Atari’s ‘Missile Command’ and ‘Centipede’ Will Also Become Movies
As far as source material goes, classic Atari games would be categorized under “things least likely to inspire a movie,” along with objects like vacuum cleaners and steel beams. But the power of nostalgia is strong, and Hollywood is quite fond of taking unlikely properties from your childhood and turning them into movies — like Battleship and Trolls. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Atari’s Missile Command and Centipede games are heading to the big screen.
Deadline reports that Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films has teamed with Atari to produce big screen adaptations of Centipede and Missile Command. An adaptation of the former was previously in development at Fox, but that project appears to have stalled out a few years back and the film rights lapsed not long after.
Atari debuted their Missile Command and Centipede games in 1980 — Missile Command required players to hit missiles before they destroyed six cities in California, while Centipede called for you to destroy the titular bugs along with spiders and other creepy-crawlies using a shooter that scrolled back and forth. The games were simple but challenging, and given that they were both arcade shooters, one could easily imagine them embracing the action / sci-fi genre.
Although Atari has updated Missile Command and Centipede over the years, these games resonate more with people who grew up in or were already grown-up in the ’80s. Movie adaptations of these games present a certain degree of difficulty, similar to the challenge presented by most nostalgia-driven properties — do you make a Missile Command movie for the 30 or 40-year-old who made it popular in the first place, or do you try to attract a younger crowd? Finding that balance is key.