Following in the unseemly footsteps of Battleship and Ouija, Lionsgate and Hasbro are teaming for a big-screen adaptation of the board game Monopoly, originally created over a century ago by a Georgist hoping to emphasize the benefits of wealth creation over concentrating land in privately held monopolies. Needless to say, that rich history won’t be making an appearance. This is Hollywood, after all.
Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show, Gattaca) will pen a script for the family-friendly tentpole, which the studios call “a film for all ages, visually sumptuous, heartwarming, and full of action and adventure.”
It will center on a young boy who uses both Chance and Community (whatever the hell that means) in hopes of striking it rich. As he goes, the boy learns a lot about making his own luck, the true meaning of wealth and staying out of jail (excuse me while I’ll pour one out to the true death of interesting, original filmmaking).
Hasbro has found a frustrating degree of success in packaging toys for the big screen with the Transformers franchise and low-budget hit Ouija, though Battleship sunk hard and fast at the box office. The studio will also try its luck again this fall with Universal’s Jem and the Holograms.
A Monopoly adaptation has been in the works for years, with Ridley Scott at once circling the director’s chair, but the cavity-sweet concept Niccol is working with here suggests that such a big-name helmer won’t be able to conjure the interest, and the studios will end up tapping someone less known.
Of course, Niccol is a talented guy, so there’s a small chance that he could execute a LEGO Movie-style subversion of the greed-based maneuvering that got a movie based on Monopoly off the ground in the first place. We’ll keep an eye on this project for that reason alone.