The multi-time King of Kong is still leading the charge against the pixel-filled video game enemies of the 1980s.
Steve Wiebe, the Washington school teacher who rose to a level of fame after appearing as the hero in 2007 film The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, filmed in Toronto for upcoming film Pixels this past week. On August 1, the multi-time Donkey Kong arcade champion shared two on-set photos of him with cast members Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad.
Inspired by a viral 2010 internet short, Pixels will feature a number of classic video game characters ranging from iconic classics such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders to titles only the die-hard arcade players from back in the day will recall such as Wizard of Wor.
After intercepting footage of vintage arcade video game play, aliens mistake the on-screen images as a declaration of war, attacking Earth using a number of tactics seen in the quarter-gobbling machines that once appeared in practically every public place in the United States. A number of retro arcade champions, played by Sandler, Gad and Dinklage, are called upon to take their button pushing skills of yesteryear into action and save the world from the 8-bit alien destruction.
Also appearing in the film are Michelle Monaghan and Ashley Benson. Playing the First Lady of the United States is Jane Krakowski, who ironically appeared in a video game commercial for the home cartridge of Bally Midway arcade game Solar Fox in 1983, one of her first acting roles. The film is being directed by Chris Columbus and is slated to release on May 15, 2015.
The role in Pixels is far from Wiebe's first time appearing in mainstream entertainment in recent years. He also appeared as Jim in 2008's Four Christmases and as a security guard in 2011 hit Horrible Bosses, as well cameos in the pilot episodes of television shows such as ABC's The Goldbergs, where he played a fast food employee, and short-lived FOX series Breaking In where he appeared briefly as a museum curator.
"It's pretty amazing how the King of Kong has infiltrated into mainstream entertainment," Wiebe said in a 2010 interview. "There was also an episode of South Park that paralleled the King of Kong. I would never have thought that a video game would have this kind of impact, but I think it's bigger than the video game and more about competition and the pursuit of goals and how people endure."
In between family, teaching and the occasional acting role, Wiebe still dabbles in the Donkey Kong arena as well. He finished fifth out of 22 players in the Kong-Off 3 competition in Denver last November. He last held the all-time Donkey Kong world record in late 2010 before being defeated by Dr. Hank Chien, who still reigns as the champion today.
More on Pixels, including a listing of the full cast and crew and the first production still of the movie, can be found on the film's official IMDb page.