With movies like Prince of Persia, Resident Evil and Need for Speed drawing in hundreds of millions of dollars at the box office, Hollywood’s love affair with video games is justified. But the announcement that a film studio would be making a movie based on Tetris – the Russian floating puzzle-piece game that Nintendo made famous with the Game Boy in the Eighties (but more notably, a game with no zombies, race cars or Daggers of Time) – might raise a few eyebrows. But Larry Kasanoff – the CEO of Threshold Entertainment, which is making the movie and previously turned Mortal Kombat into a silver-screen success – says there’s a story there that fits.
“It’s a very big, epic sci-fi movie,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “This isn’t a movie with a bunch of lines running around the page. We’re not giving feet to the geometric shapes.”
Another reason why Kasanoff is not too concerned about the reception Tetris will get is because he feels the idea of star power has changed in Hollywood. “Brands are the new stars of Hollywood,” he says. “We have a story behind Tetris which makes it a much more imaginative thing.”
The exec also said that if the movie takes off, he has big plans on how he could grow the brand. “We certainly have the canvas for location-based entertainment based on the epicness,” he told the paper, though he did not expound on what “location-based entertainment” meant.
Earlier this year, Tetris marked its 30th anniversary on June 6th with programmer Alexey Pajitnov discussing how the game’s creation involved KGB negotiations and offering a theory about why the game has had such staying power: People remember simple tasks they have completed more easily than complicated ones. “Tetris does this wonderfully,” he told the Guardian. “It presents a world of perpetual uncompleted tasks…. It involves us in a compulsive loop of completing and generating new tasks and that keeps us endlessly playing.”