Atari has just inked a deal with Emma/Furla/Oasis Films to bring their arcade classics Centipede and Missile Command into the modern age of cinema. The production company will produce and finance both films. They have to be better than Pixels, right?
In speaking with Deadspin, Atari CEO Fred Chesnais stated, “Centipede and Missile Command are part of Atari’s unparalleled and rich library of popular games and we cannot wait to see the movies come to life.” He continued, calling the two games “immensely popular titles [that] have been enjoyed by generations of gamers worldwide. We look forward to a very successful partnership and to bringing Centipede and Missile Command to the big screen.”
Both games are part of Atari’s classic arcade game stable. They were both released in 1980. Centipede is a vertical shooter where the player dodges among mushrooms and shoots at various bugs. Missile Command calls on the player to shoot down incoming missiles before they wipe out life in American cities.Film adaptations of video games have generally struggled to resonate with critics, the general audience, and the original fans of the game. Some have fared better than others, but there has yet to be a universally lauded film based on a video game. Atari’s decision to bring these games to the screen could work out in one of two ways. The lack of a strong narrative in either game could mean that a truly original narrative could emerge in the familiar provided framework. It could also mean that the films become incoherent messes/nostalgic cash grabs.
No release time frame, actors, writers, or directors have been announced yet. It will be very interesting to see where this idea goes.
What kind of plot do you expect to see in Centipede or Missile Command films? What director can take these classics and make something positive of them? Let us know!