Will Blended be remembered the nadir of comedian Adam Sandler’s film career? I certainly hope it will be, because I simply can’t imagine a worse film than that mess of offensive cliches (and yes, that includes Jack & Jill). Additionally, Sandler’s upcoming projects actually look – dare I say it – promising. He’s got The Cobbler from Win Win writer-director Thomas McCarthy and Jason Reitman’s Men, Women and Children both in the can, and now he is getting down to business filming sci-fi adventure Pixels. Today, veteran character actor Brian Cox joined the cast, further raising my hopes for what already sounds like an interesting project.
Directed by Chris Columbus (who helmed the first two Harry Potter movies and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief), Pixels is a big-budget sci-fi action adventure which stars Sandler as a video game champion enlisted to fight off invading aliens. Based on a 2010 Internet short by Patrick Jean, the movie finds the aliens, who declare war on Earth after misinterpreting video feeds from classic arcade games, using techniques from old video games to carry out their attacks. Desperate, the President (Kevin James) turns to his old childhood friend to lead a team of arcade gamers to defeat the aliens.
Cox, who’ll play decorated military man Admiral Porter, joins a cast that also includes Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad. It’s exciting to see an actor of Cox’s reputation take on any role, so hopefully his part in Pixels will be worthy of him. The actor won an Emmy for his work in the TNT miniseries Nuremberg, and he’s also appeared in films like Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Braveheart, Rushmore, Adaptation and The Bourne Supremacy.
Columbus is working from a script from Tim Herlihy and Tim Dowling on this project, which I’m finding myself getting oddly excited about, despite it containing two of the lead actors from Zookeeper. Maybe it’s the big budget, or my nostalgia for Galaga. Cameras are expect to roll on the film in Toronto later this month.
Pixels is expected to arrive on May 15th, 2015, opening against George Miller’s Tom Hardy starrer Mad Max: Fury Road.