There were several board game film adaptations being developed a few years back, but most fell by the wayside after Peter Berg's Battleship movie under-performed at the box office. Last year, though, a low-budget Ouija adaptation finally made it to the big screen... and, despite pretty horrible reviews, it grossed $84 million on a $5 million. Next in line? The long-rumored Monopoly film, which is gearing up to begin shooting this summer.
Monopoly has evolved a lot since a few years ago, when Ridley Scott was planning to direct a script re-written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Big Eyes) - one that may've re-envisioned the original board game as a real estate market satire, the way Scott described it. However, that version of the film was abandoned after Emmett/Furla Films heads Randall Emmett and George Furla (End of Watch, 2 Guns) acquired the Monopoly screen rights from Hasbro.
Emmett spoke recently with Collider about the Monopoly film adaptation (see the video interview above), confirming that it's gearing up to begin principal photography this summer, with a cast and director who should be announced in the early goings of next month - shortly after the 2015 Sundance Film Festival wraps up, in fact. The producer wouldn't reveal who's been working on the current Monopoly screenplay just yet, but did confirm it's been in development for some time now.
“We’ve worked on the script for about nine months, we now have a script that we’re going to go make this summer."
The Monopoly story remains under wraps for now, though Emmett let it slip that "a treasure map" is a key plot device, in a story that involves a number of younger actors, but also one "older" lead (a la the elderly character from the Monopoly game) Emmett also described the project as being a "family adventure film," with The Goonies being name-dropped as the obvious template for what this movie could be like.
Ouija, as it were, was once going to be a family-friendly adventure too, albeit in the vein of, say, Jumanji. Indeed, there's usually a lot of wiggle room for creativity on these sort of adaptations, since the "source material" doesn't actually have a plot and/or well-defined characters. It likewise sounds as though Monopoly will be more a genre movie that shares little in common with the thing that inspired it - besides the name, that is.
Is that good or bad? Well, as we've seen with projects like Battleship and The LEGO Movie, it depends on the people involved - what they do to reshape and re-mold the characteristics of the original property, in order to make it work as cinema. For that reason, it's better to refrain from immediately writing this one off (based on principle alone), especially as we'll soon learn who's working on Monopoly... and how, exactly, they're adapting it for the big screen.
We'll bring your more information on Monopoly when we have it.