More than a year after it was first announced, The Nuttery’s Galaga animated series has taken a big step forward, with Star Trek writer-producer Roberto Orci boarding the project. This new series, now known as Galaga Chronicles, was first announced by The Nuttery at San Diego Comic-Con last year, but there’s been no news about the project until now. With an established writer and producer like Orci coming aboard, its possible development could start advancing much faster than its previous pace.
Galaga first debuted in 1981, released in Japanese arcades by Namco (before it became Bandai-Namco), and in American arcades through Chicago-based Midway. Galaga was actually the sequel to the 1979 game Galaxian, although it was far more successful than its predecessor, becoming one of the most popular arcade games of the 1980s at the height of what was considered the “golden age” of video games. The game was ported over to several video game consoles in the late 80s, including the Atari 7800, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), and the handheld Gameboy. It was most recently included as one of the 30 games on the NES Classic console system.
Along with the addition of Orci, Deadline also reports that animation studio ShadowMachine has boarded the project, with Orci slated to help develop the “vast and sprawling” universe with The Nuttery, while also serving as executive producer. There is no indication if Orci himself will actually write the pilot script, or if he will only be developing the concept and the world of the story before handing it off to new writers. Orci does seem to be the right man for the job, revealing in a statement that he played the original game growing up, and that he has, “fond memories of the quarters and hours upon hours” he spent doing so.
Like most video games of that era, there wasn’t much of a story to the original Galaga. Players controlled a space ship, firing at rows of insects who slowly descend on the craft, some of whom break formation to attack the ship directly. The player’s ship could also be caught in a “tractor beam,” one of the other obstacles players must overcome during the game, and there would also be special Challenge Rounds between various levels. The game is still considered to be a classic to this date, with the most recent version of the game, Galaga Wars, debuting in 2016. Fittingly enough, there was also a submarine named Galaga that was featured on ABC’s hit series Lost, which Orci served as a writer and executive producer on.
While some might think there simply isn’t enough within the original video game to base a movie around, it conversely gives the creators and producers a lot of room to play with, since there isn’t much they need to be tethered to. Orci certainly seems to be a great candidate to shepherd an animated Galaga series, since he has plenty of world-building experience and is clearly a fan of the game it’s based on. While Hollywood is still searching for that big blockbuster movie based on a video game, this Galaga TV series may just beat the movie studios to the punch.