Hey, remember Missile Command? The game that everybody walked right past at the arcade to play literally anything else (including the change machine)? Well Atari has been pitching a movie based on the completely-devoid-of-plot arcade game, and Fox — being Fox — hopped all over that pile of WTF. Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama (two people who apparently exist) will be writing the script (good luck, guys). Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark will produce.
What could possibly be gained from buying a plotless arcade franchise from the ’80s? James Cameron made a very good point in a recent interview with Spiegel where he said (and I’m making a completely butchered translation here, view the source for the original):
We have a story crisis. Now they want to turn the “Battleship” game into a movie! This is pure desperation, because the business is now governed by the sequel, the franchise. Everyone knows how important it is that a film is already a brand before it’s in theaters. If a brand has been around — Harry Potter for example, or Spider-Man — you are light years ahead. And there lies the problem. Because unfortunately the franchises are becoming more ridiculous. Battleship! This degrades the cinema. [paraphrased from Google’s translation here.]
By Jove, the guy who filmed 9-foot-tall blue cats tail-f*cking is right!
Here’s an idea. Don’t buy the name “Missile Command” and instead just make a movie about mutually assured destruction and give it a better title. Ta-da! I just saved you a million bucks in licensing fees. You can leave my 10% finder’s fee next to the skee ball machines down at the arcade, where nobody even remembers Missile Command. I want the fee all in quarters, because I am feeling the skee ball fury.