New Delhi: Director Chris Columbus, the man behind popular hits like "Goonies", "Home Alone" and "Mrs Doubtfire", has taken Hollywood's pet theme of "saving the world" and infused it with comedy in "Pixels" where a bunch of losers are fighting an alien attack.
Columbus said he was intrigued with the unique concept of the movie, which revolves around former arcade games champions who get a chance to save the world when aliens misinterpret video games footage that NASA sent them and attack the Earth using these games as their model.
"The fact that military is useless against these invaders and the US President needs these losers to help save the planet, was intriguing. I find that kind of underdog story, particularly told on a grand scale, fascinating," Columbus said.
Adam Sandler, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan star in the Columbia Pictures' movie, which releases this Friday. The director met Sandler, who is one of the producers on the project, for another movie but they ended up collaborating on this movie.
"I was intrigued by the original concept in the summer of superhero movies. I wanted to work with these characters and create these visuals which people have not seen before. It took two years to get this made the right way," he said. When asked about Hollywood's superhero obsession, Columbus agreed that is is difficult to make original movies.
"Everything is a trend. There is going to be a time when we oversaturate the audience with superhero films. At some point, people are going to lose their love for that and find something else.
"People who spent USD 200 million on a movie, want to feel comfortable about it. The word Batman makes them feel comfortable, the word Spiderman is soothing. They know it is instantly recognisable," Columbus told PTI at the recent Summer of Sony press event in Cancun, Mexico.
Having the rights to lovable arcade game characters like Pac-man, Centipede and Donkey Kong, helped "Pixels" get greenlit but Columbus said he has not been that lucky with his other projects.
"It is getting more and more difficult to make the kind of movies you want to make with original content. They will take more chances if the movie does not cost much. If I am trying to make something that is not a summer blockbuster, then the budget will be severely reduced."
The director, who helmed the first two Harry Potter movies "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" and "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", said more than the superhero projects, he finds it difficult to be a part of franchise films.
"One of the words that I really despise is franchise... It just makes all our films sound like product. It did not exist in the '80s. When they asked me to do 'Gremlins 2', I was adamant. I did not get involved in it at all. Later, I realised that I have got to protect what I started. This is how 'Home Alone' remake happened."