Sony Pictures has announced that a movie adaptation of The Settlers of Catan is in the works with the studio acquiring the rights for a film based on the popular tabletop game. With movies based on all kinds of toys and the like - such as The LEGO Movie and The Emoji Movie - studios are looking to license films based on popular pieces of pop culture and Settlers of Catan is an unsurprising candidate. The popular board game has sold over 25 million copies in 28 languages worldwide, bringing tabletop gaming back into game nights around the world.
Now it looks as if Sony is planning on capitalizing on the board game’s popularity and bringing it to theaters. The game’s system of bartering, spending resources, and robbing settlements might make for an unusual film, but add in plenty of dramatic battles and creative takes on things like the game’s settlements and hexes and there’s an opportunity to tell an exciting fantasy story along the lines of Lord of the Rings.
According to Variety, the film will be produced by Gail Katz, whose credits include Pawn Sacrifice, The Perfect Storm, and Air Force One. It was previously reported that Katz acquired the rights to The Settlers of Catan in 2015. She’ll be joined by Dan Lin, whose credits include IT and The LEGO Movie. Their team is joined by John Eirich and together they’ll be working from a script by Blaise Hemingway.
According to Variety, the studio is fast-tracking the project with an eye to creating a possible franchise. Katz said of the project:
"We’re excited to be working with Sony to bring the iconic world of Catan to life. As huge fans of the game, we’re struck by the endless possibilities of stories that it could inspire. It’s not every day that you have the opportunity to work in a world beloved by millions of people, and expand its story for the screen.”
Board game adaptations can be hit and miss. While The LEGO Movie was a massive success both in terms of critical acclaim and its box office returns, films like Battleship, also based on a board game, have done poorly at the box office. Catan’s world may be rich with possibility, but it’s unclear how much of that is easily translated into a story.
Still, it’s clear that this producing team has a very clear vision in mind for how to bring audience members to Catan. Time will tell if it can translate to the silver screen or if the studio will lose resources on trying to make the film a reality.