Documentary on Atari's E.T. to kick off Xbox film series

The exclusive series will air only on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, starting with a film about the infamous Atari video game ET: The Extra-Terrestrial.

E.T. video game screen
This is one E.T. that won't be going home. Video screenshot by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Xbox Entertainment Studios has teamed with a documentary production team for a series of film-length documentaries that will air exclusively on the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

The production company, Lightbox, is helmed by two-time Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn ("Searching for Sugar Man" and "Man on Wire"), and Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn (FX's "30 Days" and PBS' "American High").

According to the Chinns, the film series will revolve around "the extraordinary events and characters that have given rise to the Digital Age."

The first film in the series will be directed by Zak Penn, who has story credits for "The Avengers" and the sadly canceled TV series "Alphas." The film will look at the strange tale of Atari and the video game version of ET: The Extra-Terrestrial.

In 1983, Atari, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to ET the video game, reportedly buried millions of unsold game cartridges in the middle of the night, in the small town of Alamogordo, N.M.

The rumored landfill is due to be excavated by Fuel Entertainment, and the Lightbox team will document the process, as well as the urban legends surrounding the game.

The documentary series will begin in January 2014 and will be available in all markets that Xbox Live is supported in.

(Source: CNET Australia)

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About the author

Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

 

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