Tired Of Remakes? The Next Trend: Movies Based On Board Games

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board games Tired Of Remakes? The Next Trend: Movies Based On Board Games

I’ve been whining about the number of remakes and 3D movies that are coming out these days.  My cry?  Why oh why must we suffer this era of unorginality?  Well, criminey…  sometimes you just have to be careful what you ask for.

Despite the remake era, we’ve still had to suffer through many a computer game based movie and of course, now we’re seeing our toys coming to life and kicking our own butts.

Well, good news… sort of.  OK, maybe not.  Universal has signed up with Hasbro to bring some of their board games to life on the silver screen.  Yeah.  Oh goody.

Board Game Movies?

There was a movie sometime back called Clue starring Tim Curry.  I never saw it, but Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 74% rating.  It must have been OK.  There was also Jumanji, that had a fictional board game that went awry, much like the movie did.  Don’t get me going about all the botches of Dungeons and Dragons, though The Hobbit did that genre justice.

But Universal is looking to bring some games to life:  Ouija, Monopoly, Candy Land, Battleship, Magic: The Gathering, and Stretch Armstrong.  Yeah, Stretch Armstrong.  Oh my.

The Ouija board movie has been said to have Michael Bay at the helm.  No details have been released, but I conjecture that this could work if they head down some mystic unseen forces, communicating with the dead path… like Ghost Whisperer.  And with Michael Bay at the helm, I’m not worried about it.  It should be at least digestible.

A Monopoly movie, which will potentially be headed by Ridley Scott might be interesting.  Monopoly has had a ton of different themes though I can’t imagine watching someone get beat down with a tiny little wheel barrel.  OK, maybe some sort of real estate comedy could come of this?

The studio has lined up Ethan Cohen to write and Kevin Lima to direct a live-action version of Candy Land.  Maybe they could be a documentary about the dangers of sugar highs.  God knows I have enough of those.

battleship on google earth p Tired Of Remakes? The Next Trend: Movies Based On Board GamesI just can’t wrap my mind around Battleship.  Am I that unimaginative?  Giant pegs falling out of the sky taking out your Battleship?  Actually, there’s a version of Battleship played on Google Earth using GPS units and cell phones!

Magic: The Gathering has tons of potential with lots of action and adventure.  if they were to get the right people behind this one, it could work out.  But you know how that goes.  The production companies trip over dollars to save pennies.  They’ll staff it with some beginner production crew and nab some young actors and you’ll have just one more of many drab movies.

I don’t even want to touch on Stretch Armstrong.

Let’s Have Some Fun:

So how about a nice action flick based on Risk?  It would be like a Jack Ryan political drama.  What about Jacks or Pick up Sticks?  They could be martial arts flicks and they could be the weapons of choice, like throwing stars!  Or the consummate battle of wits and mind in the epic Mah Jongg!!  Or Jenga, when the world comes tumbling down!

In The End:

This whole premise doesn’t keep me on the edge of my seat.  I’m not sure if anyone can pull all these ideas off.  At least not well enough to make it worth Universal’s while.

Sources:  EW.com, NY Times, Variety,

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  1. I’ve gotta say Bruce, this has been the first time in a while this many movie concepts have all left me utterly speechless.

    If any of these turn out even between half-way decent and awful, then I’ll probably eat my movie ticket.

    Rev

  2. Michael Bay?? lol, how is he supposed do his signature camera panning around something while dramatic music plays thing with a ouija board??? And how is he supposed to have quick cutting super zoomed in action scenes so you can’t tell what’s going on??

  3. “Michael Bay at the helm, I’m not worried about it”

    Seriously ? How can bay working on any move make you comfortable. As if the concept wasn’t bad enough him working on it means it’s doomed to be crap. Bay simply mean you can count on the movie having no substance and being very weak on story.

  4. On the flip side of Bay there is Ridley scott. Who at least means the movie has a chance to be decent.

  5. Operation could be a humorous yet gory and frighteningly twisted adaptation or even Hungry Hungry Hippos. I’d just love to see a giant throng of ravaging hippos running amok eating things.

