Iconic video game star Pac-Man is set to get the live-action movie treatment, according to The Hollywood Reporter. An exclusive report has detailed plans at Wayfarer Studios and Lightbeam Entertainment to translate the adventures of the ghost-gobbling hero into a Sonic the Hedgehog-like success story. The project is reportedly based on an original idea from Lightbeam’s Chuck Williams, who also worked on Sonic the Hedgehog, although exact details of how Pac-Man will enter the ‘real world’ are currently unknown.
Bandai Namco Entertainment appears to be fully onboard with the film, and will aid production on the story as it continues.
This won’t be the first time Pac-Man has been featured in live-action – that honour goes to the abysmal Adam Sandler-starring Pixels – but it will be the first time he’s had a starring, feature film role.
There’s plenty of intriguing Pac-Man story beats to mine – the film could feature the wily pack of ghosts that Pac-Man often hunts down, or it could be more in line with the story-based Pac-Land games, which feature Pac-Man and his family.
Perhaps a live-action film could explain why Ms. Pac-Man has seemingly been killed off-screen and replaced with an imposter. It could also explain why Pac-Man’s baby has also been cradle-snatched.
In all likelihood, this film will be far more inspired by the live-action Sonic the Hedgehog series, which sees Sonic teaming up with real life humans to conquer crime, and take down the nefarious Dr Eggman. This series has been an unexpected and delightful success for Paramount Pictures, and it’s likely Bandai Namco, Wayfarer and Lightbeam are looking to replicate this box office hit.
There’s certainly potential in an adventure starring Pac-Man, particularly if the film leans into the surreal and fun vibes of kid-friendly adaptations like The Ghostly Adventures, or the original 1980s TV series. Whatever the film is inspired by, it should certainly be an intriguing prospect.
Video game adaptations are once again in the zeitgeist, and while they don’t always bear fruit, there have been some real gems lately. A Pac-Man movie is a weird enough idea that it just might work. The upcoming film is currently in development, and will likely remain in gestation for some time.