Even though no one has really cracked the code yet on making a video-game movie adaptation that's, well, watchable, there are certain games that are either archetypal enough in setting or rely on the familiar kinds of dramatic beats that an adaptation makes a certain amount of sense. When you tell me that BioShock or Uncharted or Gears of War is being made into a movie, I say "OK, sure, I can see that." But when The Hollywood Reporter, uh, reported this morning that Universal had picked up the rights to produce a movie based on the classic vector-based arcade game Asteroids--following an apparently heated four-studio bidding war, no less--I have to wonder just what in the holy hot hell is going on in Hollywood.
There's no story, casting, or title news at the moment, though Asteroids is being produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura, whose most recent work includes Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, with Matthew Lopez, screenwriter on Bedtime Stories and Race to Witch Mountain, attached to write it. So, I guess expect a family-friendly PG adventure featuring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and eye-gouging CG effects?
As THP itself points out, there's no real story or characters or anything to Asteroids, though that's not stopping the development of movies based on the board games Battleship and Candyland either. Unless the producers are pursuing some kind of self-reflexive Tron-style meta-reality, I'm not sure how you specifically evoke Asteroids in a movie. I mean, yeah, it'll probably take place in space, and there goddamn well better be some giant space rocks, but at that point you're just kind of just paying for the name, which feels pretty dated as the name of a video game, and outright absurd as a movie. I'd be surprised if they leave the title alone, and while I'd like them to embrace the goofiness with something like Asteroids! I fully expect them to go with something more like Asteroids: The Battle for Infinity.
On the off chance that a person of influence is reading this, here's the best scene in a movie to feature asteroids. Take note!