  6. I am curious about the Monopoly film.
    How do you pull that off?

  7. May I remind you people that “Chess” was made into a kick-ass musical back in the 80s?

    Ok, a board game as a film-basis is generally a bad idea. It can’t be more than a gimmick in the end.

    As for “tired of remakes” … I am tired of the CHOICES Hollywood makes.

    There are dozens of old movies out there that have a GREAT concept and a mediocre realization.
    Pick THOSE and make them actually BETTER.

  8. Clue is one of my favorite movies. But I would say that board game lent itself to becoming a movie. I think the key is for the movie not to take the game too literally.

  9. Just think…. in 20 years you can look forward to the remakes of these movies.

  10. Magic the gathering would make actually make a decent movie, just simply on the basis that they have a actual story line that goes with the game along with books that come out with every new expansion or series. The have great characters and would be able to entertain non game players alike. I think Magic the gantering would be a successful movie

  11. Reverend: I hear movie tickets are high in fiber!

    Steven Lowenthal: Oh thanks Steven! As if I didn’t have enough issues these days, now my future feels bleak!

    Tiny: I agree with you that it has a story. Now the problem would be if the exec producer works at that, or tries to make it his own!

  12. this is one of the best comedy articales i have read in month’s.
    oh wait this is for real…

  13. I can’t say I’m very surprised at this turn of events. I don’t think any of those ideas have a chance in hell of working, but I think it goes to show the drought of original ideas in Hollywood. Which is really bizarre because there are SOOOOO many awesome novels out there that can be converted into movies. Anyone ever read Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant trilogies? Those would rival LOTR in scope, magnitude and story.

  14. First off, Excelent Article Bruce, very well done.
    Secondly, we all know studios are out to make money, who isn’t, what better way than to marginalize a familiarity. But what thye fail to take into account, is the success of video games turned to film. What better way to test the success of board game based films by seeing how succesful they were at video game based films. Now the current track record of Video games based films is bloody and ridiled with the corpses of Mortal Combat, Super Mario Bros. Max Payne, Tomb Raider and Silent Hill , to name a few. With very few, surviving to see one or two more sequels. My point being, that if you are going to do a Bord game based film, look at the track record for Video game based films before you leap into making board games into film.
    Clue was a fluke and a one time thing. However I would be rather curious to see how they would do Monopoly. George Lucas could play Moneybags? Anyone?

  15. Umm Metallicat Max Payne may have sucked, but it was technically a success. It made a good size profit. Same goes for Tomb raider, Silent Hill, and the Mortal Kombat movie. All these movies sucked, but they turned a profit and were worth the time and effort for the studio to make.

  16. Max Payne cost $35MM and earned $40MM in the US plus $45MM overseas.

    Vic

  17. ack, I hate the idea. why do they do this?
    I’d love to see what they do with a Ouija board. and Monopoly, they’ve messed up anything about Superheros, why not screw up boardgames.

  18. Hollywood has filmed our video games. Now they want to film our board games. What’s next, Photoshop C4, The Movie? If that isn’t scary enough, a very grey Michael Bay may even do the remake.

    On the bright side, they haven’t remade Zardoz yet. SHHH! Don’t read that out loud, they might hear you.

  19. Ouija might work best as a low-budget horror film about the dangers of black magic, ala Witchboard from 1986.

    Monopoly could come out as anything but the best idea could be a cleaner version of Scarface, about the humble beginnings of an enterprising man with a plan following him to his rise and ending with his heartbreaking downfall into crime and the poorhouse. The finale shows Mr. Monopoly in the poorhouse following the recent economic collapse.

    Candy Land is just a bad idea. Unless they make it a parody of itself.

    Battleship I could imagine being WarGames meets The Hunt For Red October. Very political but also fun enough for its target audience

    A Magic: The Gathering movie is pointless and would probably look like Dungeons and Dragons or the upcoming Dragonball: Evolution. No thanks.

