The development of board game-based movies has been declared by many as the nadir of Hollywood, but not every studio is as enthusiastic about the idea as you may believe. As Deadline reports, Universal has just left behind an adaptation of the popular game Clue, with this being the third of its kind they’ve decided to not make — the other two are Monopoly and Magic, The Gathering.
Those of you who still want to see these movies (if you really exist) shouldn’t worry, because just as those live on, Clue will still very likely get made. Hasbro is funding the film’s development and producing with Gore Verbinski through BlindWink, with there still being the intent for him to direct. The reason for this change is apparently due to Hasbro’s desire to “spread them around or self-develop and then go back to studios with scripts and talent,” as they know that these properties aren’t entirely suited for this medium, and that they’re rather expensive.
Writers have been hired, those being Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, the credited scribes on the new Flash Gordon movie. The story, by Verbinski, still involves a murder mystery, but changes things by taking the confined setting of the original game and expanding it to “a global stage.” Clue was first adapted as a movie in 1985, and I actually do think that this is a board game where you could shake things around and come out with a decent story, if done right. Verbinski has an interesting, unique visual style, which makes the prospect of seeing him do something like this at least a little interesting. It at least can’t be any dumber than how Battleship looks.
Universal might be letting their board game movies get developed elsewhere before they agree to make them, but they’ll still be expanding in a certain sense, because THR has the news of Robert Zemeckis‘ ImageMovers coming to the studio. The company behind movies like The Polar Express and Beowulf, they were let go by Disney after the underperformance of their output, and it seemed like some of their planned films, like Yellow Submarine, might not happen. Universal has now picked them up in a two-year, first-look deal, but they’ll be doing both live-action and animated features.
We know that the director has been working his way back into live-action filmmaking over the past several months, and this is only another part of that process. Above all else, it’s good to see that his desire to make animated features won’t be completely stifled, but it isn’t the only thing he’s focusing his time and money on. While I actually find myself a little interested in an update of Yellow Submarine, the guy will probably do better for himself if he starts putting a little more effort into story instead of effects, and he seems to get that.
Is a Clue movie something you would want to see again? Does the involvement of Gore Verbinski raise your interest at all? How do you feel about Universal acquiring ImageMovers?