Video game movies have yet to make much of an impact on the cinematic landscape, primarily due to how poorly they've been received by critics and audiences. That may change in the coming years, as a number of high profile video game movies are about to be released or are in development, including Agent 47, Assassin's Creed, Splinter Cell, and Warcraft.
And then there's the soon-to-be-released Pixels. While it's not a video game movie like the ones mentioned above, it does have an awful lot to do with video games. Based on the short film of the same name by Patrick Jean, Pixels is about an invading alien force that takes the appearance of our favorite 8-bit arcade game characters (Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Centipede, Galaga, etc.), and the ex-famous arcade game players (Adam Sandler, Josh Gad, and Peter Dinklage) who are our only hope of defeating them.
We recently sat down with star Adam Sandler to talk about the film, his upcoming sequel to Hotel Transylvania, the possibility of sequels to Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, and more.
Pixels isn't a video game movie in the traditional sense that we usually say, but it is a movie about video games. I'm just curious - did you play a lot of video games growing up? Did you have a favorite?
Adam Sandler: Yes - I don't know if I had a favorite. I had the one I was best at, it was 'Galaga.' So I put the most quarters in that one eventually. But yeah, when I was a kid, it was a big deal, it had just come out. It was when you're a kid to think you can actually do this stuff, play these games and shoot things and have it all work. 'Space Invaders' was kind of my first love, and 'Defender' and all these other ones - I loved them, but I wasn't as good at them. The 'Galaxian' and 'Galaga' ones, that's what I got good at.
While 'Pixels' is very much an Adam Sandler movie in terms of the humor, it's a little different from your usual thing in that it's also a sci-fi blockbuster.
I'm curious if you enjoyed working on a more action-oriented project and if you'd be interested in doing that in the future.
Well, I love that I'm in this thing. I love that it's kind of a superhero movie with regular guys. It's good to be in a movie that looks this cool, that looks this lush and the effects are awesome. I'm shocked I'm in it. [Laughter] I don't know if it's going to happen again, but I'm glad I got one.
Sort of related to my last question, if this film does well, do you have any plans for a Pixels 2?
I don't - I don't have a clue on that. I don't know what the hell it would be. I haven't thought about it. It took so long to put this one together and it's finally done, man. The movie's coming out in a couple weeks and we just finished it like a couple weeks ago. It's a crazy process with these type of movies, so I'm a little spent. But maybe - we'll see what the hell happens.
You could always explore a new era of video games.
I agree! That would be fun, too.
I know Hotel Transylvania 2 is in post right now. Do you have anything you can tell us about what you and Genndy Tartakovsky have in store?
It's getting there. It's getting good. My kids are enjoying it. I get it on my computer at night, we work on it and stuff, and my dopey kids come in the room. They think it's all right. So far two kids like it.
Excellent. I guess I'll ask you one more question - would you ever consider doing a sequel to Billy Madison or Happy Gilmore?
I don't think about it, but those two [films] - I loved doing them. They're big ideas. Going back to school was fun for Billy, and then Happy Gilmore playing golf - there's something there. I don't know. We'll see. I doubt it, though. [Laughter]
Pixels hits theaters July 2th, 2015.