In recent years, China has emerged as a hugely influential force in the motion picture agency; its massive populations means there is a huge source of potential viewers, and its continued economic success means there are lots of investors looking to get a piece of the pie. Naturally, Hollywood has been more than happy to follow the money, thus making co-productions with Chinese companies all the more common, and the product of one such co-production is apparently going to be a movie based on a game designed by a Russian, Tetris.
Now, you might be asking, “Who wants to make a movie based about a game about lining up falling blocks?” The answer is a Chinese media mogul and one of the guys responsible for the Mortal Kombat movies. Bruno Wu, head of Seven Star Works, is partnering with Lawrence Kasanoff, head of Threshold Entertainment Group, to create Threshold Global Studios, which has already secured the $80 million dollars needed to fulfill their vision of Tetris on the big screen.
Kasanoff has promised the movie won’t be “at all what you think; it will be a cool surprise.” Personally, I believe him, because I don’t even have the slightest clue as to what a Tetris movie could be. The producers apparently have some idea in mind, because they have already stated it will be a sci-fi thriller and will begin filming in 2017, primarily in China with a Chinese cast.
Oh, and it will be the first part of a trilogy, of course.
In all seriousness, though, I would dare say Tetris the Movie has a better chance of being good than most video game to film adaptations. One of the pitfalls of making such a transition is finding out how to balance influences from two often opposing art forms to create a cohesive whole that honors its source material while still functioning as a quality film. Unlike many other game properties, Tetris is pretty much completely devoid of a world, characters, or even a real aesthetic, so there really isn’t much holding it down. So long as the movie involves falling blocks in some way, it would be hard to argue it’s a bad adaptation, thus freeing the filmmakers to focus on making a good movie first and foremost. Now, we’ll just have to wait and see if they realize this.