Universal shows us its Asteroids: The video game adaptation bar has been lowered.

Posted on 02 July 2009 by Quaid

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.

AsteroidsAccording 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.                           

Categorized | News

16 Comments For This Post

  1. therandomizer Says:

    That’s effffffffffffffffffffffffed! Seriously, why doesn’t the movie industry stop whining about downloading when they’ve obviously got bigger problems.

  2. Robert Says:

    Amen to everything you said. This isn’t a property, this isn’t a franchise? Did we need to sell Space Invaders to get any of the 42 million movies about aliens?

    http://canthardlywrite.com/2009/07/02/asteroids-hollywood-is-officially-out-of-movie-ideas/

  3. cwm Says:

    AWESOME!

    When do we get film adaptation of Frogger and Centipede?

  4. Anon Says:

    they better get michael bay to film it

  5. Quaid Says:

    Anon…would be amazing. A Michael Bay concept that’s dumb enough for me to get behind, finally.

    cwm…I’m still pulling for “Pong: The Motion Picture.” Starring Dennis Quaid and Randy Quaid as the paddles.

  6. squarerhino Says:

    My vote is for Adventure, remember that one. It could be Shia LaBeouf as the square, and the dragon voice over could be Isaac Hayes. That would be epic.

  7. Unbiased Product Reviews Says:

    What’s next, a movie based on Root Beer Tapper? Bet we’ll see some great character development there.

  8. Television Spy Says:

    I for one think this is a refreshing idea, compared to the sheer amount of mindless action movies that have virtually the same plot – evil [alien|robot|creature] attacks [earth|city|futuristic planet] and [police|down on luck civilian with crappy job|rich guy who never cared about anything] has to save the [planet|city|damsel].

  9. Garg Says:

    Umm, there’s already been an “Asteroids – the Movie”… sort of. The inspiration for the game was the asteroid dodging/blasting sequence in “The Empire Strikes Back”.

  10. Bruce Darren Acosta Says:

    The video game movie adaptations keep coming and coming so this is Asteroids movie I wish if Hollywood could make a movie based on a classic arcade fighting game World Heroes,yes World Heroes another beat em up with historical fighters battling against each other and a live action version would be great since SNK bought out World Heroes Anothogy on Playstation 2 they should get into talks with Hollywood production companies to adapt the World Heroes film.

    Thank You.
    BRUCE ACOSTA
    AUSTRALIA.

  11. Hosaki Says:

    it a feature length film about a triangle shooting little dots at oblong shapes and the occasional UFO, excuse me while i go hang myself. *gags

  12. JIm Says:

    Maybe we will get lucky and the script will be EXACTLY what the game was. Only difference will be that the POV is not from above, but INSIDE the spaceship. The asteroids will be in 3D and the whole thing will show in science center 3D IMAX setups. 20 minutes tops… then we get killed in a massive 3d imax explosion done by the guys over at ILM. James Cameron can direct it.

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    Well, This is a very interesting.. I will tell my friend and I’m so sure that they will like this.

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