Tetris is a lot of things. It’s a spatial-reasoning game that requires an understanding of shapes and rotations in a quick fashion. It’s a great hand-eye motion workout as those blocks continue to speed down the screen with each increasing level. It’s even a game that appears to help with memory and cognitive acuity. So yeah, the game is a lot of things. But I can’t say I’ve ever thought the game to be the backbone of a movie. I was wrong. It sure looks like from recent rumors that Tetris will get a cinematic treatment.
Now, before you start thinking we are getting something like the College Humor spoof of Minesweeper: The Movie, know that this Tetris news isn’t along the same lines. Heck, someone even already gave a glimpse of what an actual Tetris movie could look like. Worry not. We aren’t going to watch characters, or even worse, blocks move around the screen and fit into perfectly-aligned places. No, Tetris: The Movie is instead planning on telling the story of how the game was created. That’s a relief. I’ve watched a lot of things over the years but 90 minutes of blocks moving around the screen for unknown plot reasons would have been where I probably draw the line.
Tetris: The Movie already has a number of different names attached. For starters, Taron Egerton is slated to star in the movie. He’ll play Henk Rogers, the Dutch video game designer who originally procured the rights to the Tetris game back in 1984. Onboard to direct is Jon S. Baird who has some experience in the biopic game having helmed the critical hit Stan & Ollie which sits at 92% on the Rotten Tomatometer. And finally, Noah Pink handled the script. He’s currently the showrunner and creator of National Geographic’s Genius which is entering its third season.
Rogers and the story about how he brought Tetris to Nintendo and Gameboy in the 1980s were featured in the book The Tetris Effect: The Game that Hypnotized the World. The game was originally created by Russian developer Alexey Pajitnov. In terms of ownership, the game has a long and rather complicated history eventually winding up with Rogers and his company Bullet-Proof Software. It was here that a legal battle ensued with Nintendo about rights on the Gameboy console. It stands to reason, Tetris: The Movie follows this storyline considering Rogers was at the center of it.
This latest Tetris: The Movie development shouldn’t be confused with the concept that was floated years ago about actually turning the blocks into part of the movie. That would have been rather ridiculous. The plans for that movie fizzled out when they couldn’t get much traction around the concept.
As of right now, with only three names attached, we will have to wait on more developments around casting, filming, and actual release dates. While you wait, feel free to take a gander at the greatest Tetris game ever played. See if your brain can keep up when those blocks are flying down the screen from a couple of true pros.