Exclusive Pixels Interviews: Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Chris Columbus
Aliens have sent old school video game characters to destroy our world in Chris Columbus ' PIXELS, a live-action/CGI comedy that'll have you wanting to travel back to the sweet arcade days of the 1980s. In the film, Sam Brenner (Adam Sandler), Will Cooper (Kevin James), Ludlow Lamonsoff (Josh Gad), and Eddie “The Fire Blaster” Plant (Peter Dinklage) are no strangers to saving the world. As a matter of fact, they've done it thousands of times - while inside of video arcades. Now, they're going to have to do it for real, or it's game over. In Pixels, when an intergalactic presense intercepts video feeds of a tournament featuring classic video games, and mistakes them as a declaration of war - they launch an attack on Earth using the video games characters as their instruments of destruction. Together, with the help of Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten (Michelle Monaghan), a specialist capable of arming the arcaders with unique weaponry, the world's best classic video game players must defend the planet from the encroaching space invaders.
This is Chris Columbus' first collaboration with Adam Sandler's Happy Madison Productions. PIXELS was written for the screen by Tim Herily and Timothy Dowling, and is based on the short-film by Patrick Jean. I spoke with Kevin James and Michelle Monaghan, together, about working with intense visual effects, the rituals they invited into their lives in preparation for their respective roles, and what it was like to participate in a real-life, skyscraper-sized game of Donkey Kong!
In the next interview, I speak with Chris Columbus about the appeal of directing a film that pays homage to the arcade days of yore, what new challenges arose when bringing the film's characters to life, and growing up in a time when video arcades ruled the world.
PIXELS hits theaters this Friday.
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|Extra Tidbit:||In the film, Professor Iwatani's character is portrayed by actor Denis Akiyama. The real Professor Iwatani - Creator of Pac-Man - appears as a video game repair man at the start of the film.|