    Stretch Armstrong may work. The character is interesting and he has great powers. Hopefully, it’s an adult-oriented comedy in vein of early Jim Carrey movies instead of the kid-oriented juvenile comedy that we’ll probably end up getting.

    Meanwhile, I think Risk could work as a historical war movie and Mah-Jongg could work as a documentary about a Mah-Jongg tournament (ala Wordplay and the vastly overrated King Of Kong).

  20. It’s all an attempt to get more dollars on the opening weekend. If a film has recognition beyond itself (reboot, 3d game, board game, tv show) people are more likely to watch it opening day.

    I guess it’s everyone’s fault that if a film tanks opening weekend, it gets pulled.

  21. Clue to this day is only film I can remember seeing that was based on a board game. I’m still fond of it. Maybe this idea can work for future films.

  22. “The Ouija board movie has been said to have Michael Bay at the helm”

    Someone up there mentioned ‘Witchboard’, and, given the notion that Bay’s Platinum Dunes tends to remake horrors and/or suspense films (for the worse, usually) –? This I can see. Only it most likely be a remake of the low budget ’87 cult shocker.

    As for other board games:

    Candyland or Chutes N Ladders does have some promise, given the concept that it will most likely be a group of tots exploring a Neverland/Wizard Of Oz type place. On that level I can see some appeal.

    However…
    Clue (’86) = BOMBED. (and that’s with different endings)

    Jumanji= Irritating.

    Zathura= Alright. Nothing special.

    ****

    Now, as far as board (bored?) games being made into flicks, I’d like to see a Sorry! or Statego myself.

    Forget the board games Hollywood. I’m sure Scrabble has some appeal to some, but…

    As for toys themselves: Stretch Armstrong…? I’m down with that! Just one TWO CONDITIONS: one, the cold air effects his stretch power, and two, if he gets even a small paper gut, he bleeds this funky goo and deflates.

  23. Good points, Darren. Although I thought at the time that the Zathura board game was created specifically for that film, I consider it an inspiration. My nephew certainly enjoys the film and the games.

  24. @Matthew Martin

    Unlike Dragonball, Magic has a clean slate being that there has never been a movie/or cartoon made from the game. I play the game a lot and i would like to see what they could do wit the story line. They do have thousands of characters after all to choose from.

    @Darren seeley

    As for clue it may have bombed during its time but i feel it was a great flick. Me and the wife watch it regularly and tim curry was the best.

  25. Candy Land would work if they got Tim Burton to do it. It would be a morbid child’s story. I can see it happening.

    Battleship could be a boat war story.

    Also, with turning these games into movies, you don’t have to be so literal. I think that’s why people are confused on a Monopoly film. There won’t be a Mr. Moneybags or a tiny wheelbarrow. You have to think outside of the box.

    Clue was a great movie. Hilarious and just enjoyable to watch.

  26. Sometimes I can get too literal in items I come across. It’s a weakness, and yet sometimes it helps me when I create an opinion piece like the one that set the ‘net on fire about the Wolverine leak.

    Mr. Moneybags… they way you put it, makes me think of a Dr. Seuss type, colorful, comedic take on Monopoly. Tim Burton should attack Monopoly, much in the way he took on Nightmare before Christmas and “9″. Ouch… my head. I just went outside the box, and now I need Duct tape.

    Thanks for coming by and chiming in April J. Appreciate the thoughts and opinions.

  27. Well they have done Ouija boards to death. I would like to see a Movie Based on Hungry Hippos.

  28. Well, Ross just posted a thread about doing a movie based on a bubblegum character. It’s official, Hollywood has lost their minds.

  29. Clue may have bombed in theaters (I didn’t know) but I think it’s an excellent film. Maybe it’s become a cult classic who knows? But Madelin Kahn was great along with the rest of the cast. This is the only board game movie I know of and it worked but I can’t see any others working. The Battleship trailer looks ridiculous. It looks a little Transformers-esque. The writers apparently mixed up my entire childhood. Maybe a teen version of Sorry will be next starring Selena Gomez and the gamut of Disney stars.