After seven years pretending to be TV’s most egotistical and belligerently naive character Jenna Maroney, actress Jane Krakowski should seriously be all over the comedic landscape, nipping at former co-star Tina Fey’s heels. (Or sneakers or whatever.) It hasn’t happened yet, but her next role may put her into Hollywood’s upper stratosphere, as she’s joining Adam Sandler and an all-star cast for Columbia Pictures’ high-stakes video game comedy Pixels. While we don’t know if Krakowski’s character gets inside of a Battlezone tank and blows Sandler to smithereens, one can hope.
Not skimping on high-concept plotting, Pixels has as its antagonists a squad of aliens who, for some reason, are able to watch video feeds of classic arcade games from the 1980s, which they think are real and assume that war is raging. So, obviously, the aliens take the forms of everyone’s favorite early-generation video games and come down to Earth to begin their massive attack. While my tone may wallow in sarcasm, I actually can’t wait to watch this on the big screen.
Kevin James stars as President William Cooper, and Krakowski will play his wife and First Lady. Cooper calls in his childhood best friend and video game champion Sam Brenner (Sandler) to lead a pair of arcade enthusiasts—Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad—in figuring out how to put an end to these seemingly unstoppable attacks. (Adding some drama to the mix is a past relationship between Brenner and Krakowski’s character.) Pixels also stars Michelle Monaghan as a military weapons developer and Brenner’s current love interest, as well as Brian Cox and Ashley Benson. All in all, this is about as good a cast as Hollywood comedies get these days.
The film is based on the celebrated 2010 short film by Patrick Jean, which features imaginative video game demolition sequences, though no human drama. Harry Potter and Home Alone director Chris Columbus takes the controller on this one, directing from a script written by SNL vet Tim Herlihy and Role Models scribe Timothy Dowling.
Following the series finale of 30 Rock, Krakowski took guest spots on Modern Family and The Simpsons, and saw her Fox pilot Dead Boss get passed over by the network. She will reteam with Fey on the comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. On the big screen, Krakowski will soon be seen opposite Nick Kroll and Bobby Cannavale in Ross Katz’s comedy Adult Beginners and in Adriana Trigiani’s rom-com Big Stone Gap. Will we ever get any more “Muffin Top” performances? Probably not, so we’ll just relive it with the video below.
Pixels is currently in production in Toronto and is expected to Pac-Man chomp through theaters on May 15, 2015.