First image of Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage in "Pixels" released

By Benjamin Mazzara ,

The first image from the upcoming comedy film Pixels – starring Adam Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, and Michelle Monaghan and directed by Chris Columbus – has been released.

Based on a short film made by Patrick Jean, the film will star Sandler, Gad, and Dinklage as a trio of 1980s arcade players chosen by their childhood friend and United States President (played by Kevin James) to save the planet against an alien force who misinterpreted video game footage as a declaration of war. The aliens adopt the 8-bit strategies of the video games they observed, Gotcha Movies notes. The script was written by Jean, along with Sandler, Tim Herlihy, and Timothy Dowling.

As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Chris Columbus detailed the plot and several facets of the movie’s production.

When asked about the plot of the movie and his influences, Columbus noted, “I feel very fortunate to be able to do a movie that feels extraordinarily original and unique. It's a little bit of an homage to Ghostbusters and all those great Amblin movies of the eighties—not only the movies that I was involved in like The Goonies and Gremlins — but the movies I loved when I was working there like Back to the Future."

He also joked about Peter Dinklage’s mullet, saying “We thought, ‘Someone has to sport the mullet in the movie.' His character has been in prison. He's the only one who's still trapped in the eighties a bit."

Finally, Columbus detailed how special effects will bring the pixel art that made the short film noteworthy to life on the big screen: "From a visual effects standpoint, audiences are going to be seeing things that they've never seen before. To be quite honest, a lot of visual effects movies cover the same territory whether it's destroying a city or superhero visual effects, they tend to have a certain amount of intense HD reality. [Here] we're taking classic eight-bit characters and turning them into fully realized, three-dimensional, pixelated characters that are quite threatening."

The film is slated to release on May 15, 2015, and, as Gotcha Movies points out, will be released alongside Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road.

Image courtesy of Jennifer Graylock/INFphoto.com
Image via Twitter from Entertainment Weekly

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