Clue Movie Dropped By Universal, But Hasbro Is Still Making It On Their Own
Before you get too excited, keep in mind that the new adaptation of the Clue board game is not in fact cancelled. Though Deadline is reporting that Universal has dropped the adaptation, to be directed by Gore Verbinski, in fact Verbinski is still sticking with it, and the game's manufacturer Hasbro is taking over the development and plans to produce the film alone with Verbinski's company, Blind Wink. It's another step in Hasbro's development as a serious force in film production, and probably a smart move on both ends, as Universal already has four Hasbro board game adaptations in the works and has yet to see how any of them pan out at the box office.
To focus on Clue for a minute, it's not just that things are still happening, but they're making actual progress-- Flash Gordon writers Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama has been brought on to work on the script, which previously had just been a bunch of ideas that Verbinski and the other producers were kicking around. Hasbro is also still developing the Ridley Scott-produced Monopoly movie, and just in June they set up an adaptation of Risk with Sony and Overbrook Entertainment. They're also still trying to make a movie out of Magic: The Gathering, though nobody is yet attached to that idea, and I can't exactly blame them-- there's a tricky challenge if you ever wanted one.
Meanwhile, Hasbro is still working with Universal as part of the seven-game deal they signed in 2008; next spring we'll really see how this pans out when Battleship hits theaters, and at some point after that we'll start seeing Candy Land, Ouija and Stretch Armstrong all translated into film. Hasbro hasn't quite become the independent production force that Marvel Studios is, but they may not be so far away from it, especially with the massive successes of G.I. Joe and the Transformers movies already behind them. One more set of hits like that, and they'll have the power to make as many board game adaptations as they please-- meaning that Lite Brite movie might not be so far away after all.
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