Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2015 by Ethan Anderton
Since most movies adapting video games for the big screen haven’t really turned out to be anything memorable, maybe the origin story of one of the most iconic early video games will be a little more appealing to audiences. That’s what producer Brett Ratner and his RatPac Entertainment partner James Packer are hoping as they are developing a Tetris movie about Alexey Pajitnov, the Russian video game designer who created the building block puzzle game.
This story comes from The Tracking Board, who doesn’t have the greatest track record. But considering this isn’t a wild rumor about a super valuable property, there’s no reason to think this particular report isn’t accurate.
Unsurprisingly, the Untitled Tetris Project is described as being in the same vein as The Social Network. Because if you’re going to make the movie about the creation of something, why not shoot for the moon and compare it to one of the best movies of the past decade, from one of the best directors (David Fincher) and one of the best writers (Aaron Sorkin) working today.
The story follows Pajitnov and the inception of Tetris, which was first developed with Dmitry Pavlovsky and Vadim Gerasimov in the USSR back in 1984. At the time, Pajitnov was working for a Soviet-funded research and development center in Moscow, and he came up with this idea for the puzzle game we all know and love today. It started small by spreading through the region, exchanged between computer programmers, but then it blew up.
Tetris was adapted for a slew of different gaming systems, sparking a legal battle for the rights of the game. It eventually landed at Nintendo, but not before creating plenty of international tension and heated debates. The game skyrocketed to even more fame when a copy was included with every Game Boy that was sold in the United States.
Sadly, Pajitnov didn’t get any money for his creation of Tetris until 1996. And even though his creation of the game led to a job at Microsoft developing games, he never matched the success of Tetris. Not even with the sequel Welltris, which took the puzzle game into the third dimension.
I suppose there could be an interesting story to tell here, though it will likely tread the same territory as movies like Flash of Genius, just with a different subject changing up the players. The origins of games seem to have Hollywood’s attention right now since there’s also a movie about the creation of Monopoly in the works as well.
The movie seems to be early in development, and while Brett Ratner’s involvement usually isn’t anything to get excited about, his RatPac banner has been delivering some good movies with plenty more on the way. The company was behind Truth with Robert Redford, and they have The Revenant coming next month and I Saw the Light with Tom Hiddleston in 2016. We’ll see if this one turns out to be something to look forward to once some talent gets attached behind and in front of the camera.
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