Bandai Namco is turning Pac-Man into a live-action movie

Shawn Knight

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What just happened? Bandai Namco Entertainment has reportedly selected an unlikely candidate as the source material for an upcoming live-action film adaptation. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Bandai Namco is teaming up with Wayfarer Studios to create a Pac-Man movie. The film will be based on an original idea from Chuck Williams of Lightbeam Entertainment, who served as an associate producer on the 2020 Sonic the Hedgehog movie.

Pac-Man hit arcades in 1980. Players controlled the titular Pac-Man and were tasked with eating all of the dots within a maze while avoiding four colored ghosts. Each ghost had their own "personality" based on unique artificial intelligence.

Players could advance to the next level by eating all of the dots in a given maze. Difficulty increased with each level: the ghosts moved faster and power-ups decreased in duration, eventually disappearing altogether. A bug resulting from a memory overflow error that triggers at level 256 causes half of the screen to load improperly, thus making it impossible to complete the level and prematurely ending the game.

Pac-Man was a massively successful game, and went on to become one of the best-selling and highest-grossing titles of all time. It spawned a cornucopia of merchandise, eight Guinness World Records, two television shows and numerous film cameos. The upcoming flick will be the first feature film based on the intellectual property.

While its place as a pop culture icon isn't in question, one has to wonder if it is the best choice for a feature film. Bandai Namco has an extensive catalog of original IP that could serve as the basis for potentially great feature films including but not limited to Ridge Racer, Time Crisis, Ace Combat and Pole Position.

A live-action, sci-fi thriller based on Tetris was set to start filming in 2017 courtesy of Threshold Entertainment. The film reportedly had an $80 million budget but seemingly fell off the face of the Earth. A separate Tetris film chronicling the development of the game is due out later this year.

Image credit: shark ovski

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