When last we heard about Hasbro's Candy Land board game movie adaptation, it was being scripted by Kung Fu Panda duo Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. The pair revealed they were fashioning the movie as an all-ages-friendly mix of action and comedy that would unfold like a Lord of the Rings-style fantasy adventure, set in a world filled with peppermint forests and fudge swamps.
However, there's no longer any point in debating whether or not that sounds like a good idea - seeing how the "fantasy adventure" aspect of the Candy Land adaptation is being abandoned, in favor of a film that's bigger on laughs... as co-written by and starring none other than the top dog of high-concept comedy
shlock, Adam Sandler.
Columbia Pictures, Hasbro, and Sandler's Happy Madison Productions have announced that they are prepped to collaborate on the live-action Candy Land movie, which is still set to be directed by Kevin Lima (Enchanted). Besides being attached as the lead, Sandler will also be collaborating with Robert Smigel (You Don't Mess with the Zohan) on the film's screenplay.
This marks but the latest drastic change in direction for the Candy Land adaptation. Back in 2009, the project was originally going to be about people entering an enchanted board game (a la Jumanji), as scripted by Men in Black III writer Etan Cohen. Aibel and Berger were thereafter hired on to pen the screenplay; the two basically dropped Cohen's narrative design completely, in favor of the aforementioned LotR approach instead.
Now, as it stands, Candy Land will most likely be a conventional family-friendly comedy in the vein of the Sandler-starring Bedtime Stories - one that partly takes place in reality, while also crossing over occasionally into the titular world of sugary landmarks and residents (be it real or imagined).
Regardless of whether you're still a dyed-in-the-wool Sandler comedy fan - or if you feel that his starring efforts have gotten increasingly lazy, crass, and unfunny over the years - there IS still some personnel involved with this project who are more universally-admired, and thus provide hope that could amount to more than a Sandler-style "joint" for general audiences.
Lima, for example, is well-liked for directing films such as Enchanted, Disney's animated Tarzan flick, and even A Goofy Movie - which has (surprisingly) earned something in the way of a cult following, over the years. On the other hand, Lima was also responsible for helming 102 Dalmatians, so it can't be said that his directing efforts always result in passable-to-good family entertainment.
One thing you can count on, though - now that the money-raking body that is Happy Madison Productions is involved with the Candy Land movie, the project is unlikely to undergo any additional metamorphoses in the future. For better or for (much) worse, a Sandler-centric version is the one most likely to actually be made.
We will continue to keep you updated on Candy Land as the story develops.
Source: Columbia Pictures
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