As the video game industry has evolved over the decades, gamers have seen their experience develop into one that doesn’t just satisfy from a visual perspective. Instead, games have become more and more immersive, and the best of these is able to incorporate a complex and inventive narrative thread that propels the action forward.
Because of this, we’ve been speculating for awhile now that the world of video game adaptations have the potential to be the next trend to connect with big-screen audiences. The impending releases of films like Assassin’s Creed and Warcraft indicate that this might be closer to happening than most moviegoers may realize. On the other hand, there’s this latest news, involving an old-school arcade game making the jump to the big screen.
Deadline reports that Warner Bros.’ live-action adaptation of Space Invaders – which first debuted as an arcade game in 1978 – has found its screenwriter in Dan Kunka. The scribe, as it were, also reportedly made the Black List of sought-after unproduced screenplays when he adapted spec script Yellowstone Falls into a film pitting wolves against zombies. He is also working on an adaptation of Winston Groom novel Patriotic Fire and recently sold a Robert Zemeckis-produced drama to the Syfy Channel.
Given that Kunka’s only produced writing credit thus far is the 2009 John Cena action film 12 Rounds, it’s hard to gauge whether he’s a good choice to develop the virtually plotless Space Invaders into a big-budget tentpole. After all, moviegoers have seen loads of alien invasions films over the years. So it’s hard to distinguish how Space Invaders will be much different from something like Battle: Los Angeles or even board game adaptation Battleship.
One could assume that Space Invaders will heavily focus on space battles, but with Star Wars on its way back to claiming its former glory as a box office force (pun intended) and the similarly themed Independence Day 2 finally on its way, Space Invaders may have a hard time rising above more recognizable brand names and attracting the younger generation that didn’t grow up playing the original game. Long story short: Kunka has his work cut out for him.
Despite all the more natural game-to-film transitions on the way, there appears to be no shortage of less credible projects working waiting in the wings. Films like Space Invaders and Tetris have seemingly little to contribute to the story-driven cinematic landscape, coming off more like blatant cash grabs than seamless brand extensions. As always, though, we’re open to being convinced we’re wrong. (Remember how The LEGO Movie turned out?)
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for the latest on Space Invaders as this story develops.