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“This is the biggest challenge I’ve ever had as a filmmaker”: Jon S. Baird, Alexey Pajitnov, & Henk Rogers Talks The Making of Tetris Movie (EXCLUSIVE)

Jon S. Baird, Alexey Pajitnov, & Henk Rogers Talks The Making of Tetris Movie

The Tetris movie is out today on Apple TV+. Directed by Jon S. Baird (Stonehouse, Stan and Ollie), Tetris stars Taron Egerton in the role of Henk Rogers, Nikita Efremov as Alexey Pajitnov, but also Anthony Boyle, and Toby Jones.

The day little blocks started falling from the sky of your favorite game console, was the day the pop culture scene changed forever. Tetris was born in 1984, on a bulky Elektronika 60 computer, from the genius brain of Russian designer Alexey Pajitnov. Sitting at his desk at the Soviet Academy of Sciences, Alexey didn’t think too much of his latest, quite straightforward program. For him, it was a fun, simple but addictive game. Little did he know that what had just become his newest obsession, would soon become an object of real mania for millions of people all over the world.

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Related: Tetris: Star Taron Egerton and Director Jon S. Baird Talk the Stranger Than Fiction Biopic at SXSW

The story of Tetris is a puzzling, complex plot, entwined with politics, lies, money, and power, in a world still struggling to get over the last remnants of the Cold War. The game went through different blocks of potential buyers, including the KGB, press baron Robert and Kevin Maxwell, the owner of Andromeda Software Ltd.,  Robert Stein but most importantly, Henk Rogers, now president of The Tetris Company, alongside his friend, colleague, and partner, Alexey Pajitnov.

In 1988, Rogers, who was then founder of Bullet Proof Software in Japan, attended a Las Vegas Consumer Electronic Show, where he discovered Tetris, and of course, became instantly addicted to the game.

But how did Rogers and Pajitnov actually meet and proceeded to secure the rights to Tetris? How did they avoid jail time in the Soviet Union, flying from Moscow, before making Tetris, a cultural phenomenon?

Tetris Movie Interview With Jon S. Baird, Alexey Pajitnov, & Henk Rogers

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A couple of weeks ago, we had the chance to speak with Tetris creator and developer Alexey Pajitnov and Henk Rogers, as well as with director Jon S. Baird.

You can watch the full interviews down below:


Henk Rogers put everything on the table for Tetris: his house, his entire career, and his personal life. The pressure on him was enormous. When asked which one of his projects made him feel the most this way, Jon S. Baird declared:

‘’This film (…), absolutely this film. It was so bigger than anything I had ever done. We were shooting (…) during the pandemic, which was incredibly challenging, we had 3 or 4 languages to deal with (…) we had huge visual effects, lots of producers, big cast. This was a different level (…) This, a 100%, is the biggest challenge I’ve ever had as a filmmaker’’.

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Written by Maëlle Beauget-Uhl

Reporter and news writer with an educational background in broadcast journalism at the New York Film Academy and a professional background in entertainment reporting and news writing.