Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Tetris Movie. I'm Not Kidding.

If you are any kind of a long-term gamer, chances are you are intimately, painfully familiar with the history of videogame movies. Not movies that became videogames, but videogames that were turned into movies. It is a long, strange, strange, did-I-mention-strange lineage of mostly unwatchable material. No such movie has yet to climb above the 44% "achieved" on Rotten Tomatoes by Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within in 2001 (it takes 60% to qualify as Fresh). In contrast, eight different films have dropped into single digits.

Along the way, it's become something of a running gag among gamers to imagine how much worse it could get. Inevitably, the conversation-stopper is the imagining of the worst, most ludicrous and obviously unworkable concept for a movie the game industry can possibly offer: Tetris. Blocks falling into a grid and they disappear when you make a line. Go ahead, Hollywood. Just try it.

Someone in Hollywood wants to try it. Threshold Entertainment, who has already inflicted the Mortal Kombat movies upon an unsuspecting public, has taken up the franchise, which currently has no directors or cast. They intend to make it live-action. They intend to make, according to Threshold CEO Larry Kasanoff, "a very big, epic sci-fi movie. This isn’t a movie with a bunch of lines running around the page. We’re not giving feet to the geometric shapes.”

No, Larry, but we've joked about you using the blocks as building-demolishing projectiles. For over a decade now.

This is not to say this movie will see completion. Movies die all the time somewhere between rights-buying and commercial release. But the fact that a Hollywood studio has already spent money because someone thought a Tetris movie was a good idea and all those gamers yukking it up about the concept are actually going to line up to see a real-life movie... Kasanoff, this is going to be a very expensive lesson for you.

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