9 Other '80s Games That Hollywood Might as Well Turn Into Movies

Sit down. Here's an actual quote from the Variety story about 20th Century Fox going ahead with an adaptation of the Atari game Missile Command. "With Missile Command, the scribes have little to adapt beyond a title to build a plot around and a Cold War-heavy scenario of players having to defend their cities from being destroyed by a rain of missiles." So, yeah, maybe James Cameron was right: Hollywood is completely out of ideas, unless they're related to '80s video and/or board games. Unfortunately, between Battleship, Stretch Armstrong, Asteroids, Clue and the hotly anticipated View Master, it seems Tinsel Town is even running out of games to adapt. Ahead, Movieline offers studio executives nine they might want to consider. Because at this point, why not?

· Pac-Man

· Ms. Pac-Man

With so many of these game adaptations, studios are just spending money on the name recognition and not the actual game. That's why Universal's ka-trillion dollar gamble on Battleship has little to do with the board game and lots to do with aliens. (Also, likely, someone yelling, "You've sunk my battleship" during the finale.) With that in mind, here's Pac-Man, the most popular and recognizable video game character ever. What if our story followed a lonely game programmer (Jason Segel) heading to Japan to find love? And the whole time he's also looking for Pac-Man. While wearing a Pac-Man t-shirt. Adorable! Think Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, but with video games. Bonus: Ms. Pac-Man makes for a ready-made sequel, with the story told from the girl's perspective (Alison Brie). You're welcome, Hollywood.

· Donkey Kong

Audiences haven't been held hostage by a giant killer gorilla since Peter Jackson's atrociously boring King Kong came out in 2005. That's far too much time without atrociously boring monkey antics! Grab someone like Battle: Los Angeles' Jonathan Liebesman and let him go to town. You've never seen a thrown barrel until you've seen one in CGI.

· Q*Bert

Pixar is so worried about sequelizing their already massive hits that they're sleeping on the possibility of even bigger franchises. Like Q*Bert! The 'Bert's tale of overcoming odds while climbing a pyramid could be just as relatable as WALL*E.

· Centipede

Tom Six may have forever tainted the word "centipede," but Hollywood could still make some kind of non-crap-eating horror movie out of the '80s video game. Either that, or just remake The Human Centipede. One or the other.

· Trivial Pursuit

Here's the pitch: Five friends get together each weekend to play Trivial Pursuit. When one unexpectedly dies, the other four must come to grips with their own mortality, relationships and pie pieces. Zach Braff can direct with original music from Neon Trees. (This version of Trivial Pursuit will have nothing in common with the one that featured Jenna Maroney as "Arts & Leisure." Just FYI.)

· Duck Hunt

As Sarah Palin's Alaska unfortunately taught us, people love watching other people kill animals. So, that's Duck Hunt. Sample, controversial tag line: "Real duck were harmed in the making of this movie."

· Operation

On television, doctors reign supreme; in the movies, not so much. Perhaps that's because doctors in movies aren't as soapy as the ones on television. Allow Operation to fix that. Will the cold surgeon find true love with his nurse? Ashton Kutcher and Rachel McAdams will answer that question for you in Operation. (Early spoiler: They will find true love.)

· Contra

A no brainer. Literally. Just find some dudes with muscles, give them machine guns and send them into a jungle. The casting line starts behind Vin Diesel and Rutger Hauer.


  • CiscoMan says:

    I was loading up the snark, but then you ended with Contra. I'd be so down for Contra. I want Contra. Even if they find a ridiculous reason to have someone go up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-start. Yeeeee, take my money!

  • Citizen Bitch says:

    why all this snark on board game movies? was Clue not a classic?

  • Sarah says:

    In high school my boyfriend and his friends figured out how to tape their Tecmo Bowl games on the VCR and then they'd make me watch them. Think anyone in Hollywood would be interested in these tapes?