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‘King of Kong’ will be a musical, says director

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But how will they handle the kill screen?

Seth Gordon/Picturehouse

The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, the acclaimed 2007 documentary about the pursuit of arcade gaming's most cherished high score, will be adapted into a stage musical, the film's director tells IGN.

Seth Gordon, who is promoting his newest film, the Baywatch reboot, says that the musical nature of the main characters lends the story to a stage adaptation. "There's such a melodrama, and so many of the characters are actually musicians, and the music of the games, too, is a thing," Gordon told IGN.

Walter Day, the founder of the video game record-keeping archive Twin Galaxies (which accredits every recognized world record in arcade gaming), is also a musician, memorable for his song "Museum of Your Heart," which he played in The King of Kong.

In the film, Day was caught between Steve Wiebe of Redmond, Wash., presented in a virtuous role, and Billy Mitchell of Florida, wearing the film's black hat. Day rejected a winning bid that Wiebe achieved in live competition, then accepted a videotaped submission by Mitchell giving him back the high score. Though Wiebe ultimately took the world record, Day apologized for how Wiebe had been treated in his original pursuit of the mark.

Neither Wiebe nor Mitchell hold the Donkey Kong world record today. It belongs instead to Wes Copeland, whose 1,218,000 is close to the theoretical maximum for the game, which encounters a notorious "kill screen" after 117 levels.

Gordon said that the King of Kong musical will feature "fifteen or so" numbers, including "Museum of Your Heart." No timeframe was given for the musical's premiere.