After last month’s news about a “Bazooka Joe” film adaptation, I didn’t think any film development news could faze me. I was wrong.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Universal is set to adapt the 1970′s arcade video game “Asteroids” for the silver screen. The game has no plot, no characters, no anything. It’s basically a space ship shooting down…you guessed it…asteroids. But that’s not the part that has me worried.
What really tweaks my melon…what has me concerned for the future of human society…is the fact that Universal was NOT the only studio interested in this project. In fact, so many people thought this adaptation was a “good” idea, the property has been the subject of a four-studio bidding war.
Whenever the “Bazooka Joe” movie gets adapted or when we hear of a “Stretch Armstrong” film, I can chalk it up to a fluke. It’s one stupid studio executive getting talked into a property based on brand recognition or the talent involved.
This, though, cannot be a fluke. Four separate Hollywood studios have literally been trying to throw money at a thirty year old video game property whose title is more likely to remind audiences of a bad sci-fi original picture than anything else. There is very little value in the generic brand of “asteroids,” there is no story, and there isn’t even an original idea (assuming you’ve seen Armageddon, that is).
Everyone always says “Hollywood is out of ideas.” I think that is pretty clear at this point. What stuns me, though, is how much they have lowered the bar when it comes to rehashing old ideas. I thought the concept of adapting The Pirates of the Caribbean was terrible, but I was proved wrong. At least that movie had a tone, a theme song, and an idea buried in the word “pirates.” Asteroids? There’s just not really too much there.
And it’s not that I’m saying that this will be a bad movie, either. If a great screenwriter writes a great space-oriented script involving asteroids, this could be good. But why not just develop this as an original property? Does having it based on a 1970′s video game really add ANYTHING to the equation? I guess it gets you press…like this article. Sigh.
Lorenzo di Bonaventura is producing, and Matthew Lopez will write the “adaptation.” Good luck, Matthew…you’ve got your work cut out for you.