Universal Snags Movie Rights to Atari's Asteroids

The video game movie didn't exactly have a glorious beginning, but they're permanent fixtures in Hollywood these days as studios race to to snap up the film rights to video game properties, enticed by the allure of big box-office returns. It was inevitable that this exuberance would eventually go overboard, and we may have arrived at the genre's shark-jumping moment: Universal Pictures has emerged from a bidding war as the buyer of the rights to the Asteroids movie.

Yes, Universal beat out three other studios to option the classic 1979 Atari arcade game, which has no plot and no graphics to speak of. Basically, they'll be making the film from scratch, akin to what they're doing with the recently announced Battleship movie. Universal's senior VP of production Jeff Kirschenbaum will be overseeing the project, Matthew Lopez was tapped as script writer, and Lorenzo di Bonaventura was recently attached as producer (Bonaventura is also producing the upcoming GI Joe movie.)

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