The rise and fall of the Atari empire is one of the fabled stories from the early days of video gaming, before games had elaborate orchestral soundtracks or fancy 3-D graphics. Heck, even before they had scrolling screens and a sound chip that could make more nuanced noises than "blip" or "bloop." As fascinating as this all is from a historical standpoint, it's a bit surprisng that this tale is being turned into a feature film with Leonardo DiCaprio as the star.
Atari will be a biopic of Atari founder Nolan Bushnell. Bushnell was influential in starting the company and figuring out its
direction into home consoles. He was equally influential in losing
interest in Atari during this time to work on Chuck E. Cheese
entertainment theaters (no, seriously), until the Atari crash of 1983
and the Chuck E. Cheese bankruptcy of 1984. Dark days for gamers and
lovers of anthropomorphic mouse-robots alike.
Most of all,
Bushnell was an entrepreneur, who continued founding companies
throughout his life. In a way, then, the role makes sense for DiCaprio given
the actor's previous work as Howard Hughes. However, Bushnell's life
is less a case of OCD than rampant geekdom. DiCaprio's company,
Appian Way, is producing, so it seems likely that he'll stay on the
reports that Brian Hecker and Craig Sherman are writing the film, and
given Hecker's past, it seems likely that he may direct it as well.
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