Tetris trailer: Taron Egerton tries to get the rights to a video game in Apple TV+’s Cold War espionage

Tetris trailer: Taron Egerton tries to get the rights to a video game in Apple TV+’s Cold War espionage

Tetris trailer: Taron Egerton tries to get the rights to a video game in Apple TV+'s Cold War espionage

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Apple TV+ has released the first trailer for its upcoming Tetris movie. In what took nearly a decade to produce, the Taron Egerton-led (Rocketman) tells the true story of the struggle to bring the classic block-matching game to Nintendo, from the clutches of the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War era. Jon S. Baird – best known for 2018’s Stan & Ollie – is directing the film from a script written by Noah Pink. Tetris will premiere at the SXSW (South by Southwest) film festival next month, after which it will be released on Apple TV+ on March 31.


The Tetris trailer opens with Henk Rogers (Egerton), a Dutch entrepreneur, pitching the titular game to potential Western publishers. “It was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen,” he says enthusiastically. “It’s poetry. Art and math, all working in magical synchronicity, it’s…it’s the perfect game! We are then given some details about the name of the classic game – tetra, which means four in Greek, and tennis. The latter is simply a personal touch because its Russian inventor Alexey Pajitnov (Nikita Yefremov) loves sports. We’re treated to glimpses of Pajitnov’s daily routine, which involves working, creating block diagrams in his head, and playing tennis with random kids in his neighborhood.

Things take a positive turn when Rogers gets an exclusive preview of the Nintendo Game Boy. “Pack it with TETRIS,” he says, promising the engineers he can get the rights to the game. He doesn’t know that under Communist law the game was property of the Soviet Union, which means that he should negotiate directly with the leaders. “You are entering a country that still sees America as enemy number one,” warns Rogers, an unseen accomplice, before his trip to Moscow. He also has a language problem, which the Soviets find amusing. “What did he say? I don’t speak Russian,” a distraught Rogers says in the Tetris trailer, when he’s accused of simply being thirsty for money.

“The most powerful men in the Communist Party are watching you and your family,” Pajitno informs Rogers. The Tetris trailer then cuts back to his home, where an unknown person is seen breaking into his house at late hours and escorting his wife Akemi (Ayane Nagabuchi) and children. “Do you want to play with the grown-ups? That’s how the world works,” says Robert Maxwell (Roger Allam) – being the thorn in Rogers’ task to acquire the rights to the game. In the next two scenes, our protagonist is threatened, beaten up by goons and embarks on a thrilling car chase, depicted in a pixelated format – evoking the feeling of being in a retro video game. The Tetris trailer ends with Rogers presenting a game demo to Hiroshi Yamauchi (Togo Igawa), Nintendo’s third president. “Not too bad,” he remarks impassively.

Toby Jones (The Wonder) as Andromeda Software’s Robert Stein, Anthony Boyle as businessman Kevin Maxwell, and Robert Maxwell’s son Ken Yamamura (the glutton) as Minoru Arakawa and Ben Miles as attorney Howard Lincoln.

Tetris will be released on March 31 on Apple TV+.

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