Live-action video game adaptations are making some headway in Hollywood these days, as a pair of Sonic the Hedgehog movies and a forthcoming Mario movie of approximate Italian-ness is in the works as well. But Monday brought news that another legendary game will give live-action a go.
The Hollywood Reporter shared that a live-action Pac-Man movie is in the works. Based on a video game that debuted in 1980, the movie will apparently revolve around an endlessly hungry yellow sphere that will somehow be filmed with real live humans. As the report notes, a pair of TV shows have been made about Pac-Man over the years, and the gaming franchise is legendary. But those were cartoons, which certainly fit the concept of the game itself a bit better considering its main character is a vaguely anthropomorphic sphere.
Retro games have had an interesting history at the cinema, and it’s hard to get more retro than Pac-Man. Which is sort of why a live-action adaptation of pixelated ghosts chasing after pixelated circles seems so odd. The Hollywood Reporter story did include an intriguing note about the project: it will be an “original” idea from someone who has previously worked on the Sonic films.
The project will be based on an original idea from Chuck Williams (Sonic the Hedgehog) of Lightbeam Entertainment. Baldoni, Manu Gargi and Andrew Calof will produce on behalf of Wayfarer Studios; Williams and Tim Kwok will produce on behalf of Lightbeam.
Whether that means a truly Pac-Man-based origin story for the film or something more like Pixels or Free Guy — i.e. movies set in video game-line universes but not necessarily adherent to any particular game-specific plot points — seems up in the air right now. As is who will play any Pac people or the vibrantly colored ghosts.
I’m sure Chris Pratt is available for at least one of those roles, too.