Atari movie to star DiCaprio

Paramount Pictures has given the nod to making a movie about the life and times of Nolan Bushnell, the outspoken founder of the company.

Another video game movie is reported to be in the works--but this one is about the industry itself. According to Variety, Paramount has said yes to a pitch for a film imaginatively titled Atari, set to star Leonardo DiCaprio as main man Nolan Bushnell.

The movie is a biopic about the Atari founder and has been written by Brian Hecker and Craig Sherman. The pair managed to convince Bushnell that they could "do his unique story justice" although various others had been competing for the rights.

Bushnell, who was born in 1943, is one of the founding fathers of the video game industry. In 1971 he founded a company called Syzygy with his colleague Ted Dabney. The bizarre name is an astronomical term which refers to the alignment of three or more celestial bodies in a straight line. In 1972, the duo discovered that--unbelievably--Syzygy was already in use by a roofing company, and rebranded themselves Atari--a reference to an attacking position in the Chinese board game Go.

Perhaps the most famous Atari-developed game is Pong in 1972, an electronic version of table tennis. The company also produced early consoles, including the incredibly successful Atari 2600. In 1976, Bushnell sold Atari to Warner Communications, and left the division in 1979. However, Atari fell on troubled times, and today exists as a subdivision of Infogrames.

Bushnell himself has gone on the found more than 20 companies, including Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza Time Theatre, Catalyst Technologies Venture Capital Group, and "interactive entertainment restaurant chain" uWink.

Recently, he has been quite vocal about his feelings about the modern games industry. He has called current games "pure, unadulterated trash," Sony "arrogant and capricious," and added that he thought some titles on the market are "truly despicable."

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65 comments
MrHatnClogs
MrHatnClogs

So we go from screwing up video games to screwing up peoples lives? Just kidding, I joke because everyone knows the trends of (most) video game movies, so why not F up the story of somebodies life XD I hope they do a good job though and while they are at it why not make a dramatic movie of the video game crash of 83 and how Nintendo rescued the industrylol

torres_unix
torres_unix

darn, I would've preferred George Clooney as Bushnell; why does Hollywood always look for DiCaprio's bad acting to make films about great people (Howard Hughes and now Bushnell).

enoslives7
enoslives7

dicaprio is too short to be Bushnell....Bushnell is 6-5 ?!?!

Bamdude89
Bamdude89

This is outta be cool to see a movie about Atari's past.

Red_Trigger
Red_Trigger

Going to be an interesting movie, I was born plenty of years after the Atari age and I think that learning about it trough a movie like this will be somewhat cool.

jknight5422
jknight5422

It has Dicrappio in it & sponsored by Chuck E. Cheese? I can't wait to avoid watching the movie or playing the game.

nate1222
nate1222

Giegerdolylwodd Bushnell didn't steal anything from Baer. Baer's device ONLY PLAYED a version (featuring no score) of PONG - ONE DAMN GAME! The ATARI 2600 was a real console because it played MULTIPLE TYPES of GAMES that could be changed out via cartridges. It also allows more to be developed and released for it. That's what defines a 'game console'. Baer's device featured NONE OF THAT. Thus, Bushnell IS the father of console gaming!

syafiqjabar
syafiqjabar

Hah, Dicaprio always go for the eccentric characters (playing pretty boy heartthrobs occasionally). Wonder if Bushnell is like that? And yes, Baer probably should be in this movie.

GeigerdolylWodd
GeigerdolylWodd

"Atari movie to star DiCaprio Paramount Pictures has given the nod to making a movie about the life and times of Nolan Bushnell, the outspoken founder of the company."

Why??? The guy's a thief, ever heard of Ralph H. Baer? Who's going to play him in the movie? A little known old man named Ralph H. Baer is the true father of videogames...He never gets his due thanks to Nolan.:( Nolan stole his ideas a fact that later played out in court.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_H._Baer

Here's an excerpt from the wiki:

Ralph H. Baer (born March 8, 1922) is a German-born American inventor, noted for his many contributions to games and the video game industry. In 2006, he was awarded the National Medal of Technology for inventing the home console for video games and spawning the video game industry..

