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'Pixels' trailer: Adam Sandler vs. 8-bit alien invaders

Watch Adam Sandler as a world-saving joystick jockey in the new 'Pixels' trailer

What if space invaders landed one day and looked like, well, "Space Invaders"? Such is the scenario in the first trailer for the Adam Sandler action-comedy "Pixels."

Set for release July 24 from Sony Pictures and inspired by a short film by Patrick Jean, "Pixels" tells the story of an invasion of Earth by aliens who have mistaken video feeds of classic arcade games for a declaration of war, then used the games as models for their various assaults. (So much for intelligent extraterrestrial life.)

Frequent Sandler collaborator Kevin James plays the U.S. president, who calls on his childhood best friend (Sandler), an '80s video-game champ turned home theater installer, to lead a team of 8-bit aces and save the planet.

Chris Columbus, helmer of the first two "Harry Potter" movies, directed "Pixels" from a script by Tim Herlihy and Timothy Dowling. Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage and Michelle Monaghan round out the cast.

For Sandler, a once-bankable box-office draw, "Pixels" will be a chance to bounce back from a string of recent critical and commercial disappointments, including the romantic comedy "Blended," the Internet-age drama "Men, Women & Children" and the magical realist fable "The Cobbler."

Those misfires notwithstanding, Sandler is maintaining his steady clip, with the animated sequel "Hotel Transylvania 2" and the first of his four upcoming Netflix movies expected later this year.

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