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Hollywood Finally Gives Up—Asteroids: The Movie

September 25, 2009

Did you hear about that movie they’re going to make about asteroids that threaten to destroy something?  No, not Armageddon.  No, not Deep Impact.  It’s called…no, not Asteroid or Asteroid: The Doomsday Rock.  You’ve probably heard—NO, it’s not Meteorites or Meteor or any other damn movie that’s been made yet.  Will you let me finish?  It’s this totally new movie that’s going to be based on the 1979 Atari video game Asteroids.  What’s it going to be about?  Well, I just told you, asteroids threaten something, most likely a spaceship but it could be Earth or…wait, that’s what all those other movies are about?  Then why the hell would I watch Asteroids: The Movie?

Good question.  The only thing Hollywood seems to be able to churn out now is movies based on toys and games from the 1970s and 1980s, movies based on children’s TV shows from the 1970s and 1980s, movies based on video games from the 1970s to present, movies based on comic books, and sequels/prequels to those movies.  In other words, shit that other people came up with a long time ago.

This is a good thing, really.  When you heard that Universal Studios “won” the rights to make Asteroids: The Movie, you probably freaked, since you were thinking, “Man, I haven’t seen a movie about an impending asteroid/comet strike in at least six months, and I just dusted off the old Atari that I found in my attic!”

You weren’t thinking that?  You weren’t saying to yourself, “Hey, I used to like this one toy when I was 8, so I wish Hollywood would throw $200 million at it and see what happens”?  That’s weird, because it seems like that’s all you’ve been watching lately.  Maybe Asteroids will be different.  Maybe it will turn out to be the video game movie with heart or soul, or at least a proto-brain nerve cluster, unlike Transformers 2 or G.I. Joe.

The only problem is that the Asteroids producer is Lorenzo di Bonaventura, the same guy who produced Transformers 2 and G.I. Joe.  Before you judge, here’s what he has to say about the potential plot of Asteroids: The Movie:  “It’s funny because people say there’s nothing in the game, but that’s not entirely right.  I was attracted to Asteroids, plain and simple, because I think what it tells you is that there’s going to be this big thing in space.”  Yes, it certainly does say that, because asteroids are enormously huge things floating around in space.  And space is home to even huger things like black holes and stars.  Man, I wish someone would make movies about those things, too!

Perhaps Bonaventura realized that this explanation wouldn’t reassure people that Asteroids: The Movie wouldn’t just be another big, dumb rip-off film, so he tries again: “We’ve crafted a really strong, deep mythology for the thing. Without divulging too much about it, it’s two lead characters – two brothers – who have to go through a seminal experience to figure out their relationship, against this huge backdrop.”  What kind of pretentious crap is that?  Slashfilm points out that the game didn’t really have a mythology (a triangle that shoots dots at concave polygons) so the studio could create whatever script it wants, but the last thing I want to blow money on is a cross between Tetro and Wing Commander.  Give me back spaceships blowing the shit out of evil space-rocks.

Sadly, it looks like this topic could end up being a recurring TBTS column.  Even more depressing, from the sound of it this early spoof script leak will probably be better than the actual movie.  The only thing that could be sillier than this would be a Bazooka Joe movie.  Oh

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