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Rollercoaster Tycoon: The Movie?

I wonder if the first half of the film will be someone swearing about how their rollercoasters won't align.

There have been some fairly peculiar games optioned for movies recently. Last year we heard about Asteroids getting picked up, for instance. But then as daft as that may first sound, what you’re really saying is: film about aliens that attack tanks. Well, Roland Emerich probably just weed in his trousers reading that. Then there’s the more obvious, your Max Paynes and your Princes of Persia. None ever seem to be especially good, sometimes they’re egregiously awful, but at least there’s sense behind making them. However, I am completely at a loss to figure out what anyone’s going to do with Rollercoaster Tycoon.

According to The Hollywood Reporter the film will be a combination of live action and CGI. Harald Zwart, the man remaking Karate Kid, is attached, possibly to direct. And David Ronn and Jay Scherick, who were partially responsible for, um, Norbit, are writing.

Like Asteroids, this is an Atari game being optioned. Which does rather give the impression of Atari having the most peculiar garage sale to make some money. And it seems to be working. That film has Matthew Lopez (Ghost Notes) writing a script and Lorenzo di Bonaventura (Transformers, Doom, Constantine) producing.

Were I plundering the Atari archives, I’d be more inclined to reach for a Neverwinter Nights, or a Gauntlet! Gauntlet movie! However, it seems a lot more likely that next we’ll be hearing Paper Boy is heading for the big screen.

Production’s still a way off on Rollercoaster Tycoon. Goodness knows what they’re thinking they can do with it. A film about one man’s dream to own a massively lethal deathtrap amusement park? An extensive subplot about the pricing of the burgers? Perhaps someone opens Theme Park next door, and everyone goes there because the animations are prettier.

Whatever the case, at least Sony shouldn’t find it proves too awkward to convert it into a tie-in theme park ride.

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John Walker

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