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.


  1. Sassenach says:

    Cue moment of high drama where protagonist saves plan by realising they can save The Project by putting rollercoaster rails THROUGH the loop the loop. It’s just crazy enough to work! Hugs and whooping all around.

    • Zyzzi says:

      “Gentlemen, we have this Shuttle Loop rollercoaster. What can we do to improve it?”
      shadowy man in the corner: “Seven loops. In a row.”
      *chorus of gasping, shocked mutters*

  2. CMaster says:

    Well, it was a very well selling series of games.
    But erm no, it doesn’t really make sense to me either.

  3. Mr Labbes says:

    Maybe something like Willy Wonka, a kid going to the best theme park ever, only to find out that all the creator does is kill people by removing parts of the tracks sometimes?
    Although that might be too much of an in-joke, but I really can’t make sense of this otherwise.

    • CMaster says:

      I once made a park on the Leafy Lake level I think, where every single ride exist was into the water.

      People kept coming, and I even won saftey awards for my well-maintained rides.


    • Mr Labbes says:

      That’s so sinister. Back then, I was far too young to devise such a plan, but I would love to visit such a park – without riding anything, of course.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “You are in a race against time…and terror. You are pursuing a nameless, faceless man through America’s greatest amusement parks…and, for the first time, you are experiencing the most sensational rides of our time, IN SENSURROUND”

      How could this possibly have failed?

  4. Ginger Yellow says:

    Maybe it’ll be like that rollercoaster film they used to show in pre-Imax wraparound screen cinemas.

  5. Arnulf says:

    I have fond memories playing the original Rollercoaster Tycoon. Not the 3D remake later on, but the original isometric one. When I made my first really successful rollercoaster where the peeps would leave the thing, jump up in joy, and re-enter the line right away!

    • Malcolm says:

      I loved rollercoaster tycoon. Maybe I’ll reinstall it (again!)

    • Raum says:

      Chris Sawyer. One brilliant bloke.

    • cheal says:

      Rollercoaster Tycoon doesn’t work in Vista, but the second and third do, both of which are currently installed on my computer. RCT was actually only the second ever game I bought, and the first I bought based on something other than “oh shiny”. It remains one of the best games I have ever played. I still remember how massively awesome my “Mega Park” was. Epic. RCT 2 restricts landscaping for no apparent reason which really pisses me off and RCT 3 is great except the guests seem completely un-interested in actually getting on your rides, prefering instead to just visit to buy some food. It’s pretty gay. Does look Shiny though and it has a great variety of rides. I rate it equal to RCT 2 (which similarly lacks the fun factor of 1), but RCT 1+expansions is easily the best.

  6. Shadowcat says:

    It’s a heart-warming movie about a rag-tag bunch of kids vs an Evil Tycoon. When the tycoon opens up a new theme park in their home town, their only option is to fight back with their own rickity home-made rollercoasters. An escalating battle to create bigger and more exciting rides ensues, until someone dies, and all the kids are jailed.

  7. Wrongshui says:

    I’m thinking There Will Be Blood but with rides and candy floss.

    “Bastard in a dodgem!”

  8. Rich says:

    “Harald Zwart, the man remaking Karate Kid”

    Let’s just stop right there.

  9. Bascule42 says:

    (Im movie ad voice).

    “They said, it couldn’t be done. They said it shouldn’t be done. One man stands alone in a barren field. With a vision. That vision, is World of Cheese…”(music soars).
    (Main char)
    “Whaddyamean I can’t make tracks from stilton”?
    (ad voice)
    “A tale of one mans determination against the odds, against his friends, against his family. Against the LAW.”
    (Main char)
    “There will be a Bree flume, there WILL”.
    (ad voice)
    “This summer, be prepared to be dazzled, shocked, amazed, and get ready to enter: The World of cheese”


  10. Pew says:

    This can only end in an oscar nomination! Personally, while this is very exciting news, I will wait for the Farmville sequel movie. Those games are basically the same thing anyway: you click your mouse in them.

  11. Brumisator says:

    Whatever happened to that “the sims” movie?
    I’m pretty sure at least the script was written

    • jeremypeel says:

      Wasn’t American Beauty the Sims movie? A sharp and moving critique of the inherent failings of the American Dream.

      What, that wasn’t what The Sims was?

    • Zombat says:

      I thought the moral behind American Beauty was that all neo-nazis are latent homosexuals?

    • jeremypeel says:

      Please, Zombat, I’m talking subtext here, not the surface-level common sense morality Hollywood constantly pumps into their products.

      Everyone KNOWS that Neo-Nazis are latent homosexuals.

    • AndrewC says:

      I thought the moral behind American Beauty was Thora Birch’s boobs?

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I thought boobs were the moral of every movie that has them?

  12. Jimbo says:

    They couldn’t get the ‘Theme Park’ license? Maybe the suicide scene was too heavy.

    Theme Park: The Movie – A kid inherits a fun-but-old-fashioned theme park after his wonderful uncle is killed in a *mysterious accident* whilst visiting a rival’s park. It just happens to be that jerk Mr. Moneybags’ (?) park, who has been trying to buy his uncle’s park for years, but never had enough biscuits to do it legitimately.

    Starting with just a bouncy castle and 5 cleaners with pathfinding problems, our young hero sets out on his quest for justice. Using only his determination and youthful sense of fun, he builds the world’s greatest park and beats Moneybags(??) to the Best Theme Park Award at the Theme Park oscars. Moneybags (???), realizing that he is ruined, throws himself out of a window. Movie is declared the greatest rollercoaster ride rollercoaster ride in movie history.

    Rollercoaster Tycoon: The Movie- Nothing interesting happens at all and the movie is completely bereft of charm. Movie is a flop.

