6 board game movies that could be coming your way
If they can make a movie out of Battleship, why can't they make a movie out of these six, wonders Mark?
You know what's really popular right now? Movies based on toys and board games.
The inexorable financial success of Michael Bay's Transformers series has studios and toy manufacturers falling over themselves to bring their copyrights to the big screen. Because they should? Of course, because story isn't really important when you have brand recognition.
2012 will see the release of Battleship, from Hancock director Peter Berg. Not much is known of the film except that it will pit the United States Navy against "aquatic aliens". Delightful!
Elsewhere, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzmann, the screenwriters of Transformers, are at it again with the upcoming View Master movie, based on the tourism aid turned children's toy and presented in inglorious 3D. Marvellous!
Best of all, Ridley Scott... yes, that one... is rumoured to be bringing Monopoly to the screen, retold as what he calls "a metaphor for life", with a deadbeat fan of the game somehow being transported to a Wonderland-like world based on the rules and characters. Hold on, which characters would those be? Is he bringing in Russell Crowe to voice the iron?
Regardless of such trifling matters like plot or sanity, I'm plenty Hollywood-savvy, and there's no way I'm going to miss out on all that action. So, I've put together some exciting new pitches for board game-inspired pictures, and I've been getting a lot of buzz from the festival circuit. I'm sure those credible movie folks at Hasbro and Mattel will find them worthy...
The pitch: Crank 3... for kids!
Summary: Chev Chelios is a seemingly normal geezer who is kidnapped by a group of insane doctors during a routine kidney transplant op. They're intent on removing his every organ and harvesting them for the international black market.
Little do they realise that he's been a robot all this time! Yeah. Every time the doctors touch the sides, it completes a circuit that lights up his position on a GPS, leading his girlfriend, Eve, to him. The race is on to find her man before all of his organs are removed.
The pitch: A Western from the viewpoint of a horse
Summary: Wes Anderson re-imagines the much-loved children's board game as a tale of existentialism and resentment, aimed primarily at middle-aged film critics. Jason Schwartzmann voices a horse who is increasingly put-upon by his rider, Owen Wilson, in a journey across the American frontier. Bill Murray voices the horse's father, who is seen in flashbacks in the lead-up to Buckaroo's mental breakdown. Eventually, he violently sheds his load and runs free.
The pitch: A romantic comedy vehicle for Jennifer Aniston
Summary: "Sometimes love made her feel like a dice, trapped inside a small plastic dome. But when someone pushed her dome, she went on a journey to realise it's what's inside that counts." Feel-good rubbish that critics will hate, but wallets will empty all over it. And Jen will be up for this, too. Every time she gets a romcom script she thinks, "This is the one..."
HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS (in 3D)
The pitch: Predator with hippos. Hungry ones.
Summary: In the world's most inhospitable jungle, John McTiernan directs Vin Diesel and his team of buffed-up and gnarly commandos as they are preyed upon by invisible hippos. A tense action thriller with clever one-liners, ("That's a hungry fucking hippo!") and dazzling special effects. Quail in your seat as the Hippo Queen charges towards a determined Diesel, who's armed only with his fists and big shiny head.
The pitch: Oscar-bait prestige picture about issues of sexuality
Summary: John Hurt plays a man who's been used all his life by his superiors, and in this heart-warming story of trans-gender love, he crosses all the way to the other side and becomes a queen. The Academy will eat this shit up, and it will checkmate whatever Clint Eastwood's doing this year. (Variety is reporting that it's an adaptation of Boggle.)
The pitch: The movie of the game... of the movies
Summary: A metaphysical odyssey from David Lynch sees a group of students realise they are inside a game of a movie, and in order to escape the movie of the game, they must play the game of guessing which of the movies in the game are movies they've seen and which are just games. No wait... there's a group of students, a game, some movies... and time is running out!
Can I have some money now?
These are my pitches, and I eagerly await the inevitable greenlight from the studio and the subsequent influx of royalties. King me!