Josh Lyons wrote:
Here’s a bit of news that fits perfectly: Brett Ratner and James Packer are developing a biopic based on the life of Alexey Pajitnov, the Russian video game designer and computer engineer who created the iconic video game Tetris in their currently UNTITLED TETRIS PROJECT. Ratner and Packer are producing through their RatPac Entertainment.
In the vein of The Social Network, the story details the career of Pajitnov, who first developed Tetris with the help of Dmitry Pavlovsky and Vadim Gerasimov in 1984 in the communist-run USSR. Pajitnov was working for a Soviet-funded research and development center in Moscow when he developed the first version of the puzzle game, which began to spread throughout the region–initially exchanged between computer programmers.
As Tetris grew in popularity, being upgraded and adapted for various gaming devices and systems, the rights to the game became the crux of multiple complicated legal battles that spanned across the globe. The battles became so heated, in fact, that they threatened to destabilize relationships between governments. Following a controversial court ruling, Nintendo gained the legal right to sell the game, and as a result, Tetris was sold with every Game Boy console in America. Pajitnov, who moved to America in 1991, did not see a dime for his creation until 1996.
That same year, GameSpot named Pajitnov the fourth most influential computer game developer of all time, while IGN later cited him as “the ultimate video game one-hit wonder.” He went on to develop games for Microsoft.
Between the success of The Social Network and the remarkable–and still untold–true history of Tetris’s origins, there’s certainly a market for a film like this. The game has instant name recognition even with non-game enthusiasts. Not to mention the current geo-political situation between Russia and the West, which makes the story all the more timely.
Tetris isn’t the only iconic game that’s getting an origin story film. Big Beach Films recently announced it was developing The Monopolists
, which recounts the scandalous story of the Parker Brothers, who became household names for their board game Monopoly–which they may or may not have stolen.
Producers are currently looking for a screenwriter to adapt the Tetris story for the screen.