Posted on 03 August 2011 by Rich Drees
Universal Pictures has decided to drop development of a film based on the Hasbro board game Clue.
The project was one of seven that the studio had been working on based off of various games from the toy manufacturer under the terms of an exclusive six year deal the two parties reached in 2008. Previously, film versions of Monopoly and Magic: The Gathering were also dropped by the studio. Among the game-based projects still alive at the studio include Battleship, which is currently in post-production and scheduled to open next year, Ouija which has McG attached to direct and Candy Land which is currently being scripted by Kung Fu Panda 2 writers Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger.
But just because Universal isn’t interested in a Clue movie, don’t think that it is an entirely dead issue. The film was being developed by Gore Verbinski’s Blind Wink production shingle with the Pirates Of The Caribbean helmer fully intending to direct. (Currently, he has Flash Gordon reboot writers Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama working on the screenplay in which they will reportedly expand the scope of the game’s setting to something more “global.”) With Universal dropping the project it frees Verbinski to shop the project around to other studios.Hasbro will be footing the bill for the continued development while the film is in turnaround.
I suspect that if Battleship turns out to be an unexpected hit, Verbinski won’t be approaching other studios with this so much as they will be approaching him.
Clue was adapted once before into an ensemble comedy in 1985. True to the spirit of the game, the film famously featured three different endings which were randomly placed on release prints. If audiences wanted to see all three endings, they had to go to three different theaters. When released on home video, all three endings were edited into the film’s climax.
Posted on 25 February 2009 by Rich Drees
Director Gore Verbinski has been picked by Universal to develop a new film based on the Hasbro murder mystery board game Clue. The game was previously turned into a film in 1985 with an ensemble cast featuring Tim Curry, Martin Mull, Christopher Lloyd and Madeline Khan. No screenwriter has been hired yet.
The original film version of Clue had the unenviable task of translating a board game into an entertaining movie. But director Jonathan Lynn, with some help from John Landis on the script, managed to do just that, turning the whodunit plotline of the game into a frenetic, screwball comedy. Preserving the concept that the game could have multiple resolutions to its mystery, the film was released with three different endings, which ending audiences saw depended on what theater they went to. I remember having to travel almost 45 minutes to see Clue at a different theater just to see one of the two endings that weren’t attached to the print screening locally. It wasn’t until the film was released on home video later that most people got to see all three endings. (There was also a fourth ending which was reportedly filmed, but has never been released.)
Clue’s manufacturer, Hasbro, has been farming out a lot of their toy and game properties for films lately. In addition to the Transformers and GI Joe toy lines that have been translated into big budget summer movies, they also have their Stretch Armstrong toy and the board games Candyland, Monopoly and Ouija currently in development.
Recently Hasbro revamped the game, updating many of the classic, Victorian-era elements to the 21st century. Now, Mr. Plum is a billionaire video game designer, Ms. White is a former child star and Col. Mustard is a washed-up football player. I imagine that this is the version they will probably go with for this new film. That’s fine with me. The further they distance themselves from the original, the less this new version will suffer in comparison.