Adapting a movie out of a children’s board game may seem like a ridiculous proposition, but this week’s release of ‘Battleship’ is not the first such production (remember ‘Clue’), and it probably won’t be the last. In today’s Roundtable, we deliver our own suggestions to Hollywood for the next big board-game-based feature film franchises.
Making movies about things like board games is a pet peeve of mine. I don’t get why anybody would try to adapt something that likely uses dice or spin-wheels into a major motion picture. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. But if I’m being forced to play this stupid game, then I’m going to have to pick Quicksand. Remember that game? The only catch is that I would have to direct, real quicksand would be used, and I would cast all of the actors that I absolutely despise for my movie. See ya, Danny McBride! Don’t forget to write, Ken Jeong! Hope you can swim, Adam Sandler! Jump in head first please, Marlon Wayans! The Academy would then have to invent the Folk Hero Award just for me. Now, don’t send me hate mail. I’m allowed to daydream.
Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)
Twenty years later, I can still belt out the jingle from the commercials for The Grape Escape, and I can’t think of a whole lot in this great, big world that would make me happier than a feature-film adaptation. Think of the way that ‘The Seven Samurai’ was remolded into ‘The Magnificent Seven’. Maybe Hasbro could pull off that same sort of magic here. Instead of a group of P.O.W.s escaping from a German gulag as they did in ‘The Great Escape’, they’d be purple Claymation grapes trying desperately to flee from a work camp. They wouldn’t be mowed down by enemy soldiers; these Play-Doh warriors would be systematically sliced in half with a pair of oversized scissors or stomped flat with a giant boot. (I’m sure the right screenwriter could find a way to make cartoonishly large scissors and boots fit organically into the Axis’ literal war machine.) Just picture audiences cheering as Steve McGrape and Charles Raisin successfully make it to safety across the border. It’s a story that needs to be told.
Since ‘Battleship’ is being adapted to revolve around something completely unrelated to the original game, I figure that it would be just as ridonkulous (and fitting) to see the same happen to another game that you’d least expect it from. Anyone remember Thin Ice? It’s that game where you drop wet marbles on a paper towel stretched over large hole, and the person who tears the tissue and makes all the marbles fall through is a loser? The movie could be set on a glacier, where a team of scientists (played by popular musicians who have never acted before, such as Justin Bieber, Kanye West and Fergie) are researching the glacial defrost. When a large ice quake awakens a group of aliens frozen for tens of thousands of years, these pop stars must save the world. Directed by Oliver Stone, this movie’s moral could be a slug in the gut about Al Gore’s global warming killing human life in more ways than one.
I’m actually appalled by the existence of ‘Battleship’. I just can’t believe it was made, that it was made to look like ‘Transformers’, and that (no doubt) people will go to see it in droves. I’m still holding out hope that ‘Battleship’ will be an unprecedented bomb, and the whole board game to movie concept will go down the tubes when it fails. That being said… I suppose if it was done right, with quality talent and high grade CGI, Monopoly could make for an interesting movie, especially with the roller coaster economy we’ve been living through the last few years. It would have to be a sort of through-the-looking-glass film, where someone (perhaps a Donald Trump-type a-hole) gets pulled into the world of Monopoly, and gets his ass handed to him by a bunch of former tenants he abused out in the real world. I’d kinda like to see Darrell Hammond play a flat-out Trump stand-in, Tom Arnold as the head of one of the households he treated so badly in the real world, and a top notch CGI version of Rich “Uncle” Pennybags. Side note: Given his penchant for tackling fairly shaky projects (this could be a terrible idea) and his history with Arnold (‘The Stupids’), John Landis must NOT be allowed to bring his pedestrian/clueless direction to this project.
[Ed.: Ridley Scott has been attached to produce and possibly direct a Monopoly movie for a few years now. No joke. -JZ]
The most obvious candidate that I see for this topic is Cootie, that game where you (or your very young children) have to assemble insect creatures from various colorful body parts. The plot practically writes itself… In the near future, the Earth is invaded by a race of insectoid aliens from the planet Cootan 756. These “Cooties,” as they’re known, vaguely resemble gigantic versions of common Earth bugs, but have evolved over the millennia to disengage and mix-and-match body parts with other members of their species. Thus, even if a human soldier manages to blow one to bits, its limbs can be re-assembled into another drone warrior. The swarm is unstoppable and never stops coming!… Sure, this is basically a blatant rip-off of ‘Starship Troopers’, but inasmuch as ‘Battleship’ is a blatant rip-off of ‘Transformers’, who the hell cares? Teenage audiences have microscopic attention spans and will never remember some ancient movie from before they were even born (the olden days of 1997) anyway. Get some hack like Stephen Sommers on this right away!
These are all pretty scary thoughts, aren’t they? Which board games do you see on Hollywood’s horizon next?