See that? He spawned the industry. I'd say that makes Ralph Baer a pretty darn important person.

'"nate1222 These young pups don't get it. Without Atari, NES, etc... GAMING WOULD NOT EXIST! You young pups, who blow Mommy's money on expensive crap that most consumers DON'T care about (see sales charts), put flashy graphics and over-priced propietary tech over 'fun'. So y'all are NOT going to grasp the relevance of this movie. Nonetheless, watch your damn mouth when speaking of Bushnell."'

No you don't get it no Ralph? No, Atari, no comodore, no nintendo, no etc.

I will be very disappointed in the industry if Ralph H. Baer gets little to no screentime in this movie regardless of the actor who plays him. He played a substantial role in Nolan Bushnell's initial foray into videogames.

I supose we can live this as long as they don't pretend that videogames originated from Atari...

If they are really interested in the earlier origins of videogames one of the next films they make as a follow up should simply be title Ralph

hatieshorrer
hatieshorrer

What is with the comments people are posting this isn't a movie about games like pong its about a true story of a computer nerd that created the first major home console. With out his contribution to video games, nune of the past twenty years of gaming would have existed.

Ranteal
Ranteal

Recently, he has been quite vocal about his feelings about the modern games industry. He has called current games "pure, unadulterated trash," Sony "arrogant and capricious," and added that he thought some titles on the market are "truly despicable." This guy would have playing pong the rest of our lives. What would this guy know about games now? Its like asking Alexander Grahm Bell about the iPhone. What would he know?Why would you care? Whats up Dicaprio? You bored?What,there was no script on the maker of post it notes?

Ranteal
Ranteal

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Sorry but i think the best gaming era was in the days of Software Houses like 'Psygnosis, Ultimate, Imagine, Ocean, System 3, Argonaut, Bug-Byte, CRL, Gremlin, whos games really were imaginitive and completely brilliant unlike many of todays games were people are so infactuated as to 'What the graphics are like', coupled with the fact that most games now are simply regenerations of themselves (Super dooper mario universe 4, FFX1CM, SF 31, RE 14, etc) you get the point. Please dont mis-understand, i love games, its just that i think the best games & Devs have been and gone.

pcmacro
pcmacro

Good point Drkill09 btw this movie doesn't seem like its going to be interesting. Seems more like its going to be boring. And what's with the comments at the end. His dissing today's games? why? They are great. I mean people have come a long way from pong.

DrKill09
DrKill09

What's with all these comments about Ralph Baer being downrated? Despite popular belief, the 2600 was not the first console. The man deserves respect, as his console came before Bushnell's. Atari may have an important part in gaming history, but they were not the first, and, they almost destroyed it. Let's not forget that. If it wasn't for Nintendo, gaming would've died in 83.

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

Always nice to see a legend getting his due.

martialbullet
martialbullet

Atari, the movie eh? Interesting....I find it even more interesting that many of DiCaprios roles are based on real people....I heard he's even going to play Theodore Roosevelt in an upcoming movie.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

im very intruiged, ive been a gamer since my ZX Spectrum 48k (Rubber Keyboard : ) and would love to have an insight into possibly the most prolific person in video gaming history.

nate1222
nate1222

These young pups don't get it. Without Atari, NES, etc... GAMING WOULD NOT EXIST! You young pups, who blow Mommy's money on expensive crap that most consumers DON'T care about (see sales charts), put flashy graphics and over-priced propietary tech over 'fun'. So y'all are NOT going to grasp the relevance of this movie. Nonetheless, watch your damn mouth when speaking of Bushnell.

Chris_555_TK
Chris_555_TK

Wow Gamespot. Didn't IGN post this story on FRIDAY?

MogFromLeipzig
MogFromLeipzig

Cool if DiCaprio is participating it will probably become a proper movie.

nate1222
nate1222

Being a gamer since 8bit NES, I'd like to see an 'accurate' portrail of Bushnell. I appreciate his contributions to my favorite form of entertainment more as time goes by. I don't like where 360 and PS3 are pushing gaming: price, huge development costs, lack of BC, forced online play for multiplayer, etc... Thus I'm becoming increasingly RETRO. With that RETRO affection, I appreciate gamings founding fathers (Bushnell, Miyamoto, etc..) just that much more. DiCaprio being in the movie is even more appealing. I love that guys work.

