You are Universal. You won a bidding war a couple of years ago to turn Atari’s classic video game Asteroids into a film. You hired Race to Witch Mountain screenwriter Matthew Lopez to turn the basic concept into a script. But now you need a director. In the immortal, halting words of Janine Melnitz, who are you going to call? Why, Roland Emmerich, of course!
Yes, the master of disaster, the man who never met a landmark he didn’t want to knock over/incinerate/exploderise/swamp is top of the studio’s list to tackle the Asteroids movie.
But while Emmerich was once best known for the likes of Independence Day, Godzilla and, most recently, 2012, he’s seemingly sworn off the epic Earth destructo-fests in favour of developing other work, such as his incoming Shakespeare conspiracy drama, Anonymous. Here’s the likely loophole – according to Vulture, Lopez’ script takes place after the planet has already been taken out, with humanity clinging to survival in distant colonies surrounded by asteroid fields. And while they peacefully co-exist with their alien neighbours, someone discovers that the extraterrestrials might not been as friendly as they seem, and were responsible for the Earth going bye bye. Can you say… conflict? Can you say wireframe, arrow-shaped ships warding off equally wireframe rock shapes? Okay, we’re sure the graphics will be a bit better.
With producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura also putting on the pressure, Emmerich might entertain the idea, but it remains to be seen if he signs on. Besides, he has plenty of other projects to choose from, including his long-harboured Asimov adaptation, Foundation…