Maybe I should write the new Space Invaders film

Posted by CB Droege

Space Invaders, an Arcade game from the 1980s, will be adapted for the silver screen by Odd Lot Entertainment and Lorenzo di Bonaventura.

Currently, the production team is searching for a writer to create the script for the adaptation. This seems like a tall order.

Space Invaders is one of the most popular arcade games in history, sharing the same cultural brain-space as Pac-Man and Pong, as one of the few video games that everyone knows about, even if they know almost nothing else about video games. 

The basic play, in case it’s been awhile for you, is thus: The player controls a small earth defense ship, which can only travel from side to side, and has a fixed-forward gun of some kind - we can only assume some kind of rockets or missiles.

It was the job of this ship to protect earth from behind some poorly designed shielding system. When the aliens attack, they line up like redcoats, and wiggle back and forth in the battle space, firing indiscriminately toward the shields.

I personally never got the impression that the aliens were in ships. I think they are just giant space monsters with no need to breath. I mean: they have arms and tentacles and stuff.

So what’s the story here? That’s just it. There is no story to Space Invaders. Other than those details above, there is nothing to adapt. There is no mythology, no characters, no canon at all.

There is certainly a long history of hit-or-miss video game adaptations coming out of Hollywood, but usually there is something to adapt. This concept is essentially a blank slate, and I have a feeling the only thing that they’ll even keep from the original work is the title and the idea of an alien invasion. The few other details will likely find their way out of the story.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love if that weren’t true. If the writer they find can somehow make a sensical story in which the climax sees the protagonist controlling a ship with can only move side to side, and only shoot straight ahead at the ‘marching’ space monsters, I would love to see that. It would be an epic challenge to pen such a script however, and unless they hire me to write it, the writer will likely decide to gloss over that bit, and just make it a normal dog-fight sort of combat.

What would I do? Glad you asked. Let’s see. Film opens on giant, tentacled space monsters swaying toward earth, and they look so much like the aliens of Space Invaders that one fighter pilot who also loves old arcade games goes to visit the studio of the original Space Invaders game designer.

There, he finds illustrations on ancient scrolls, which seem to have been the designer’s inspiration for the game. While there, he meets the granddaughter or young niece of the designer who is super hot. The two, who hate each other at first, adventure to locate the origin of the old scrolls.

Meanwhile, everything the Earth Forces try against the monsters fails, including a nuclear strike. When the pair finally find some old temple thing, they activate an ancient alien defense system consisting of a shield and vehicle which function roughly akin to the illustration.

The ship is on some kind of energy rail, and requires two people to operate. Naturally, the pilot and the hot girl have to work together. They beat the aliens and fall in love.

There, Odd Lot: That’s my abbreviated treatment for Space Invaders. Want me to flesh it out?

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