While we await more Ghostbusters movies, that series’ influence can be felt in a couple movies arriving this year. Neither Pixels nor Lazer Team involve ghosts, but the alien busting that is at the center of their plots are related. Especially when connected through the Ghostbusters clone Evolution (also directed by Ivan Reitman). The idea is for a team of misfits, most likely three or four guys and possibly a woman, who are tasked with a sci-fi-based job they’re seemingly not equipped for. For the Ghostbusters the team consisted of scientists with PhDs but they weren’t initially the action hero sort, and the idea of busting ghosts wasn’t exactly a trainable operation at first.
For both Pixels and Lazer Team, the people tasked with saving the world are pretty much just misfits and idiots. They’re following the path previously taken with The Watch, about everymen who thwart an alien invasion. For the Chris Columbus-directed Pixels (which is from the same studio that brought us Ghostbusters), it’s a team of arcade game champions from the ’80s (played by Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad) enlisted to stop an invasion inspired by old games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong. For Lazer Team, which is co-written and directed by Matt Hullum, it’s just a group of morons who were in the wrong (right) place at the wrong (right) time and accidentally become affixed to the weaponry that is needed to defeat a threat from space.
Also interestingly uniting these two sci-fi comedies is the way they were both born from the Internet. Pixels is adapted from Patrick Jean’s 2010 short, which went viral (watch it here), and Lazer Team is from the guys at Rooster Teeth, who broke out with the web series Red vs. Blue. Lazer Team is also famous for being one of the most successful movie crowdfunding projects of all time. Which one will be better or at least funnier? We’ll find out once they both arrive – Pixels is due on July 24th and Lazer Team is also out sometime this year.