Action movie

The Pac-Man live-action movie raises questions, like: What? Why? When?


Game maker Bandai Namco and Wayfarer Studios are launching a film project around the classic game “Pac-Man”, according to an exclusive report from the Hollywood Reporter on Monday. Additionally, the film will be a live-action adaptation. When you think about how Hollywood can bring the most famous yellow circle that isn’t called “the sun” to life, there’s a lot to chew on.

Pac-Man is one of the best-selling game franchises of all time and would join a number of other hallowed franchises recently adapted for live-action on the big screen. Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog has appeared in two films since 2020 and is scheduled for a thirdwhile Chris Pratt is set to star as Nintendo’s Mario in another upcoming movie.

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Still, these two franchises have a lot more to offer in terms of storytelling and in-game lore than the hero formerly known as “Puck Man.” Here are some pressing questions that immediately demanded deep meditation as we pondered an action movie featuring the beloved Pac-Man munching on pellets.

Seriously, who asked that? Although Pac-Man is a staple of classic arcades and a major source of video game nostalgia, were there voices calling for a character-centric cinematic production that does nothing but run away from ghosts and devour dots? This is not an IP that screams “great source of Shakespearian drama”. Ms. Pac-Man isn’t whispering in Pac-Man’s ear to assassinate “King” Donkey Kong, she’s in a completely different game having her own heroic turn. It just doesn’t seem necessary for it to exist.

And yet, now that we know it’s happening…it absolutely has to exist! Why? To answer all of our remaining questions. Starting with …

The default version of Pac-Man, as you may know, is pretty minimal. A yellow circle with a “mouth” resembling a missing slice of pizza, Pac-Man simply floats down the halls in two-dimensional glory, happily munching on his steady, if monotonous, diet of pixels. Pac-Man is defined by its simplicity, designed by game director Toru Iwatani to appeal to a large and diverse player base. In doing so, Iwatani created one of the most iconic characters and games of all time. All of this raises the stakes on the visual design of the character in a live-action film adaptation.

How, exactly, do you bring the Iwatani version of Pac-Man to life in a 3D setting that I like to call “the real world,” surrounded by real actors? As Gene Park of The Post wrote in 2020, Iwatani drew inspiration for his design from a haiku by Matsuo Basho that translates to: “The area is so tranquil that the sound of cicadas seeps through the rocks . How will the Hollywood muse shape the film version?

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One solution might be to use renderings of the titular hero from Hanna-Barbera’s short-lived early 1980s TV series. In this cartoon, the famous mouth of Pac-Man was accompanied by a tongue, arms, legs, a nose and eyes crowned by two rather prominent eyebrows. It looks like a more practical version of the character in a real environment, though less sleek in form than the original “Puck Man”.

There’s another wrinkle to note in terms of character design. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie will be based on “an original idea” by Chuck Williams, who produced 2020’s “Sonic the Hedgehog.” The resulting Sonic movies (which were pretty good) inspire some confidence.

But before work begins on a four-member CGI Pac-Man with new facial features or, God forbid, the teeth, let’s all remember the first reveal of Williams’s Sonic. It was abject horror at first sight; the original CG protagonist so unsettled Sonic fans that he had to be completely revamped. Hopefully any style of Pac-Man will come without extra nightmare fuel, or gear for a parody in a sequel to Disney’s “Chip ‘n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers.”

The original “Pac-Man” source material is devoid of compelling drama. Where does the tension come from in a potential plot? Could this be a 90-minute chase scene of our dear hero escaping gruesome ghosts? Only if Michael Bay gets attached to the project, maybe. But perhaps we think of it too literally.

What if Pac-Man’s plot was more metaphorical? Imagine the Dickensian aspects of the game! A humble, ordinary man, pounding the pavement, doing thankless work, trapped in a maze of social and economic constructs, forced to succeed or die trying – while being tormented by the ghosts that haunt us all. Occasionally, buoyed by jolts of self-confidence, our hero reverses the roles of his demons, sending them back to their lair, only to see his fleeting power wane, ponder his mortality, and see those ghosts return more powerful than ever. . Like life !

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With Pac-Man’s production report on Monday, it looks like the movie is still a long way from landing in a theater (or streaming service). According to The Hollywood Reporter, only the producers are known at this time, with Justin Baldoni, Manu Gargi and Andrew Calof producing for Wayfarer Studios, in addition to Williams and Tim Kwok for Lightbeam Entertainment. Safe to say “Pac-Man” fans will be hungry for more news whenever it arrives. In the meantime, one last question…

5. Did someone record the introductory meeting?

Please, please, please say it exists. If only to hear the sounds that fill the room after someone says, “Two words: Live-action, Pac-Man!”