Well the 2009 summer movie season is over for Hasbro and it has been financially successful. Transformers 2 has milked the entire world economy of over $800 million dollars, while G.I. Joe managed to drain the globe of $100 million this past weekend. So what does that mean for Hasbro their future releases?
Well Steve “Frosty” Weintraub over at Collider managed to catch Brian Goldner, President and C.E.O of Hasbro, before a special screening of G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and got some interesting answers about a few upcoming projects: Stretch Armstrong, Candy Land, Battleship and Monopoly.
First up is Stretch Armstrong, the toy no one played with (seriously do you know anyone that owned one when you were a kid?). According to Goldner, Stretch will be the first movie released out of the lot, with a planned release of 2011. Now I know what you are thinking, what could this movie possibly be about? When asked, Goldner answered with this gem:
“Stretching as a superpower brings a lot of humor to the idea so imagine a big humorous super-powered, super-human kind of movie.”
Sigh, so to sum it up ‘We have no idea what we are doing with this but stretching is funny and my assistant once got his hand stuck in the vending machine trying to get a bag of chips that didn’t fall all the way. So we will probably have that in the movie.”
Seriously, how much of a generic answer can you give during an interview? I picture Patrick Warburton playing Stretch and Universal turning it into an Underdog meets The Tick-type action film for kids. Actually, now that I think about it, Warburton would be a great choice and I might actually go see this film if they choose him to star.
I can’t be too far off with the “humor” Goldner is referring to. Steve Oderkirk is writing the script for Stretch Armstrong. He also wrote Bruce Almighty, Barnyard, Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, and Nutty Professor 2, so I bet you a dollar to donuts that there is more than one hand/foot/head stuck in a elevator/car door/briefcase/trunk type scene where he gets stretch to the breaking point and people walking/riding bikes/carrying heavy objects trip and fall on said appendage – COMEDY GOLD!!!
Let’s move on to my favorite board games growing up, Chutes and Ladders Candy Land. Hasbro and Universal have already chosen writer Etan Cohen (Tropic Thunder) and director Kevin Lima (Enchanted) to make their board game dream a reality. The Collider interviewer asks the tough question: “What’s your take on a film like “Candy Land?” Goldner’s lackluster response is as follows:
“Well, “Candy Land” is not just about the board game. If you really think about it, it’s an adventure that a kid goes on with his parents when they go across that board. It’s an adventure game so think of that as the beginning point and take off from there.”
Ok, hold please while I “really think about it”… Nope I don’t see it but if I’m reading between his lines properly, and I’m pretty sure I am, they have no idea what they are going to do with this property either. More than likely, it’ll be turned into a Jumanji/Adventure of Elmo mash up. Two kids, a brother and his precocious younger sister, get a board game for Christmas from their eccentric estranged uncle. They beg their parents to play with them and are transported to a magical Willy Wonka-type world where getting to King Kandy is the only way home. Along the way they met Gramma Nutt, Princess Frostine and dodge the evil Licorice Lord and his henchman Gloppy the Molasses Monster.Oh yeah, and the whole thing will be in 3-D.
Good gravy, I wasn’t even trying and I just made up a script for them to use (they can send all payments to my PayPal account).
Goldner continues his to show off his ability to give politician-type answers when asked about Battleship and Monopoly. First he said this about Battleship or maybe he didn’t say this about Battleship, heck, read it and see if you can figure it out:
“Oh, I’m not going to tell you quite yet but I will say that it’s everything you could imagine in a ‘Battleship’ movie. It’s really a phenomenal idea.”
Is that everything the interviewer can imagine or everything I can imagine, Brian? Because I can guarantee you do NOT want my imagination involved in your film. Stream of consciousness gives me the following items for Battleship: robots, sharks, hookers, beer, the color beige, monkeys flinging poo and genies. I mean to me THAT is a “phenomenal idea” but maybe not to you? My mom always said “If you don’t know or have an answer just say you don’t instead of making something up.” Listen to my mother, Mr. Goldner, for she is wise beyond all of our years.
My favorite non-answer of the evening has to be Goldner’s “update” on the status of Monopoly. I can’t even paraphrase what he said because it makes me reach for the Excedrin Extra Strength each time I do.
“Monopoly” has this wonderful history. If you’ll remember, “Monopoly” was literally invented at The [Great] Depression, so that idea, this fiction that’s really there, this non-fiction fiction that’s really there in the game and in the fact that there’s such great roots to this brand and the history of the brand, we bring this to life with a story about families.
When Weintraub asks Goldner directly who came up with the idea for a Monopoly movie, Hasbro or Ridley Scott, you could almost see the hamster wheels turning as he sputtered forth this amazing, high quality interview answer:
“Well Ridley did have an idea. He grew up on “Monopoly” over in the UK and “Monopoly” is a brand that’s all over the world. But for Ridley, he’s always been a guy that’s created these great big worlds and so for us, “Monopoly” is this great big world that will look like our world but of course there are certain things about it that make it uniquely a “Monopoly” kind-of-world.”
I’ll do my absolute best to paraphrase the above answers: It will be a movie that looks like our world but won’t be because it’s a movie and the story will involve non-fiction fiction about families. Did that clear it up for you?
Actually, if they want to make it centered around families and truly make it a story about the idea of Monopoly, wouldn’t that mean that it would involve a land baron taking control of an entire downtown district, who then raises the rates to such extremes as to bankrupt all families living there and kick them out? Yeah sounds like a great family experience to me.
You can watch the entire interview over at Collider if you just have five minutes you’re looking to waste. These were some great, legitimate interview questions from a quality source with horrible, do-nothing, hollow answers given back in return.
I know the title of this article includes the word “Update” but honestly do you feel any more updated about any of these movies from Brian Goldner’s answers?
Stretch Armstrong supposedly elasticizes on screen 2011. Battleship, Monopoly and Candy Land have no scheduled release dates.