The arcade classic Space Invaders is getting ready to invade the big screen. Several years back, Warner Bros. purchased the movie rights to the popular video game and they’ve been trying to crack that egg for some time now. We haven’t heard any updates on the project in a few years, but it’s been quietly in development behind the scenes at the studio’s New Line Cinema division. Now, we have word that up-and-coming screenwriter Greg Russo has been tapped to pen the adaptation.
According to a new report, New Line has hired Greg Russo to write the Space Invaders screenplay after they worked with him on another upcoming video game project they have coming down the pipeline, Mortal Kombat. Oddly, there are some similarities between these two adaptations, outside of the fact that they both started life as popular games first. We had been hearing reports of a Mortal Kombat reboot for years, yet nothing ever actually materialized. However, once Russo was brought on board, things got moving in the right direction. Now the movie, which is being produced by James Wan, is actually set to begin filming later this year.
Even though the movie hasn’t actually been made yet, the studio clearly liked what Greg Russo was able to bring to the table. The question is, how is he going to take a game that simply involves shooting blocky space aliens and turn it into an actual story? Rampage could serve as a template. That video game adaptation turned a game about monsters destroying cities with virtually no story into a relatively successful movie, with the help of Dwayne Johnson. So it’s not impossible. And a good old-fashioned alien invasion movie can certainly grab the attention of moviegoers.
Related: Space Invaders Gets I Am Legend Producer Akiva Goldsman
Greg Russo, despite having a lack of work that is actually produced, is sort of becoming the go-to guy for video game adaptations. Aside from Mortal Kombat, he also penned a script for the planned Resident Evil reboot. He’s also been tapped to pen the latest version of the Saints Row movie, which F. Gary Gray (The Fate of the Furious) is set to direct. Outside of video game stuff, he’s been hired by Netflix to pen Death Note 2. So, needless to say, he’s a busy guy who has earned a lot of trust from some very big names in Hollywood.
Space Invaders was originally released as an arcade game in 1978. It’s generally considered to be amongst the most influential games ever created and has been given a number of sequels and spin-offs on various platforms over the years. Not much has been revealed about the movie up to this point. Only that Akiva Goldsman, Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell are on board as producers. There is no word on how soon the studio could try and actually get it into production or who may be eyed to direct. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news was previously reported by Deadline.