Most Recent: Etcetera

Brett Ratner is making a movie about Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov’s life

metatop100-tetrisAlexey Pajitnov’s creation of Tetris is going to get the Social Network treatment courtesy of Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment.

According to Tracking Board, the film will portray Pajitnov’s early days at the Soviet Academy of Sciences and his programming work with Dmitry Pavlovsky and Vadim Gerasimov. The film will also focus on the court case that eventually awarded a publishing license for the game to Nintendo. The Tracking Board article even hints at the possibility of some international intrigue as the court case is said to have “threatened to destabilize relationships between governments.”

RatPac Entertainment is currently seeking a screenwriter for the film.

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Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Shang Tsung) said filming on Mortal Kombat: Legacy 3 is already complete

mortalkombatlegacylogoIt has (maybe) begun (filming)!

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa might not be a household name, but he is very familiar to fans of Mortal Kombat, as Tagawa memorably portrayed the sinister Shang Tusng in both 1995’s Mortal Kombat and the second season of Mortal Kombat: Legacy. Recently, the veteran actor sat down with The AV Club to discuss his entire career as part of their popular “Random Roles” series.

Tagawa was thrilled to discuss his involvement in Mortal Kombat with interviewer Will Harris, especially his delight at being able to go completely over-the-top with Shang Tsung: “[I]t turned out to be a real film highlight for a lot of kids who are now 35.” As one of those aforementioned kids, I was extremely happy when Tagawa also said that Mortal Kombat: Legacy 3 is a go… and he’ll be reprising his role as Shang Tsung… and that filming is already complete:

But, anyway, I was in [Mortal Kombat: Legacy 2], and I just finished the third, and… I think it just gives me an opportunity to refresh it for this new generation. And the game keeps getting bigger, so I think it’ll go on. It’s definitely a huge part of my career. But so are so many of these films I’ve been in. I’ve been in a lot of cult movies, but I’ve been very fortunate to have been involved in projects that people remember.

Though Tagawa calls it “the third” series, it’s possible that the next Mortal Kombat webseries won’t be released under the Legacy banner at all. Last year, WB Games announced that Mortal Kombat X would be adapted as a live-action series known as Mortal Kombat X: Generation, so it’s possible this announcement is related to that. We’ve contacted WB Games for comment, and hopefully they’ll be able to fill in the blanks with some flawless information.

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Here’s the first trailer for the Warcraft movie

Blizzard’s annual BlizzCon convention seems like the perfect place to finally give fans their first look at the upcoming Warcraft movie. And even if you’re unfamiliar with the franchise’s expansive lore (watch as I sheepishly raise my hand), the trailer has a distinct Lords of the Rings vibe that should appeal to fantasy fans everywhere.

Warcraft was directed by Duncan Jones, a director best known for his work on Moon and Source Code. The film stars Travis Fimmel, Toby Kebbell, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, and many others. The Legendary Pictures production is expected to open in theaters on June 10, 2016.

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Activision will develop Call of Duty “cinematic universe” and Skylanders animated TV series


Activision is going to Hollywood! The megapublisher has announced the formation of Activision Blizzard Studios, a new film and television studio that will create content based on their most popular game franchises. Nick Van Dyk, a former executive at Disney, will co-lead the studio along another executive who will be named later.

Not surprisingly, the first project from the studio will be an animated television series based on the Skylanders range of games and toys. A premiere date wasn’t announced, but the series is alreadyy in production and Activision has lined up an impressive voice cast including Justin Long as Spyro, Ashley Tisdale as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks as Eruptor, and Norm MacDonald as Glumshanks. Eric Rogers, a writer best known for his work on Futurama, will serve as the showrunner.

Activision Blizzard Studios is also hard at work on laying the groundwork for a Call of Duty “cinematic universe,” which they hope to launch with “a series of Call of Duty feature films as well as the possibility of television adaptations.” It takes guts to promise multiple movies, a television series, and an interconnected cinematic universe.

Bobby Kotick, Activision’s CEO, is confident that his new division can make it work: “Activision Blizzard is home to some of the most successful entertainment franchises in history, across any medium [and we] intend to approach film and television development with the same unwavering commitment to excellence we are known for in game development.”

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Metroid: The Sky Calls is a fan film that calls back to 60s/70s sci-fi like Alien and 2001

A good fan film will often result in a lot of nodding as you think to yourself, “Yes! Yes! Yes! Someone gets it!” While it’s definitely not how a major Hollywood studio would adapt Metroid today, I think Metroid: The Sky Calls might produce a few approving nods.

Produced by Rainfall Films, and starring Jessica Chobot as Samus Aran, Metroid: The Sky Calls harkens back to the science fiction from the 60s and 70s that inspired the creation of the franchise in the first place. Combining the psychedelic visuals of 2001: A Space Odyssey with the loneliness and isolation of Alien and Solaris, the short film is both very familiar and like nothing I’ve ever seen before.

Nintendo partnered with John Woo to develop a movie based on the Metroid series back in 2004. Sometime in the years that followed, the deal fell through and no movie was produced. But if they ever try again, I’d like to think that Nintendo would find some inspiration in Metroid: The Sky Calls.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider launch trailer includes Karen O’s theme song, “I Shall Rise”

Rise of the Tomb Raider will make its Xbox One and Xbox 360 debut next week, so now’s the perfect time for Microsoft and Square Enix to release the game’s launch trailer. The three-minute video is a deep dive into Lara Croft’s next adventure, which cribs from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade with its paternal quest for immortality (and a watery escape is borrowed wholesale from Temple of Doom). While they might feel familiar, the stunning environments that Lara visits should be enough to entice fans of the franchise.

However, if they’re not, the trailer is also soundtracked by Karen O, the lead singer of Yeah Yeah Yeahs. She told Rolling Stone that her song, “I Shall Rise,” is about the exact moment that Lara Croft: Young Archaeologist transforms into Lara Croft: Tomb Raider…

“It all sounded really tasty. They wanted drama and high-stakes and melodrama. That was very appealing to me because I love making music connected to a storyline. It was all stuff I loved like having the theme song to [Lara Croft] becoming an icon and the creation myth to the moment she becomes Lara.”

You can listen to “I Shall Rise” in its entirety after the break. (more…)

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Witness this 8-Bit Cinema adaptation of Mad Max: Fury Road

You don’t have to think Mad Max: Fury Road is the greatest movie of all time to enjoy this 8-Bit Cinema adaptation of George Miller’s latest masterpiece… but it certainly helps. Though the question is kind of pointless as Mad Max: Fury Road is definitely the greatest movie of all time.

The 8-Bit Cinema adaptation turns Fury Road into a side-scrolling beat ’em up, but it’s so indescribably awesome that you just have to watch it yourself. How does one even attempt to describe the guitar-playing Doof Warrior to someone? See? Aren’t you intrigued now? So go watch it already and then follow it up with your first (or fifth) viewing of Mad Max: Fury Road.

So shiny! So chrome!

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Watch the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses performance from The Late Show With Stephen Colbert right here

Nintendo’s promotional push for The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes began last night with an appearance by the Symphony of the Goddesses orchestra on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. In addition to performing music from the upcoming 3DS title, the orchestra ripped through a medley of music from the entire series including The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, A Link to the Past, Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, Twilight Princess, and Skyward Sword.

The producers even transformed Colbert’s famous “stained glass” ceiling into a fresco depicting Link and Zelda over the years. “Rejoice, nerds! This is the music that awaits you in heaven,” Colbert added when a video of the performance was uploaded to YouTube.

The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes will be released for the 3DS on October 23.

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