It all started with a fantastic short Pixels back in 2010 by film maker Patrick Jean. Don’t worry if you haven’t seen it yet, we’ve embedded that short for you below. From there it quickly moved into development over at Columbia pictures and Happy Madison Productions. That’s right Adam Sandler and company are bringing this Pixel short concept to the big screen.
The basic story involves aliens misinterpreting satellite signals of classic video games such as Space Invaders, Centipede, and the like as a declaration of war from Earth. The aliens base their response to this threat from Earth on those same video game signals.
The screen play was written by Timothy Dowling (George Lucas in Love, Role Models) and long time Sandler collaborator Tim Herlihy (Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy). It’s an easy jump for Sandler fans and foes to expect Sandler’s long-standing tradition of casting his friends in his movies and the first was Kevin James, who plays the President of the United States. Jane Krakowski from 30 Rock plays the First Lady.
When faced with this threat the president calls on his childhood friends, who were arcade game savants. Director Chris Columbus describes the trio as:
They’re really three losers. They’ve ended up a TV mechanic (Adam Sandler), a felon (Peter Dinklage), and a conspiracy theorist (Josh Gad). But, they’re still the best guys for the job, and after teaming up with a more up-to-date weapons expert (True Detective‘s Michelle Monaghan), they have no choice but to be ready for battle.
They’ve decided they want to be called Arcaders and you can see they’ve got their own special uniforms to wear when they take down these alien video game threats. Columbus makes the comment that:
They’re actually becoming sort of cultural heroes at this point. It’s a very important shot in the film.
If it sounds a little like Ghostbusters to you, don’t be surprised, Columbus went on to say this:
I feel very fortunate to be able to do a movie that feels extraordinarily original and unique.“It’s a little bit of an homage to Ghostbusters and all those great Amblin movies of the eighties—not only the movies that I was involved in like The Goonies and Gremlins—but the movies I loved when I was working there like Back to the Future.
If you’re wondering about Dinklage’s funky hair style, Columbus explains it like this:
We thought, ‘Someone has to sport the mullet in the movie,’ so they settled on Dinklage. His character has been in prison. He’s the only one who’s still trapped in the eighties a bit.
The woman in the picture is Michelle Monaghan (Eagle Eye, Source Code). Her character name is unknown at this time, but we can easily speculate that she is a military liaison for the Arcaders.
What can we expect to see in Pixels?
I don’t want to ruin the surprise, we managed to tip our hat to all of the classics.
From a visual effects standpoint, audiences are going to be seeing things that they’ve never seen before. To be quite honest, a lot of visual effects movies cover the same territory whether it’s destroying a city or superhero visual effects, they tend to have a certain amount of intense HD reality. [Here] we’re taking classic eight-bit characters and turning them into fully realized, three-dimensional, pixelated characters that are quite threatening.
I haven’t been able to find a rating for the movie yet as it’s still in production, but I would expect it to be PG-13. I look forward to seeing Dinklage in a comedy. He’s done some wonderful comedic work in Elf and 30 Rock.
If you haven’t seen the short Pixels, here it is. It’s a fun little short.
For those of you scratching your heads and thinking, “I’ve seen this somewhere before.” Don’t worry, you’re not crazy, you have seen this a couple of times. Below is the Futurama episode Raider of the Lost Arcade embedded below.
I haven’t really been thrilled with Sandler’s movie the last couple of years, but I am willing to give this one a try. Mainly because of the concept and Dinklage. I expect the marketing to rely heavily on featuring Dinklage’s involvement in the film.
Via: Entertainment Weekly