Apparently, the problem with movies based on video games isn't that they're never given the script attention and directorial skill that they deserve. No, apparently, the video games are just too new. Old video games have more nostalgic appeal, so more people will go to see them, right? That must be the thinking behind this latest bit of news, that Lorenzo Di Bonaventura will be producing an Asteroids movie, based on the video game about a ship that sits in the middle of the screen and blows up big asteroids, forming smaller and smaller asteroids.
Considering that there were two big, competing asteroid movies about a decade ago, and two competing TV-movies about it this year, was it really worth the four-studio bidding war? Hell, is the word "asteroids" even copyrighted? Since we can't imagine what the film will bring to the table that we haven't seen already, we've come up with a list of classic video games that we're much more interested to see on the big screen:
In this age of cutesy, computer-animated animal movies, why has nobody snapped up the rights to make a movie about a curmudgeonly frog who just wants to get across the road to see his family? Sure, it's only few steps for you and me, but an epic journey for a frog, especially if we're talking about one of those multi-lane highway dealies. This sucker has "Pixar" written all over it.
The name recognition alone would make this movie worth the attempt, but this baby would admittedly be a real bear to adapt to the real world -- we know there are ghosts in it, but what the hell is a Pac-Man? Cartoons have shown him simply as an anthropomorphic yellow ball (who wears a hat), but we can't see that translating well to the big screen. Well, not the hat, anyway.
A lovable alien who likes hopping up and down pyramids? Why wasn't this the next E.T.? The furry, armless, projectile-nosed creature starred in a Saturday morning cartoon, where he lived in a town full of similar characters, but we think bringing him to the real world, where he's the cutest thing on two legs, would do gangbusters.
Granted, Pitfall was pretty much an Indiana Jones rip-off, with a guy in a fedora swinging over crocodiles on vines, but considering that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull nuked the fridge on the Jones franchise, it might be time for us to embrace a new swashbuckling adventurer. Pitfall Harry, anyone?
No, not Spaced Invaders, the movie about short, bumbling aliens who invade a remote farming community -- this is the video game whose title inspired the pun, if not the film. We'd rather see a movie closer to the game's concept, about a mobile Earth defense force who drives a massive laser from location to location to repel an invading fleet of alien ships.
Just to put this in perspective, a documentary about two guys who are good at playing this video game was a moderate success. So how much money would a movie about a girl who's been kidnapped by a gorilla and the hero who needs to assault his barrel-strewn, multi-level warehouse to rescue her stand to make? A barrelful, perhaps?
Who doesn't love a good story about space pirates? Especially space pirates who steal a bunch of life-draining organisms to use as weapons? Also, sexy Boba Fett-like bounty hunters who have to take them out? Think Empire Strikes Back meets Pitch Black. ...Empire Strikes Black?
A less-than-literal translation might be in order for this highly addictive stacking game, unless you think there's a huge audience for Russian wall-building movies. Maybe two spunky kids embark on a Goonies-like adventure to collect the five different shapes of Tetris pieces that unlock a hidden Soviet treasure that will save their personal Goondocks?
Ants, snakes, gorillas, sharks, crocodiles... every animal under the sun has been made enormous for the purposes of menacing humanity on the silver screen. So why not pit humans against an array of giant centipedes, as well as other insects, like fleas and scorpions? The sight of a massive, fast-moving centipede, weaving between giant mushrooms to devour a man 1/100th its size would scare even the stoutest of monster movie enthusiasts.
Super Mario Bros.
Yes, we know this game already had a movie, but God, it was awful. Whichever one of its three directors and three writers wants to take credit for it should be dropped into a river of lava for causing the casting of Dennis Hopper as a giant dinosaur warlord. It's practically a crime that a character as beloved as Mario Mario (and to a lesser extent, Luigi Mario) has been limited to the world of video games simply because its one foray into live-action was so horribly mishandled. Another attempt, heavy on the CGI environments, could kick off a lucrative franchise, with the second one focusing on Mario's street-racing career and the third focusing on his ghostbusting side business.
For more from Television Without Pity:
- Summer's Best Sci-Fi Movies
- The Classic TV Shows That Should Be Remade
- Tubey Awards: Cast a Vote for TV's Best & Worst