TheGreatGuero
TheGreatGuero

No offense to the Atari founder, but this doesn't seem like the most interesting movie. However, DiCaprio seems like the kind of actor that is always passionate about the roles he chooses, so if he sees something good in it, then maybe there's more to it than meets the eye.

brerrabbit23
brerrabbit23

doesn't dicaprio weigh like a buck twenty? dude better start eating bacon & pancakes, 8 meals a day...

akiwak
akiwak

What happened to the DiCaprio pic? I can see him now in the Atari 'sinking ship' ,trying to kill his twin brother, while going insane building new consoles that can fly, and everyone dies in the end!

Axe_336
Axe_336

So, if you just read the synopsis below the headline on the main page, the article is about Paramounter pictures giving the go ahead for a movie about their own founder.

ctg867
ctg867

I hope the whole social and online thing Atari is trying to do works out for them. I wish them the best of luck.

ff7cloudking
ff7cloudking

Forget about Nolan Bushnell, there should be a movie made about Ralph Bhear.

HOMIE_G64
HOMIE_G64

Lol emptycow. Triple posting without the correct usage of grammar. But you are right, Atari did make some trash. But you have try to imagine a video gaming industry without Bushnell before you can really understand his contribution. He did make trash before, but every company does. His labelling all of todays game as trash is wrong, but you're labelling all of his games as trash is also wrong too.

Viral-venom13
Viral-venom13

Well this movie should be interesing, I can respect the company and what it has done for the industry in the past Atari was one of the greatest companies at one point and may still be but it has really been a long time since they have produced something really groundbreaking in their games!!

ISuperGamerI
ISuperGamerI

Some of you guys do not know what you are talking about. This guy created Atari and helped develop the gaming industry. Atari has always been one of my favourite gaming companies and has made great games. This movie might be good, especially since Leonardo DiCaprio is in it.

necronaux
necronaux

Sounds like it will go direct to DVD.

combatsoldier
combatsoldier

uummmm. this one could be interesting. we shall just have to wait and see.

BoogieManZero
BoogieManZero

Good news to see DiCaprio in it, must be an decent script to get his attention. Not sure how I feel about Nolan though, I don't see them making him look bad while he is still alive.

Tylendal
Tylendal

Nolan Bushnell? Wow, this couldn't be more terrible if Uwe Boll himself was directing it.

chego720
chego720

This could be a very interesting movie for people who like video game history. I'm very interested in this film.

Asurael
Asurael

I kinda dislike Nolan Bushnell, I hope they dont try to idolize him in this movie. But I guess this should at least be fun to watch.

V-Nine
V-Nine

..it could be good, I liked DiCaprio's role in the Aviator. Could be a hit but I am so not holding my breath...

kratos_karmakar
kratos_karmakar

Leonard DiCaprio.......butter my butt and call me biscuit. NOW IM INTERESTED!!!

werc96
werc96

Im extremely interested in how this film will turn out to be. Dicaprio kicks ass in biopics...So i wish this movie nothing but the best!

Lokar
Lokar

I can't wait for it. Atari was one of my favorite companies and I still have a special place in my heart for it.

raze-boi
raze-boi

He should be honoured because he's the father of gaming industry,we would be here talking about chess if pong did not exist...

smbius
smbius

Why is everyone slamming Nolan and this movie? Is this movie directed by Uwe Boll? Did anyone read the stuff inside links of this article? Actually, did anyone read this article? Read the last paragraph and read what are in those links. If anything, this guy cares about extending video games to a broader audience.

Tebbit
Tebbit

frogiggy323, NOTHING could be worse than the super mario bro's movie. Except for perhaps a sequel. Starring Danny Di-Vito

MjolnirMaster51
MjolnirMaster51

First remaking Akira and now this? I must say, my respect for him is growing. I didn't know he had a nerdy side. However, I don't really see the point in a whole movie, maybe just a documentary or something.