What have we done to deserve this? What evils have the moviegoing public inflicted upon the world to warrant such vengeance? Is there no way out of this nightmare?
Here are the facts as we know them: A movie based on Tetris, the popular 1980s video game in which the player attempts to fit falling blocks into slots, has been in development since 2014. Earlier this year, Deadline reported the film will cost around $80 million and film in China.
The visionary behind this motion picture is one Larry Kasanoff, a producer whose credits include the 1995 film Mortal Kombat (adapted from the video game of the same name) and Foodfight!, an animated feature starring Charlie Sheen and Eva Longoria that more than one critic has said is among the worst films ever conceived.
This week, Empire talked to Kasanoff about his Tetris project. He said that one movie alone is not enough to adequately explore the vast expanse of the Tetrisverse. And two films bring us no closer. No, Tetris is to be three separate films. Only then will all the blocks fit. Only then will we realize the cinematic potential of an arcade game about blocks. A trilogy, it shall be.
“The story we conceived is so big,” Kasanoff told Empire. “It’s just a big story.”
Kasanoff did not immediately respond to a request to elaborate.
If you’re skeptical about an $80 million production about a 30-year-old puzzle game, don’t be. Kasanoff said it’s going to surprise everyone.
“We’re not going to have blocks with feet running around the movie,” he said. “But it’s great that people think so. It sets the bar rather low!”
The Tetris trilogy is arriving at the perfect time. Hollywood is in the midst of a nostalgic arcade game renaissance, given last year’s Pixels, a movie in which Pac-Man and Donkey Kong attack Earth. What’s next, a Pong movie? (Probably.) In related news, an “emoji movie” is in development.
It’s also true, however, that after a stretch of poorly received and underperforming sequels, Hollywood is rethinking the effectiveness of franchise-based content. That memo apparently failed to reach Kasanoff’s desk.
The mere proposed existence of a Tetris trilogy invites the question: Is this our fault? Did we cause this by asking for more and more adaptations, and refusing to go see most genuinely original movies? Maybe. But this news shouldn’t be shocking—the world’s filmmakers are simply running out of things to adapt.
The real story twist, though, will be if these Tetris movies are anything close to watchable. Kasanoff says he has a plan, but won’t spill the beans.
“No one has come remotely close to figuring out what we’re doing,” he told Empire.
Tetris gif by Cezary Tomczak and Maxime Lorant on Wikimedia, licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.