Pop Culture

Pixels movie puts Mini Cooper in the spotlight

Not since the 2003 remake of The Italian Job has the Mini Cooper been given such a high profile film role: the forthcoming Adam Sandler movie, Pixels, will pit the film's protagonists (played by Sandler, Peter Dinklage, Denis Akiyama and Josh Gad) behind the wheels of Mini Coopers as they defend the earth from an alien attack.

In the Chris Columbus production, the attack is prompted by vintage video game footage included in a NASA time capsule fired into space as a means of establishing contact with extraterrestrial life. The aliens who find the capsule miss the point somewhat, however, interpreting Pac-Man footage as a declaration of war: they strike back, effectively turning the earth into a real-life arcade game in which giant versions of Pac-Man and Donkey Kong are dispatched to turn everything they touch into pixels.

The protagonists are vintage gaming enthusiasts enlisted for their encyclopedic knowledge of the games; each is given a Mini Cooper done up like one of the ghost characters in Pac-Man, which they're to use to defeat the outsized game icons.

Inspired by a French animated short film produced by Patrick Jean in 2010, the feature-length version went into production in Toronto (dressed up as New York City, as it often is) in summer 2014, and is set for a July 2015 theatrical release.