Call this a blockhead move or calculated stroke of genius, but according to Deadline, the classic arcade game Tetris is getting an $80 million, big-screen presentation in a planned trilogy of films by Threshold Global Studios, a new production company created by Chinese media mogul Bruno Wu and Mortal Kombat producer Larry Kasanoff. Word broke last year that Tetris was in play, but financing wasn't secured until now.
You might be a bit puzzled by this pixelated project, wondering how a game with no plot and no characters except for a colorful avalanche of tumbling blocks could possibly be arranged into one movie, let alone three! But far stranger things have happened in Hollywood. Remember Battleship? Tetris The Movie will be the first major project under this new partnership banner and is being billed as an "epic sci-fi thriller" using a Western and Chinese ensemble cast, with filming to begin in China sometime in 2017.
Here's the official corporate statement:
"The team has been working with The Tetris Company for over a year, and with the formation of Threshold Global Studios, financing has been secured, the story has been created, and now Wu and Kasanoff will co-produce. Tetris, one of the most recognized video game franchises of all time, is a perfect first project for this strategy. For our debut project, Threshold Global Studios will bring one of the most beloved, cross-generational gaming brands in the world to the big screen.”
The instantly addictive, tile-matching puzzle challenge was first released in Russia in 1984 on the Elektronica 60 platform, then achieved worldwide fame when it was included on Nintendo's Game Boy in 1989. A mainstay in video arcades and gaming consoles for generations, it's been resurrected more recently by millions of new players downloading it onto their mobile devices.
This adaptation news comes hot on the heels of yesterday's announcement of Atari's Missile Command and Centipede each getting silver screen treatments as well.
Do you think this titillating tetromino-tampering game can be transformed into a two-hour Tetris feature film or is this an epic exercise in futility?