Taron Egerton stars in Apple TV+'s Tetris movie, dramatizing the true story behind how the classic video game made it out of Soviet Russia.
After a decade of development, the Tetris movie has finally taken shape. Starring Taron Egerton, Tetris will descend upon Apple TV+ on March 31, 2023. As broken down by The Verge, the video game adaptation takes the form of a biographical drama, chronicling one man’s mission to take Tetris from obscurity in Soviet Russia to the masses across the world.
Taron Egerton plays Henk Rogers, a Dutch video game designer and entrepreneur, who must go behind enemy lines in order to secure distribution rights for the video game Tetris. While in the Soviet Union, Rogers must find Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov, played by Nikita Efremov, and dodge KGB agents as the Cold War speeds toward its climax.
The film promises a fun look at the beginning of the Game Boy, a heartfelt family drama, and the death-defying devotion of a man who loves great games. Tetris also gives fans of Taron Egerton one of the actor’s goofiest movie characters to date. The Kingsman actor ditches his British accent for a nasally American one as he delivers impassioned speeches about the magic of Tetris.
Tetris takes the story of how the popular video game came to be and packages it as a wacky political thriller. Egerton compared the tone of the Tetris movie to David Fincher’s The Social Network. Tetris is rated R by the MPAA and will premiere this March at the SXSW film festival before its streaming release on Apple TV+.
The Tetris movie joins a long lineage of video game adaptations that range from the terrible to the excellent, the obvious to the bizarre. One thing is certain: there is never a shortage of them. HBO adapted The Last of Us into a mega-hit series, Phoebe Waller-Bridge will take another crack at Tomb Raider for Amazon, and Paramount+ is at work on another season of its Halo show.
Video game adaptations can become wild contortions of their source material, especially when the games are heavy on mechanics and light on story. As a game with no story, Tetris as a movie about blocks falling from the sky could prove a challenge, but that was the plan for a long time.
The Tetris movie was originally conceived as a big-budget sci-fi epic that could even spark a trilogy. The approach that screenwriter Noah Pink and director Jon S. Baird took to Tetris could turn a potentially cringe-worthy video game adaptation into a worthwhile drama.
The Tetris movie reunites Taron Egerton with Kingsman director Matthew Vaughn, who co-produces Tetris alongside Gillian Berrie, Claudia Vaughn, Len Blavatnik, and Gregor Cameron. Egerton and Efremov will be joined by a cast including Toby Jones, Sofya Lebedeva, Ben Miles, Rick Yune, Roger Allam, and more.
The early years of Tetris were riddled with distribution rights drama, and the upcoming movie looks to capitalize on that friction. From the mid-80s into the 90s, the battle for Tetris was waged, involving some of the industry’s biggest names. Thanks to some dedicated game lovers, Tetris is one of the most addictive and recognizable video games in the world, and thanks to some dedicated filmmakers, it is now a movie, too.