  13. DXN says:

    You, know, they’re also making a movie from the “popular board-game” battleships.

    Saith the director, Peter Berg, who also directed Hancock:

    “There’s a group of life forms from some other planet have come to our planet for something. They’ve got a very specific agenda. That agenda is not global domination. It’s an agenda and that agenda puts them into conflict with members of our military. Their technology is relatable. It’s not incredibly far out and unbeatable. It’s comprehensible. Hopefully it’ll make for good fun and an intense ride.”

    So maybe in this one there’ll be… alien… rollercoasters?

  14. Clovis says:

    Pfff, lame. That’s about as likely as making a blockbuster based on an amusement park ride.

  15. Antlia says:

    Or maybe it’s about a boy who gets obsessed in Rollercoaster Tycoon and plays it too much. He loses all his friends and falls into a psychotic state where he thinks he really is in charge of an amusement park and then he dances in the rain with his imaginary girlfriend. A clever, beautiful movie that asks what happens when you push the gaming to the limits. Oscar for best writing and lots of other awards.

    Or maybe it’s just plain fucking rubbish Hollywood moneymaking flick.

  16. Kieron Gillen says:



    • Mario Figueiredo says:

      Oh, so right!

      I would however fear something in the lines of Clash of the Titans. I can’t stand being insulted that way anymore. But a dark, intense, intelligent movie on the slopes of hell, with a good cast and a cinema-loving director and screenwriter? Cult movie!

    • DXN says:

      Yes, yes, by the golden locks of Lucifer a thousand times yes!

    • Clovis says:

      Del Toro to direct?

    • GibletHead2000 says:

      @kieron, while I appreciate the sentiment, I’d much rather see Dwarf Fortress: The Movie

    • Tom OBedlam says:

      @giblethead Well, Fellowship of the ring was Dwarf Fortress adventure mode.

    • The Telemetrics of Robert Francis Bailey says:

      Two thumbs way up -> Although, hereticalally, id much rather see a film adaptation of wayne barlowes ‘Gods demon’

      link to

      Actually, considering hollywoods penchant for turning gold into shit, I take that back.

  17. Mario Figueiredo says:

    They slap 3D into it and people will rush to buy their tickets. That’s how it is.

  18. Springy says:

    “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.”

    Wouldn’t that be a Space Invaders movie?

    • Corporate Dog says:

      Pfffft. No.

      The aliens parked their space ships IN the asteroids. And when the vector mouse pointer ship thing (Earth’s next-to-last line of defense) got itself blown up, it was up to the TANKS to fend off the asteroid aliens.

      It’s a complex plot which also includes a frog hopping across a busy intersection, and an Italian plumber assaulting the lair of an angry ape. Try to keep up with Hollywood’s brilliance!

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Plumber? What, like the Mario Bros.?

      Yeah, that movie was awful.

      link to

  19. DuckSauce says:

    What’s next? A book about Rollercoaster Tycoon?

  20. Zombat says:

    Postal: The Movie was pretty good

  21. Morph says:

    I’d see a Paperboy movie.

    I see it as the story of a kid taking on the most dangerous paper round in the city. After getting knocked down by skateboarders and tricycle riding kids he can’t take it any more, leading to the newspaper headline ‘PAPERBOY CALLS IT QUITS’.

    But after a number of other paper boys are killed on a round by the grim reaper himself, Paperboy is called back in for one last bike ride. Can he deliver the letters whilst avoiding the grim spectre of death? (answer: yes)

    Possible romance with Papergirl?

    Hollywood, call me.

    • Clovis says:

      I always felt bad after Paperboy quit or was fired. First, it’s front page news. Second, the rest of his life he has to have this conversation:

      PB: Hi, I’m Paperboy.
      AC: Oh, so you deliver papers?
      PB: Not anymore …

  22. Tei says:

    I would not trust current-hollywood to make a movie about a karate-pyro-tecnician in Honk-Kong.
    Bullet time, EXTREME-extremes and such stuff has spoiled hollywood.

    The 3D thing is the straw that broke the camel’s back. Hollywood is not about making movies anymore. Pretty much all you need to know about a current movie (including all fun jokes) are in the trailer.

    This new fad to make movies based on games seems set in a universe where is 1 April the 365 days of the year. Feels totally /random and ridiculous.

    I am not hating, or angry. I like some of these “things”, I just don’t think as then as movies.

  23. Chaz says:

    Oh Mickey love… what does “egregious” mean?

  24. Bob says:

    Maybe it will be about Chris Sawyer fighting to audit the books! Big court room film lol

  25. SofS says:

    I had an idea for a Sinistar movie once. The main character would be a space fighter pilot on humanity’s side in a laughably hopeless war against genocidal aliens. He’d be tormented by his growing psychic link to an enemy entity constantly telling him to BEWARE, COWARD. Off to Hollywood with a valise full of cocaine I go!

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Or it could be that Sinistar actually just projects those things into his head to fuck with him while he’s trying to fly around.

  26. Ninja says:

    It will be a tale of a man who just wanted to create a themepark that everybody would love. He succeeded, but soon found out that it was just plain boring. So using the popularity of his theme park to his advantage, he began to pick up janitors and mascots, tossing them into the water to watch them drown. Then he took the next sinister step forward-increasing the speed of rides with tracks that just end, sending innocent people hurtling through the air.

    It’s a movie about why you shouldn’t do a job you don’t enjoy.

  27. oceanclub says:

    By coincidence, Ronan Keating has just announced he’s splitting from his wife. So the proceeds of using “Love is Rollercoaster” in either a comedy montage/end credits of the movie will come in handy.


  28. The Telemetrics of Robert Francis Bailey says:

    @Clovis . Not until he makes ‘At the mountains of madness’. Sweet jesus, I hope that movie doesn’t suck.