There were once plans for the Monopoly board game to be adapted for the big screen as a real estate market satire directed by Ridley Scott, but it didn’t come as a huge surprise when that version of the project fell off the rails. Hasbro’s family-friendly gaming brand will instead be (fittingly enough) realized for the big screen as a family adventure movie, with films like The Goonies having already been name-dropped as the template for the Monopoly feature film in its present form.
Monopoly is currently without either a director or a cast (officially, anyway), while a release date for the film-in-progress has yet to be staked out. Nonetheless, Lionsgate and Hasbro have formally announced that they are moving forward with the board game cinematic adaptation – and announced the Oscar-nominated screenwriter who will be putting together a script for the film, too.
Oscar-nominated writer/director Andrew Niccol is set to pen the Monopoly film (which Lionsgate will be financing), but it’s not clear yet if the plan is for him to end up directing the movie too. Niccol received much critical acclaim for his screenplay work on the satire The Truman Show as well as the sci-fi drama Gattaca (the latter of which he also directed), while his most recent project, Good Kill, has served as his critical return to form – following the critical/commercial disappoints of his previous two directorial efforts (In Time and The Host).
Here is the synopsis for Monopoly, provided by Lionsgate/Hasbro:
In keeping with a game that has brought so many hours of joy to so many for so long, Monopoly will be a film for all ages, visually sumptuous, heartwarming, and full of action and adventure. The story centers on a boy from Baltic Avenue who uses both Chance and Community in a quest to make his fortune, taking him on a fun, adventure-filled journey. It’s about making your own luck, what makes you truly rich and, of course, avoiding Jail time!
The Monopoly synopsis isn’t exactly all that enlightening when it comes to providing story details (it’s more focused on making Monopoly-related puns), but producer Randall Emmett (2 Guns) previously let slip that the plot involves a ‘treasure map’ and a subsequent hunt for said treasure. Nicol’s mainstream scripts can vary in terms of quality, but overall he’s generally an imaginative storyteller. That is to say, it should be interesting (if nothing else) to see how he weaves elements of the Monopoly game into the fabric of a more familiar (read: formulaic) cinematic, family-friendly, adventure narrative.
Emmett previously claimed that the Monopoly film could start filming by Summer 2015, but at the moment it doesn’t appear as though that is going to happen after all. We should find out soon enough who is going to be calling the shots on this project, though, which should offer a better idea of what to expect from this one – be it a generic Hollywood take on a famous IP or perhaps something a bit more creative than that.
We’ll bring you more information on Monopoly as the story develops.