Sony Pictures has struck licensing deals with multiple video game companies to feature classic gaming characters in the upcoming Adam Sandler film Pixels.
Pixels is due to release in May 2015 and stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad and Brian Cox in an "action comedy" romp in which aliens mistake classic arcade video games for footage of war waged against them.
The US president calls on his childhood best friend, an 80's arcade champ, to counter the resulting invasion, in a plot which suddenly makes yesterday's Space Invaders movie news sound less ludicrous.
The aliens take on new forms on Earth based on the arcade games they encounter, so Sony Pictures has struck licensing deals with various game companies for the Chris Columbus-led project:
- Atari: Asteroids, Breakout, Centipede and Missile Command
- Konami: Frogger
- Bandai Namco: Pac-Man, Galaga, and Dig Dug
- Nintendo: Donkey Kong
- Columbia Pictures Industries: Q*bert
- Taito Corporation: Space Invaders
- Warner Bros.: Joust, Defender, Robotron and Wizard of Wor
"There would be no way to make the movie without these legendary characters – they are as important to the film as the roles that Adam, Kevin, Michelle, Peter, Josh, and Brian are playing," Columbus said.
"It was a real thrill to see everything come together exactly as we envisioned it, and we're grateful to have all of these fantastic companies on board."
Producer Allen Covert said all the parties the production company approached were "extremely receptive" to the collaboration.
This isn't unprecedented, of course; Disney's Wreck-It Ralph brought together a huge collection of classic video game characters. It went down well with gamers and non-gamers alike, so here's hoping Pixels can do the same.