Xbox Moves into Moviemaking with Documentary Film Series

By December 19, 2013

Xbox Entertainment Studios

In Chris Clow’s insanely detailed, 10-part review of the Xbox One, he talked about how Microsoft is looking to get its hand in all of your media consumption with all of the bells and whistles of their newest entertainment console. And while it’s all well and good that you’ll be able to watch other companies’ content on your Xbox, Microsoft isn’t content to just be a conduit for content – they’re getting in the production game themselves.

We already knew that the company is teaming with Steven Spielberg for a TV series based on the Halo video game that will be exclusive to Xbox, and now a press release from a new company called Lightbox (via ComingSoon) says that Lightbox is teaming with Xbox Entertainment Studios to produce a multi-film series detailing the creation of the digital age, with different directors stepping in to helm each entry. Zak Penn (writer of Elektra, X-Men: The Last Stand, and The Incredible Hulk) will direct the first film.

Lightbox’s first greenlit project is a multi-film series shedding light on how the digital age was born. The first film in the groundbreaking series investigates the events surrounding the great video game burial of 1983. The Atari Corporation, faced with overwhelmingly negative response to ET the Video Game, buried millions of unsold game cartridges in the middle of the night, in the small town of Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Each film will be helmed by a different director and will range from an hour to feature length. Zak Penn (X-Men 2, Avengers, Incident At Loch Ness) has signed on to direct the first film.


Penn doesn’t strike me as the obvious go-to choice for a non-fiction project like this, but since I haven’t been too impressed with his track record lately, maybe this is the boost he needs to get back on the path to creating some solid stuff again. In any case, the premise of a documentary about ET The Video Game has me intrigued since I’ve heard those rumors of the desert burial for years and have always been curious about the real story behind it. Apparently it’s true, and I’m excited to see what other events Lightbox and Xbox Entertainment Studios decide to cover in this film series.

What do you think?

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at,,,, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.