7 Classic Arcade Games That Could Be Movies
The Game: The titular Paperboy has to deliver papers, dodging bees, fire hydrants, storm drains, and, er, break dancers along the way.
Studio Pitch: "We take Mark Wahlberg. We CGI him young. We get him to swat bees with the New York Times. We win Oscars. If Wahlberg's busy, get Nic Cage."
Key Scene: Nic Cage's newspaper-sack is on fire. He drops to his knees, bellowing: "How'd it get burned? How'd it get burned?"
In the background, Mark Walhberg swipes the air with a rolled up magazine. The audience stands up and applauds.
The Game: Frog wants to cross road. Cars want to turn him into a splat stain. Game on!
The Studio Pitch: "Let’s paint Tom Cruise green and get him to cross a road. In the future. With, like, laser-tanks trying to run him over. And robots, lots of robots. We can get 240 minutes out of that, surely?"
Key Scene: Tom Cruise leaps onto a traffic island, as a massive robot explodes behind him. He lands next to a family of frogs. It's a brilliant in-joke.
Ms. Pacman (1981)
The Game: Ms. Pacman gotta eat. Ghosts gotta stop her. Game on!
Studio Pitch: "I can see it now. Cameron Diaz is Ms. Pacman, a junkie hooker who’s addicted to painkillers.
But when the ghosts of her dead junkie friends start to haunt her, Ms. Pacman has to dodge them in order to keep her habit going. That's the sort of garbage the Academy laps up."
Key Scene: Diaz is gulping down pills like there's no tomorrow. She accidentally picks up some cherries, looks at the camera, and smiles.
The Game: Essentially Rambo, Aliens and Predator combined (check the box art to the left for proof) Contra sees our soldier heroes going to an island inhabited by alien invaders.
Y'know, so they can shoot them.
Studio Pitch: "Cancel The Expendables, it has literally no brand awareness.
Sign up Arnie and Sly, get their old costumes out of storage, grab an Alien from the prop cupboard, and let’s do this."
Key Scene: Arnie runs into the jungle, shouting "I'll be back." Sly calls after him: "Stop, or my mom will shoot!" Nothing makes sense.
The Game: An abstract geometrical shape is attacked by enemy abstract geometrical shapes. Game on!
Studio Pitch: "Matt Damon wakes up to find he's mutated into an abstract geometrical shape and is being stalked by a bunch of multicoloured cloned assassin shapes all played by Seth Rogen.
"It's like frickin' Kafka only with abstract geometrical shapes. Let's get that crazy Gaspar Noe guy! Charlie Kaufman on script!"
Key Scene: Rhombus Steven Seagal ignores the warning of Trapezium Stephen Hawking and kicks Rogen-Shape and Damon-Shape's angular asses, before giving an inspirational pro-geometry speech, banging their sharply angled heads together and causing a quantum reacion that destroys the world.
The Game: A little blobby fella with a big nose who swears a lot jumps around a pyramid of cubes being chased by a snake. Game WTF?!
Studio Pitch: "Time to revive Joe Pesci's career! He's the go-to curse-word guy, right?
"So, he's a kind of R-rated Indiana Jones. He goes to Egypt to find treasure hidden in one of the pyramids. But evil rival explorer and snake expert Steve Buscemi gets there first, frustrating Joe Pesci's attempts to add (painted) colours to a hieroglyphic mural by hiding snakes everywhere."
Key Scene: Excavating an ancient tomb, one of Buscemi's ultra-poisonous snakes jumps out and almost bites him. Joe Pesci says stuff like "Motherfucking snake!" and "Goddam prickfuck snake!"
Donkey Kong (1981)
The Game: Big monkey steals woman, small man has to save her, dodging barrels along the way.
Studio Pitch: " A big monkey stealing a woman? That’s the most original idea in movie history! Get Peter Jackson on the phone!"
Key Scene: Donkey Kong (Andy Serkis) kills the small man (Danny DeVito), grabs The Princess (Amy Adams - or maybe Naomi Watts) and imprisons her in a barrel while he goes ice-skating.