The second trailer for Sony’s Pixels has premiered. Starring Adam Sandler (The Cobbler), Peter Dinklage (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Kevin James (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2), Josh Gad (The Wedding Ringer), and Michelle Monaghan (Fort Bliss), the film follows former 80s video game record holders tasked with saving the world from aliens using iconic game characters as weapons.
The second trailer falls in line very closely with the direction of the first, highlighting classic games like Pac-Man, Centipede, Donkey Kong, and their respective characters as major obstacles for our geeky heroes. One notable difference, however, is the focus on the heroes’ backstory, establishing Sandler, Gad, and Dinklage as champions who specialize in Pac-Man, Centipede, and Donkey Kong respectively. This expertise is enough for the government to call the men to action in the fight against the pixelated menaces, which is led by Monaghan as a military specialist. Also of note is the casting choice of Kevin James as the President of the United States, rivaling previous fictional presidents like Tommy Lister (Friday) in The Fifth Element.
The film is directed by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone), and could be a nice rebound for both him and Sandler, whose last few efforts—The Cobbler; Men, Women, and Children; Blended—have been noticeable flops in both critical and financial respects. Pixels may also be coming out at the perfect time for the actor, as comic book films and a sci-fi resurgence have given rise to a more mainstream embracing of nerd culture. Hollywood has also seen an uptick in projects capitalizing on 80s and 90s nostalgia. Aside from Pixels, films like the upcoming Power Rangers reboot, Goosebumps adaptation, and two separate Ghostbusters projects have given the film industry an opportunity to capitalize on 80s/90s sentimentality for many audiences.
Pixels will be released on July 24, 2015.