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The tentpole, which the studio just greenlit and is slated for a summer 2015 release, is in full-on casting mode, with Peter Dinklage also closing his deal to join the cast, which already includes Kevin James and Josh Gad. The project will likely begin shooting in Toronto in June.
Based on an Internet short from 2010, the feature, written by Tim Herlihy and Tim Dowling, will tell what happens when aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war against them. They begin a war on the human race, using the games as models for their various assaults. The U.S. president (James) turns to his childhood best friend to lead a team of old-school arcaders to save the planet.
Sandler portrays a former champion, now leading a miserable life as a home theater installer, while Gad is a conspiracy-theory-obsessed genius with really bad social skills. Dinklage will be Sandler’s brash former video game-playing nemesis.
Monaghan will play a weapons developer for the military and love interest for Sandler.
Columbus and the studio are working with the companies behind many of the most iconic video games of the 1980s to bring their characters to the big screen.
Said Columbia Pictures president Doug Belgrad: “Pixels is the perfect showcase for Adam Sandler’s brand of all-audience comedy. Adam and Chris have created a story that will deliver truly unique action, comedy and special effects and bringing back beloved arcade-game characters in a delightfully original manner.”
Pixels is based on the short film by Patrick Jean and One More Production. Producing are Happy Madison’s Sandler and Allen Covert, as well as Columbus and his 1492 Pictures partners Michael Barnathan and Mark Radcliffe.
Executive producers are Barry Bernardi, Jack Giarraputo, Herlihy, Heather Parry and Seth Gordon.
In addition to receiving raves for her work opposite Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in HBO’s acclaimed show True Detective, Monaghan appears in Better Living Through Chemistry with Sam Rockwell. She is now shooting the adaptation of the Nicholas Sparks novel The Best of Me with James Marsden.
Monaghan is repped by ICM, Circle of Confusion and Sloane Offer.
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Red Sea Film Festival