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There is a concerted effort on the part of Hollywood right now to turn video games into movies. The desire is so great that even properties that you wouldn’t think could be turned into movies are being optioned by studios. Now even Tetris, a game that consists entirely of fitting shapes together on a screen, is getting a film adaptation. It gets even more bizarre than that; however, because the Tetris movie is being setup as an "epic sci-fi thriller" that will cost $80 million to produce.
News of the Tetris budget comes as part of the announcement of a new production company. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Threshold Entertainment Group and China’s Seven Star Works are partnering for a new venture, called Threshold Global Studios, which will be focused on producing films for the global market. According to the information, Tetris, which Threshold has had the film rights to for the last couple of years, will be the first production for the new venture. Shooting is expected to begin in China next year.
While $80 million is far from the budget of most summer blockbusters, (Captain America: Civil War’s reported production budget was $250 million) it’s far from a small amount of money. Certainly, it’s a lot more than most would have likely guessed a Tetris movie would cost. With an $80 million budget we would expect that Tetris won’t have to skimp when it comes to whatever science fiction effects they’re going for. So that’s good at least.
If an $80 million sci-fi epic based on Tetris sounds like a crazy idea, maybe it's not. We never thought a movie based on interlocking colored bricks was going to work, and somehow The LEGO Movie wasn’t just good, it was phenomenal. Maybe the Tetris movie has something equally game changing in mind. Calling it a "sci-fi thriller" certainly gives it an epic sounding scale, but perhaps that's more marketing than it is overreaching. Some fairly wild ideas have become solid movies before. Perhaps Tetris will be one.
Tetris isn’t the only video game getting the film treatment despite a lack of obvious story. Recently it was announced that Atari had partnered with a studio to turn their classic arcade games Centipede and Missile Command into features. Additionally The Angry Birds Movie, hitting theaters Friday, looks to turn a simple mobile game into box office gold. If it can succeed, perhaps there's hope for Tetris.
What do you think of Tetris as an "epic sci-fi thriller?" Are you ready for the world to be invaded by aliens in polygon spacecraft? How would you create a sci-fi Tetris movie? Let us know in the comments.