both, he firmly noted, “Really, Asteroids is the one we’re spending our time on now.”
Shortly after announcing the project in 2009, di Bonaventura explained, “Without divulging too much about it, it’s two lead characters – two brothers – who have to go through a seminal experience to figure out their relationship, against this huge backdrop.” That was quite some time ago, and a new writer was brought in – David S. Goyer (Man of Steel, Godzilla) – but at that point, the film was still about “two estranged brothers that must team up to save Earth from an alien race.”
Jez Butterworth (Fair Game) was also added to the writing team a little less than a year ago for some revising and restructuring, but whether or not that grounded family element remains the centerpiece – when you’ve got a film about asteroids that almost went to Roland Emmerich to direct – your mind naturally pictures a grand scale destruction piece. When asked to compare Emmerich’s style to what he’s trying to achieve with Asteroids, di Bonaventura explained:
“It’s not a disaster movie, yeah, if we’re successful at getting it made. It’s much more of a space opera. It’s like a great sci-fi movie if we get it done right. It is not at all what people think it is. People think, ‘Oh, the asteroid’s gonna hit the earth,’ and I have no interest in doing that. That’s been done exceedingly well before. No, this takes place in an asteroid belt, the whole movie.”
Even though di Bonaventura insists that Asteroids isn’t the disaster movie we all expected it to be, don’t think he’s going to hold back in the least. This is the guy behind the Transformers franchise. He likes to level cities and demolish everything possible. Plus, di Bonaventura pointed out that one of his favorite things about the project is the title.
“It just seems like that’s big. Like, what? Asteroids? That’s big. What’s going on up there? When I look at that project, that’s what I think about it, is I think about the scale of it and I think about the possibility of it.”
We’ll keep you updated on the status of the Asteroids movie.
Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.