If you ever needed proof that movie producers don’t learn the correct lessons from a successful endeavor, look no further than today’s news about Play-Doh heading for the big screen. Yes, The Lego Movie has emboldened the film studios to take a stab at any childhood plaything your nostalgia-riddled brain will shell out the cash for.
And you know what? Fine. This is the cinematic landscape we’ve helped cultivate (we’re as much to blame as the brand owners and movie studios), so if this is what we have to work with, let’s imagine the best possible scenario. A good start has already been provided by Hasbro, announcing that Paul Feig is in talks to direct this misshapen glob of a flick. I’m not completely on the Feig Train, but I can’t say I have anything against the guy. If he jumps ship and they get D.J. Caruso, then we can all write this thing off. Until then, I’m willing to put some faith into the idea that Feig could bring something to the table. What that something is, I have no idea even where to begin speculating.
Play-Doh does have the limitless imagination factor, but sometimes limitations are what produce the best movies. I hope for our sake (and especially parents’ sake) they figure out how to turn this thing into a narrative that works.
If we must be inundated with million dollar movies made to sell a child’s toy, how about something with a little story already there to play with? Clue makes some kind of sense to adapt since there’s a murder mystery at the center of that game. Drivel like Ouija and Battleship (which could have been a standard naval warfare movie, but kids would not find that as “exciting” as mongoloid aliens apparently) are so vacuous that they pretty much just had to make movies around their product.
I hope we get to the point where smart filmmakers start using this system to adapt more obscure and kickass toys and games. How about a fuckin’ Inhumanoids movie? Or a flick based on The Omega Virus board game? Dear God, if I live to see a dystopian battle film called Crossfire, then this whole commercial film cycle will have been worth it.
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