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Universal Turns Down the Hasbro Ouija Board Movie
by Jamie Frevele | 4:17 pm, August 24th, 2011
The mission to turn every Hasbro board game into a movie has yet another defeat: Universal has passed on making a movie based on the 100%-supernatural-and-not-at-all-fake Ouija Board, making it the only board-game-inspired movie to have probably made for a genuinely entertaining movie that would not have raised the hackles of its most devoted fans. It was set to be directed by McG and produced by Michael Bay. And had I consulted a Ouija Board before writing the sentence where I said this might have made a good movie, I would not have written the sentence with McG and Michael Bay in it.
Much like the deal with Clue — which has already been made into a classic movie — Universal expects that the Ouija Board movie will find another home after deciding that it did not want to take on the movie’s budget, which was over $100 million. And that means that it still has life in it, which is a hilarious reference to the way Ouija Boards communicate with the dead.
Ugh, sorry guys. That was a bad joke, not a hilarious one.
Universal is paying $5 million to back out of the deal, and it’s probably not incorrect to say that their apprehension in producing a big-budget movie based on a board game came from the resoundingly negative reaction to its trailer for their Battleship movie, which is costing them $200 million (but it has Rihanna in it!) and looks, well … stupid. It looks stupid. And now, everyone knows that Universal spend a boat-load — SEE WHAT I DID THERE — on a stupid movie.
And honestly, a movie about the Ouija Board might not make a bad movie — come on, awesome supernatural elements! — but in the hands of McG and Michael Bay, who want to make “an expensive, family action-adventure in the vein of Jumanji” aka “Jumanji with a Ouija Board”? No. Not having it. I will not see the device that allowed me to contact Elvis Presley himself become a laughingstock.
But it’ll probably still happen. And we’ll just have to make fun of it.
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