They're making a live-action Pac-Man movie for some reason

Pac-Man at E3 2005
(Image credit: Mike FANOUS (Getty Images))

You might think, if you think about it at all, that not everything needs to be made into a movie. The people at Bandai Namco and production company Wayfarer Studios may not agree, though, because according to The Hollywood Reporter they are getting together to make a live-action film based on Pac-Man.

How does one bring the two-dimensional, monochromatic waka waka waka tablet-chomper Pac-Man to a live-action film, you wonder? Very carefully, I reply, because THR doesn't say and I really don't have any good theories of my own. The report does reveal, however, that the film is "based on an original idea from Chuck Williams," which is as close to promising as any of the announcement gets: Williams was previously a producer on the 2020 Sonic the Hedgehog live-action flick, which (after a brief and entirely necessary delay) unexpectedly did not suck.

Of course, this won't be Pac-Man's first cross-media maneuver. The original arcade stand-up, released in 1980, was a massive critical and commercial success, and sparked all kinds of sequels, merchandise, and spin-offs, including the 1982 hit single Pac-Man Fever, which—I shit you not—made it into the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in March of that year.

It also spawned a Hanna-Barbera cartoon that ran for two seasons over 1982-83, which could possibly provide some inspiration for the feature film: Pac-Man not as a bizarre videogame character, but an ordinary, average guy—a working-class schmo with a wife, a kid, a house that sucks up every dollar he makes, and a long-running beef with a buncha clowns who live up the road.

I mean, that could work, right?

Okay, no. No, that would not work. Hopefully Williams has better ideas than this. There is currently no hint of a release target, but we do guesstimate a 60% probability that Chris Pratt will star.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.