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Atari arms ‘Missile Command’ for bigscreen

Sharpless, Sazama to adapt arcade game at Fox

Atari has set up its “Missile Command” at 20th Century Fox.

Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama are set to adapt the 1980s arcade game that Peter Chernin and Dylan Clark will produce through Chernin Entertainment.

Atari topper Jim Wilson will exec produce the project.

Game is the third top title that Atari has set up as a film property, after Universal Pictures acquired “Asteroids” and Sony Pictures Animation picked up “Rollercoaster Tycoon.” It also becomes the latest brand from the ’80s to get the bigscreen treatment, with U readying a number of toy-based properties from Hasbro, including “Battleship,” and Mattel having set up others, including “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” at Sony and “View-Master” at DreamWorks.

Sharpless and Sazama recently penned the reboot of “Flash Gordon” and co-wrote “Dracula Year Zero.”

With “Missile Command,” the scribes have little to adapt beyond a title to build a plot around and a Cold War-heavy scenario of players having to defend their cities from being destroyed by a rain of missiles. Game celebrated its 30th anniversary last year.

Atari still offers “Missile Command” to play on its website. Games has sold more than 20 million units over its lifetime.

Dylan Clark and Mike Larocca are shepherding the project for Chernin, while Steve Puri is handling for 20th Century Fox.

Chernin Entertainment is producing “Rise of the Apes,” out in June.

ICM packaged the project.

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