Sony Pictures is currently caught up in a maelstrom of trouble following an attack by hackers who are furious about the portrayal of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un in upcoming comedy The Interview (the attack was recently escalated to include terrorist threats), but the show most go on for Sony’s many other movies. Among those movies is Pixels, a light-hearted sci-fi comedy about aliens who attack Earth in the form of retro arcade game monsters.
The trouble begins when President Will Cooper (Kevin James) discovers that intergalactic aliens have been watching video feeds of classic games like Space Invaders and have interpreted them as a declaration of war, as well a blueprint for how they should attack the planet. The only people who can save Earth are a group of highly skilled arcade game experts – played by Adam Sandler, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage – along with an expert weapons specialist (Michelle Monaghan).
There’s currently an oncoming surge of direct video game adaptations being readied for the big screen, but Pixels seems more like it will take the mash-up spirit of Wreck-It Ralph and blend it with the plot of War Games. Written by regular Sandler movie screenwriter Tim Herlihy and This Means War writer Timothy Dowling, Pixels marks director Chris Columbus’ first return to feature film since 2010’s Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
The first trailer for Pixels will likely land very soon, but for now Sony has released a set of themed posters for the movie that show various cities around the world being attacked by giant versions of sprites from Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Galaga, Donkey Kong and Centipede.
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Pixels is probably going to attract a certain amount of derision before it even releases, considering how much scorn James and Sandler attract on a day-to-day basis and the fact that Columbus is best known for directing the first two (and, arguably, the worst two) Harry Potter movies. Nonetheless, it could be a great nostalgia blast for fans of retro games to see them brought to life on the big screen, and we could all use a few laughs right now.
Pixels arrives in theaters on July 24th, 2015