While Universal’s Asteroids movie remains stuck in an endless corner-to-corner loop, and Fox’s Missile Command remains nestled in the oddly shaped bosom of its command center, Warner Bros. is making its own slow, pixilated crawl toward being the first to unlock the narrative potential in a video game made popular by Atari. The studio has hired Akiva Goldsman to develop Space Invaders, a title that explores the rather fantastical premise of aliens coming to Earth. While one might assume these aliens would like to discuss the philosophical ramifications of our co-existence, or maybe take in a show, Space Invaders instead posits that these block-shaped aliens would prove aggressive, advancing on us slowly and firing small blocks while we fire blocks back at them, all while hiding under other blocks. (“These are our blocks,” our hero will declare in his rallying speech, confusing everyone.)
As of now, Goldsman is only producing, and his varied resume makes it difficult to say whether Space Invaders will be the giddy fun of A Beautiful Mind, or the somber exploration of existential terror that was Lost In Space. Based on Goldsman’s A Winter’s Tale, it may also be not very good. But it’s probably safe to assume the climax will hinge on our heroes discovering that the aliens are just slowly moving from side to side in easy-to-pick-off lines, in a pattern as familiar as the crafting of movies from nostalgic brand names.