Rollercoaster Tycoon taking on big screen

Sony Pictures Animation picks up the rights to make a live-action film with CG elements based on Atari's PC theme park simulation series.


To date, game-based films have inconsistent track records when it comes to critical and commercial success, but that could change with the wealth of gaming licenses optioned for the big screen lately. The Hollywood Reporter has said the latest game to get picked up for a feature film is Atari's PC line of theme park simulators, Rollercoaster Tycoon.

"It's a thrill-packed rollercoaster ride," raves unimaginative critic.

According to the trade paper, Sony Pictures Animation has secured the rights to turn the franchise into a film and is currently developing it as a hybrid of live-action and computer-generated imagery. Harald Zwart has been named as the executive producer of the project, though it's possible he would direct it as well. The filmmaker has previously directed movies like Agent Cody Banks, The Pink Panther II, and the upcoming Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith remake of The Karate Kid. His credits as producer are slightly slimmer, most notably featuring last year's Nazi zombie horror film Dead Snow.

Since their debut in 1999, the Rollercoaster Tycoon games have challenged players to balance the various tasks of creating and running a theme park, from designing particularly thrilling rides to hiring employees and planning pedestrian paths to ensure guests can get where they want to go. Although it has spawned a number of expansion packs and compilations, the last full installment in the Rollercoaster Tycoon series was 2004's Rollercoaster Tycoon 3.

Rollercoaster Tycoon is not the only Atari-related movie in the works. Last year, news broke that Universal Pictures had won a bidding war to make a movie out of Atari's 1980 arcade hit Asteroids. And in 2008,Leonardo DiCaprio signed on to play Nolan Bushnell in a biopic about the company founder.

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