Universal’s (presumably big budget) Hollywood adaptation of Asteroids confused many people at the outset. The classic Atari game is pretty simple – spin around shoot at space debris and flying saucers before they crash into and kill you – so the directions the adaptation could take were wide open. Now we have a little more information, thanks to The Hollywood Reporter. A very little.
THR reports that the plot of the film will revolve around “the story of two estranged brothers that must team up to save Earth from an alien race.” Additionally, Asteroids has a new writer attached to it. The new screenwriter Evan Spiliotopoulos wrote the upcoming film Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), but most of his previous credits are sequels to Disney films. He replaces The Sorcerer’s Apprentice writer Matt Lopez.
Asteroids’s plot seems extremely general and very generic – no different from your standard Earth invasion story. There isn’t even a mention of ‘asteroids’ in the blurb! If this is the direction producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers: Dark of the Moon) and Universal had always intended to go, why did they go to the trouble of securing the rights to the Atari game? It seems likely that Universal is trying to cash in on the iconic cultural status of Asteroids to get butts into movie theaters. When you take into account that this is the same studio that spent an estimated $200 million on an film version of the board game Battleship (to be released May 2012), it starts to look a little desperate.
Who knows, though. Maybe they’ll pull a Clue and play with the form and content of the game enough that something unique and interesting emerges.