Deadline is reporting that Atari has closed a deal with Emmett / Furla / Oasis Films that could bring Centipede and Missile Command to the big screen. Both games were first released by Atari in 1980 during the original golden age of video games. But neither game had much in the way of a story, since the arcade titles of that era favored games that were simple and relatively easy to play.
The biggest challenge here will be to create stories around these games that can actually function as movies. Hollywood doesn’t exactly have a great track record of turning story-free games like Battleship into successful features. Name recognition only goes so far, especially with games that are over 35 years old.
For the console release of each game, Atari came up with an official backstory for both titles that attempted to add a narrative to the very simplistic premises. Centipede’s tie-in comic hilariously suggested that mushrooms in the game were actually villagers who were transformed by an evil wizard. Therefore, it was the job of the player’s character to defend the mushrooms against the wizard’s evil insects.
Missile Command’s official story traded the Cold War connotations of the game’s premise and relocated the action to an alien planet named Zardon, which the player had to defend from another alien race from Krytol. If the Missile Command movie actually happens, it would probably be better served by going back to its Cold War roots.
What do you want to see in the Centipede and Missile Command movies? Let us know in the comment section below!