Two long and difficult years ago, Universal set a new standard for jettisoning story in favor of the slightest brand recognition when it outbid three other studios for the rights to adapt Asteroids. Internet incredulity ensued, heated words were exchanged, and most likely assumed that the project had been quietly been set aside so the studio could concentrate on making films with more narrative meat on their bones, like that one about the Ouija board. But alas, Vulture reports that not only does Asteroids have an actual script with words in it from Matt Lopez (best known for Disney’s similarly nostalgic cash-in Race To Witch Mountain) and the guiding hand of the lord of loud and expensive, producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Universal is also currently courting director Roland Emmerich to transform its 8 bits into an appropriately explosion-y epic.
Of course, Emmerich himself recently declared that he was attempting to move away from movies centered on the destruction of the Earth lest he be pigeonholed, but he may be able to do Asteroids on a technicality: The story, such as it is, actually takes place after the destruction of the Earth in the far reaches of space, where the human race survives only in ragtag colonies battling aliens within the rocky confines of an asteroid belt, presumably their only hope for salvation a triangle tasked with firing squares at a never-ending series of space-balls. (And not the fun kind of Spaceballs.) And yes, as with almost every other Universal film these days, that sounds like a fairly generic premise, one that could easily be made without any flimsy, tenuous connection to a property that only the most nostalgic fondly remember, and which younger generations will regard with even blanker than usual stares. But of course, then Universal wouldn’t be able to license as many faux-vintage T-shirts.