Back in late summer 2011, Universal decided that financing every other Hasbro board game movie adaptation out there wasn't the brightest of ideas - especially since it remains to be seen whether or not the first new entry in that sub-genre, next year's Battleship, is even going to prove lucrative. The studio therefore decided to give the boot to a handful of game-based projects, including Ridley Scott's Monopoly and (previously, director McG's) Ouija.
Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner has since offered assurances that the Ouija movie, in particular, is far from dead; the hiring of a new screenwriter for said project suggests that Goldner's words were (indeed) more than just hot air.
Hasbro and production group Platinum Dunes (the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street remakes) have hired on Marti Noxon to rework the screenplay for Ouija. There's no word yet on whether or not McG is still attached to the project - though, it's certainly possibly, seeing how he doesn't (officially) have anything immediate on his working schedule once post-production on This Means War is fully complete.
The earliest version of the Ouija script was penned by TRON: Legacy co-scribes Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis; their draft was later refurnished by Evan Spiliotopoulos, who co-wrote the upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman and was recently hired on to pen the Asteroids arcade game movie. Simon Kinberg (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Sherlock Holmes) is the most recent scribe to try his hand at the Ouija script.
Heat Vision says that Ouija is still being fashioned as a family-friendly supernatural adventure that revolves around a family "who has to deal with otherworldly chaos that is unleashed." In terms of tone and content, the film is expected to resemble that of effects-heavy adventure flicks like Jumanji and The Mummy (probably more the former, PG-Rated title).
Noxon is a pretty reliable and capable screenwriter, whose resume includes a longtime writing/co-showrunning stint on Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer and script work on a handful of Mad Men episodes. In 2011, she's been responsible for penning both a critical bust (the I Am Number Four adaptation) and critical hit (the Fright Night remake) and is the most recent writer to take a stab at the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies movie screenplay. Seeing how supernatural action/comedy is her speciality, Noxon seems like a good candidate to work on Ouija.
However, when you consider that at least five different writers will have contributed to the final version of the Ouija script, it's difficult to not wonder whether the actual movie will ultimately benefit from all that different creative input - or if this will prove to be one of those cases where too many cooks weaken the final product (something this past summer's Cowboys & Aliens seemed to suffer from).
We will continue to keep you posted on the status of Ouija as more information is released.
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