Xbox Entertainment to debut Atari E.T. documentary

In June, we heard of plans for a documentary to dig up the graveyard of Atari E.T. cartridges--one of the more pervasive legends in video game history. Microsoft has apparently jumped on that opportunity, and will present it as part of a documentary series to air exclusively on Xbox systems.

Microsoft has tapped Academy Award winner Simon Chinn (Searching for Sugar Man, Man on Wire) and Emmy winner Jonathan Chinn (30 Days) to produce the series, through their new company Lightbox. Zak Penn (writer and director of Incident at Loch Ness) will direct the first episode, which will focus on the E.T. excavation. Fuel Entertainment, which announced that it had secured the rights to excavate the landfill, apparently approached Microsoft about the series. Shooting is set to begin in January, and the series will air on Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2014.

"Jonathan and Simon Chinn are the perfect team to spearhead this series for Xbox. They are consummate story tellers and they plan to match their creative sensibility with the best talent in the industry," said Xbox Entertainment president Nancy Tellem, in the announcement. "These stories will expose how the digital revolution created a global democracy of information, entertainment and commerce, and how it impacts our lives every day."

We recently heard that Microsoft plans to launch its original series in the first quarter of 2014, or the second quarter at latest.