Hmmm, let’s check the state of the various baffling Hasbro properties discussed so far…
Monopoly… Ridley’s focused elsewhere, so we’ll see.
Risk… No news since the rights were bought.
Battleship… Happening as we speak with Peter Berg, will also cross over with the second wave of “gritty alien invasion films” that’s about to hit.
Clue… Long since lost Gore Verbinski, little news of late.
Candyland, Magic: The Gathering… Little news on either lately, though there was some discussion about Magic being a modern-day story earlier in the year.
…and a few bonus, inherently story-less properties…
Stretch Armstrong… little movement since the Twilight guy casting bullshit.
Lego… Happening slowly?
Where’s Waldo?…. Little news.
It’s almost as if this big Hasbro deal was brokered and tons of silly kid’s game properties were snatched up in preparation for the superhero genre to collapse or something. Did Hollywood think there was going to be a blockbuster vacuum to fill? Apparently everyone woke up the next day, realized how stupid so much of this stuff is, and got distracted. It’s never seemed like any of these projects have ever been at the top of anybody’s priority list, save for Battleship- which was an excuse for Berg to slip in his weird naval alien-invasion flick. While I’ve surely missed some important Candyland progression in the last few months, nearly everything appears to have stalled, is moving like molasses, or is attached to a director who has a half dozen other interesting projects to get to first. Ultimately it’s true that they are quickly running out of A-LIST comic properties to mine, but perhaps they’ve realized they really can just reboot the fuck out of everything every couple of years without having to get so desperate as to make a Sham-Wow Film.
There’s no doubt that some of these films will shake out sometime over the next decade, but it grows less and less likely that we’re going to have any kind of great wave of summer board game films. Thank the Other Gods.
In any event, there is slight movement on another Hasbro acquisition, Ouija, in that Taken director Pierre Morel is in talks to tackle the franchise, according to the LA Times. Once again though, the director is already knee-deep in a more interesting (and more controversial) adaptation right now; Dune. I’m not a huge fan of reporting on these kind of super-preliminary cast/crew talking sessions (it’s not even horse-race journalism, but more akin to discussing what horses might fuck to breed the foal that might be in the race five years from now), but there’s a little bit of meat to the story as sources also indicate that Platinum Dunes has teamed up with a number of writers who wrote for Lost with the intention of developing a something “in the vein of National Treasure.” So light, globe-trotting adventure.
Of all these properties, at least Ouija has some cinematic precedent considering the game has shown up in so many movies as a plot device. It’s still going to be laugh-worthy to see the epic, hyper-designed stone letters of OUIJA motion-graphic’ing their way onto a big screen though.
Expect another story that reminds you to think, “oh yeah, they were making that movie, weren’t they?” sometime in late 2011.