In recent years, Hollywood has sought inspiration from some unlikely sources. In addition to the current trend of bringing scores of comic book characters to the big screen, toys, board games and theme park rides have all been adapted into feature length films. The success level of such films has ranged from disappointing releases (Battleship) to critical and box office hits (The LEGO Movie), with this fall’s Ouija as the next film based on such alternative source material.
However, one type of film that hasn’t exactly lit up the box office lately is video game movies. Need for Speed performed well worldwide earlier this year but brought in only $43 million domestically. With the exception of Resident Evil (which could be ending soon), few video games have led to movie franchises.
Now it looks as if an old-school favorite is hoping to earn similar success in theaters.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Threshold Entertainment is developing a live-action film based on the Tetris video game series that started in 1984. For those unaware, Tetris is essentially a puzzle game in which players must continuously fit descending geometric shapes together in order to clear the board, earn points and continue gameplay. No director or cast are currently attached to the film, though the company already has a story idea in place.
Here’s what Threshold CEO Larry Kasanoff had to say about how the film will adapt the game:
“It’s a very big, epic sci-fi movie. This isn’t a movie with a bunch of lines running around the page. We’re not giving feet to the geometric shapes. … Brands are the new stars of Hollywood. We have a story behind Tetris which makes it a much more imaginative thing. … We certainly have the canvas for location-based entertainment based on the epicness. … What you [will] see in ‘Tetris’ is the teeny tip of an iceberg that has intergalactic significance.”
While Threshold has worked on animated projects with such properties as Marvel, LEGO and Star Wars, some moviegoers may be disheartened to know that Kasanoff was also involved with the two theatrical Mortal Kombat films which hit theaters in 1995 and 1997 – as neither movie is particularly well-regarded by fans. However, there’s certainly truth in his assertion that the Tetris brand does inspire a certain fondness from gamers, especially those who grew up in the now-retro gaming era of the 1980s and 1990s.
It’s unclear exactly how Threshold intends to wring a story out of the puzzle premise of Tetris (let alone one with “intergalactic significance”), but then again, most people approached the announcement of The LEGO Movie with a similar level of skepticism. While the Tetris film is anything but a surefire success, we’ve speculated that films based on video games could be overdue for a box office takeover. With such anticipated projects as Assassin’s Creed and Warcraft in the works, this could very well be the case.
The big question is if Tetris will be a part of that success or just the latest video game-based theatrical misstep. Time will tell, but in the meanwhile, feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
Stay tuned to Screen Rant for updates on the Tetris movie as this story develops.
by Robert Yaniz Jr.