There's no school like old school! With the recent resurgence of retro video games headlining a nostalgic renaissance for classic titles of the '70s and '80s, Atari is striking while interest is high. The American company founded by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney in 1972, whose name translates to "strike," was a pioneeering force in the marketing of arcade video games and the Atari Video Computer System in 1977.
Flagship games like Space Invaders, Missile Command, Defender, Asteroids and Centipede are now household names, with many of us "older" geeks fondly recalling our formative years feeding quarters into hungry arcade machines or sitting cross-legged before our living room TVs manipulating their vector graphics until dawn. Hollywood has dipped its toe in the development waters of these games as feature films, but nothing has materialized on screen, yet. Universal's Asteroids and Warner Bros.' Space Invaders projects are still in the works, pending script rewrite approval.
Now, a new attempt by Atari to deliver film adaptations of Missile Command and Centipede has been finalized in a sealed deal with Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films, the production company responsible for nearly 70 films, including The Last Witch Hunter, End of Watch, 2 Guns and the 2008 remake of George Romero's Day of the Dead.
“[Atari is] thrilled to partner with Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films to develop feature films based on two of our most beloved titles,” said Atari CEO Fred Chesnais. “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.”
No director or screenwriter has been assigned to the live-action projects for these iconic game properties but we'll keep you updated when annoucements are made. Are you looking forward to Missile Command and Centipede, movies or should they remain in the video arcade Hall of Fame?
And don't forget to check out our exclusive interview with pop culture guru Robert Conte on his awesome new Art of Atari book coming this fall from Dynamite Entertainment!