Missile Command: The Next Generation

Attention Gen X:  Look for your childhood pastimes at a theater near you.

The Los Angeles Times reports that renowned video game creator Atari plans to adapt its 1980 classic, Missile Command, into a feature film.  While Atari is still shopping for a studio, it’s probable that 20th Century Fox will develop the project.  The would-be film, which will probably be shot in 3D, is not the likeliest of video game adaptations.  After all, Missile Command stems from an era of video game history in which narratives were practically nonexistent.  The game itself simply involves destroying missiles before they nuke the cities below.  Bubble Bobble‘s storyline is convoluted by comparison.  

Atari, nevertheless, clearly hopes to attract enough veterans of the “Golden Age of Video Arcade Games” to make the movie a hit.  The evidence for this belief would seem ostensibly cogent – with over 2.5 million sales, Missile Command ranks as the third-highest selling Atari 2600 game of all time.

I welcome a return to Cold War inspired entertainment just as much as anyone.  Think of all the wonderful media the conflict gave us – Red Dawn, Rocky IV, and a plethora of video games.  Can Missile Command meet the “high bar” set by the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat adaptations?  Can the film succeed without Prince of Persia star Jake Gyllenhaal’s dreaminess?  Stay tuned to find out.

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