Apple has released the first trailer for its movie Tetris, which tells the extraordinary true story of the struggle between Western publishers, Nintendo, and the Soviet Union itself for the rights to Alexey Pajitnov’s classic puzzle game.
Taron Egerton plays Henk Rogers, the gaming entrepreneur who was instrumental in discovering Tetris and securing the console gaming rights, thus enabling its release on Nintendo’s then-revolutionary Game Boy handheld. To do so, he had to negotiate directly with the Soviet regime, since Communist law dictated that the game belonged to the people of the Soviet Union (read: the government) rather than Pajitnov himself. All sorts of Cold War skullduggery ensued.
It’s an incredible tale that forms the centerpiece of David Sheff’s classic book Game Over, which chronicles Nintendo’s early rise. The film, directed by Jon S. Baird, seems to take a pretty broad approach to the material, drenching it in ’80s pop needle drops, car chases (for some reason), retro game effects reminiscent of the dreadful Adam Sandler vehicle Pixels, and Egerton tearing up as he describes “the perfect game.” Still, it’s fun to see legendary figures of the early video game business portrayed on screen, such as odious British media tycoon Robert Maxwell (Roger Allam), smooth Nintendo of America boss Howard Lincoln (Ben Miles, who gets to do a wonderfully silly and dramatic Game Boy reveal), and terrifying Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi (Togo Igawa).
Tetris will stream on Apple TV Plus from March 31.