asteroids

Among the mix of terrible toy movies that are coming down the pipeline, there was also news a while back regarding Universal adapting the classic arcade game “Asteroids” into a film. This news made absolutely no sense. The game, as we all know and love it, consists of being a white triangle that shoots white dots at white polygons while avoiding being hit by said polygons. There really is nothing to it. And it’s super fun.

Since everyone has reacted the same way to a film being made, IGN asked producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura about the project and he revealed that, yeah, pretty much they are just using the name.

We’ve crafted a really strong, deep mythology for the thing. Without divulging too much about it, it’s two lead characters – two brothers – who have to go through a seminal experience to figure out their relationship, against this huge backdrop.”

Of course they had to create an original story for the project! There’s no story to the game. There’s zero story. In fact, it’s one of the few games that you don’t even mentally create a story to with your imagination. Mostly you just shoot stuff.

This is a fact not lost on the producer who poignantly notes that:

Well you’d better have some guys in spaceships blowing stuff up or else you haven’t honored the fun of Asteroids.”

So they are making a movie where two brothers fly spaceships and blow up stuff. How is this at all an “Asteroids” adaptation? There’s nothing to adapt! That’s like creating a story about two brothers who work through tough times and rebuild their relationship while playing table tennis and calling it a “Pong” adaptation.

It’s a totally original work that is obviously trading on the name recognition of a game that has no story line to begin with. Aren’t we starting to stretch the limits of what’s considered an adaptation? Can it still be an adaptation when 99% of the script is new material except for the addition of an already-common science fiction trope of shooting lasers at stuff?

On a side note, I’m also not sure whether or not blowing up asteroids with lasers would even be possible in space, even after reading Robert Fure’s old Boiling Point about stuff that’s impossible out there in the wild nothingness. Is there an astrophysicist out there that can let me know?

What do you think?


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