Lately I’ve been talking everybody’s ear off about smuggling, that a smart producer in this day and age and economic climate would snag an existing property not to adapt it/remake it but to use it as a way to smuggle original content into Hollywood. My take on the spate of board game adaptations has been that these could be smuggling situations, and that’s exactly what Peter Berg’s Battleship appears to be. But how about Ridley Scott’s Monopoly?
Talking with the LA Times producer/writer Frank Beddor (who it must be noted is in no way credited on IMDB with anything Monopoly-related) explains the vision of a Monopoly movie that he used to snag Ridley Scott. Fair warning: it sucks.
“They have this big world and this game — it’s the most famous board game in the world — and it just really came out of the whole ‘Alice’ thing. I took the approach of thinking of the main character falling down a rabbit hole and into a real place called Monopoly City … It was the re-engineering of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ that got me thinking and then with this it came around full circle and I was able to utilize that. That’s a big world. They were searching for that.”
“I created a comedic, lovable loser who lives in Manhattan and works at a real estate company and he’s not very good at his job but he’s great at playing Monopoly. And the world record for playing is 70 straight days – over 1,600 hours – and he wanted to try to convince his friends to help him break that world record. They think he is crazy. They kid him about this girl and they’re playing the game and there’s this big fight. And he’s holding a Chance card and after they’ve left he says, ‘Damn, I wanted to use that Chance card,’ and he throws it down. He falls asleep and then he wakes up in the morning and he’s holding the Chance card, and he thinks, ‘That’s odd.’
“He’s all groggy and he goes down to buy some coffee and he reaches into his pocket and all he has is Monopoly money. All this Monopoly money pours out. He’s confused and embarrassed and the girl reaches across the counter and says, ‘That’s OK.’ And she gives him change in Monopoly money. He walks outside and he’s in this very vibrant place, Monopoly City, and he’s just come out of a Chance Shop. As it goes on, he takes on the evil Parker Brothers in the game of Monolopy. He has to defeat them. It tries to incorporate all the iconic imageries — a sports car pulls up, there’s someone on a horse, someone pushing a wheelbarrow — and rich Uncle Pennybags, you’re going to see him as the maître d’ at the restaurant and he’s the buggy driver and the local eccentric and the doorman at the opera. There’s all these sight gags.”
Beddor was promoting his Looking Glass War novels (epic fantasy set in the Alice in Wonderland universe), so maybe he was just fucking around with the LA Times? Could Ridley Scott really have been drawn to a premise as hackneyed, shitty and stupid as that? The mind boggles.
Go directly to fucking jail on our message boards.