In the upcoming Sony Pictures film Pixels, aliens find a time capsule sent from Earth in the early ’80s, but take classic video games to be a declaration of war and launch a counter attack. A squad of gaming geeks, led by Adam Sandler and Peter Dinklage, have to use their skills at the joystick to save the world from being eaten by Pac-Man. The timing of the film is apt, as the pop culture icon is turning 35 this year.
The occasion was marked by 351 fans donning yellow outfits and standing at the base of Tokyo Tower, winning a Guinness World Record for “largest human image of Pac-Man” and proving Guinness has a category for just about everything. “It’s overwhelming,” said game designer Toru Iwatani, who joined the Japanese voice cast at the event. “It’s a beautiful Pac-Man.”
Iwatani was in his early 20s when he sketched a pizza with a slice missing on graph paper to create the character. When the arcade game was released in Japan on May 22, 1980, expectations were low that it could take on Space Invaders, which was popular enough to cause a shortage of ¥100 coins.
It soon became a phenomenon at home and in the U.S., where 7 billion quarters were dropped into the machines in the first two years. Iwatani receives proper credit for his creation in the film, in which he is played by Canadian actor Denis Akiyama.
Pixels opens in Japan September 19.