Pierre Morel Bails On Ouija Movie As Well
Pierre Morel has already bailed on one project in development, leaving Paramount's planned adaptation of Dune in the lurch when he walked away earlier this month. Now he's bailed on another project, and the one that I was perversely most interested in seeing. The LA Times reports that Morel and Universal were unable to see eye-to-eye on their planned Ouija movie, based on the board game, and they're now back to square one on finding a director to handle the project.
They're still planning on getting the movie out in time for a Thanksgiving 2012 release, but given that they're still trying to figure out the creative direction of the project, it seems like something of a tall order. Universal, which has a deal with Hasbro to adapt several of their toys and board games, has already put off work on Stretch Armstrong, which is still set to star Taylor Lautner as the muscled man of rubber. The studio faces penalties if they don't get the Hasbro projects off the ground in a certain timeline, so the Thanksgiving 2012 date for Ouija isn't just wishful thinking, but a contractual mandate.
Something about Morel's loony sense of action and character logic seemed perfect for the Ouija movie, which needs to be at least a little self-aware and silly if it's going to work at all. The worst thing I can imagine them doing is bringing on a Shawn Levy or Jon Turteltaub, someone who would turn it into a straightforward, Jumanji-style adventure with no weird flair. Ouija is one of the odder mainstream board games out there, and it deserves an oddball director to go with it.
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