If there is one arcade video game that I can admit to having spent the most quarters on out of anything… no it’s not DDR, no it’s not Lucky & Wild (though I loved this one), it’s definitely Area 51. Who didn’t love shooting up those 8-bit aliens for hours on end! The good news – Paramount has picked up the rights and is adapting it into a movie with comic book writer Grant Morrison writing, the bad news – the inspiration is coming much more from the 2005 first-person-shooter than the original arcade game.
The rights were bought back in 2004 from Midway Games and an early script draft was initially written by Tomb Raider 2′s writer Dean Georgaris. This time around the torch has been passed to Grant Morrison, who hasn’t done much film writing but has a very long list of credits on comic books. Also expected to help produce the adaptation is effects and creature mastermind Stan Winston. If you’re not familiar with the basic storyline, essentially a hazardous materials specialist is called in to investigate a viral outbreak that could be (read: most definitely is) extra-terrestrial in nature.
The original arcade video game was classic, one of the big gun firing arcade hits at the time, that originally appeared in 1995. It featured all kinds of fun action, from endless aliens to exploding barrels and even secret levels.
I’ve got to say, either way I’m down for this and excited for it. I even hate aliens, they scare the shit out of me, but with the talk of the X-Files sequel recently and how attached to the game I am, I’m all for being scared and amazed even more. And so far they’re moving in the right direction with getting Grant Morrison to write. Let’s just hope they stick much more with the original arcade game as inspiration and much less from the not-very-successful 2005 first-person-shooter game.