Home Entertainment Atari classics Centipede and Missile Command set for movie adaptations

Atari classics Centipede and Missile Command set for movie adaptations

3 min read


In an attempt which I can only assume is to stretch the bounds of ludicrousness and desperation for video-game adaptations, it seems classic Atari video-games Missile Command and Centipede will be getting the movie treatment. Yes – you read that correctly. Two really old classics, with seemingly little plot don’t really seem to be the kind of games you would expect Hollywood to attempt to make a movie out of and yet that will be happening thanks to a new partnership with Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films.

We actually saw Centipede as the chief antagonist in last year’s Pixels – the Adam Sandler vehicle that wasn’t particularly good, but had loads of nostalgia in resurrecting old arcade classic onto the big screen. It seems that idea has resonated further and the studios want to work on taking these old popular video game classics to the big screen. Clearly, they’ve all forgotten about the current video-game movie curse which has affected pretty much about every video-game adaptation to date. So the fact that they are now looking to adapt even older stories with even less plot, makes me worried even more.


Released in 1982, Centipede didn’t have much of an in-game story, though an official backstory was explained in a 12 page comic book that accompanied the original game manual. It reveals that the centipede game follows a tiny elf named Oliver whose entire village has been turned into mushrooms by an evil wizard. Oliver winds up getting a hold of the wizard’s magic wand, however, and then fights off waves of insects and spiders controlled by the evil mage.

Whether or not the Centipede movie retains any aspects of its story remains to be seen. They could pretty much do whatever they probably want the story as its not something most fans necessarily have a connection with – or am I wrong on this one?


The 1980 video game, Missile Command on the other hand is directly based on the Cold War, and saw gamers defend six US cities from projectile attacks. The game also received an official backstory that bizarrely however relocated the game’s setting to an alien planet:

Aliens from the planet of Krytol have begun an attack on the planet Zardon. The Krytolians are warriors out to destroy and seize the planet of Zardon. Zardon is the last of the peaceful planets. The Zardonians are skillful and hardworking people. Their cities are built-up and rich in resources. It is truly a planet void of crime and violence.

Zardon has built a powerful defense system. Several antiballistic missile bases have been established within the cities of Zardon. The Zardonians are ready for this attack, and are prepared to fight to save their cities.

As base commander it is your responsibility to protect and defend six cities on the planet of Zardon. The Krytolians have begun firing interplanetary ballistic missiles. They are aiming at your cities and missile bases. Your only defense is to fire back with antiballistic missiles. But watch out, the Krytolians are sly, they also have cruise missiles. Cruise missiles look like satellites, but they are just as deadly as the interplanetary ballistic missiles.

Neither of these games had mesmerizing stories, though both had excellent gameplay, especially for the era they were made. Let’s see if they can actually turn these ideas into decent films.

Both the Missile Command movie and the Centipede movie will be produced by Randall Emmett and George Furla with Stephen Belafonte, Wayne Marc Godfrey and Robert Jones serving as executive producers.

What do you think of the idea – would you go and actually watch movies based on these games or has nostalgia and fandom been lost long ago with these franchises? Are you even old enough to remember these games at all?

See this and more entertainment news at TheMovies.co.za

Last Updated: May 18, 2016

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