Last week, Variety dropped the news that a Clue remake is in the works at Fox Studios. The plan was originally part of an overarching Hasbro film universe based on beloved board games, something that Universal scrapped (well, ran screaming from, more like) after the massive failure that was Battleship.
On the docket were films based on other classic games: Clue, Monopoly, Candyland, Magic: the Gathering, and Stretch Armstrong. I’m not convinced that the idea is bad in general, but some of these titles raise an eyebrow. The Clue remake in particular has me wondering what they’re doing, since it sounds more like what they really want is Carmen Sandiego:
“…there’s a desire to move the story out of the parlor and make it a game of “worldwide mystery” with action-adventure elements…”
Please, just give us a Carmen Sandiego franchise, Hollywood!
In any case, I’ve got some opinions on how Hasbro could actually make some quality films out of these games. Sit back, relax, and let me paint you a picture.
Magic: The Gathering
Director: Peter Jackson
In the style of: Lord of the Rings
Broad Idea: There is so much potential for a great story around Magic: the Gathering that I wanted to list it first and get it out of the way. There are many nations and characters you could build a Magic: the Gathering film around; one option I like would be to follow the plainswalker Urza and the nation of Dominaria as they battle the evil Yawgmoth. After Yawgmoth’s sinister plan to invade Dominaria finally comes to fruition, the story follows Urza as he collects the artifacts that make up the Legacy to destroy Yawgmoth and keep Dominaria safe. The film would be filled with sweeping battles, epic quests, and stunning displays of magic. Because Phyrexia outlasts Yawgmoth, there is potential here for a sweeping franchise. Done right, it would be incredibly compelling.
Director: Christopher Nolan
In the style of: Newsies… meets The Dark Knight
Broad idea: Monopoly can’t be an excited phrase. Rather, it needs to be an ominous, overbearing thought. Told from the perspective of the underclass that suffers under the machinations of those at the top who are vying for control of the railroads, this story can follow a plucky few who are attempting to make a living under the thumb of the increasingly ever-present few who own everything around them.
Director: Guillermo del Toro
In the style of: Pan’s Labyrinth
Broad idea: A pair of siblings is transported into a world where everything is bright, sweet, delicious… and hiding something horrendous. Candyland without a sickly-sweet underbelly would be a dull romp through something too close to Disney’s Wonderland. But add something sinister, an underlying wrongness, and it becomes a creepy monster adventure. As the siblings try to get back home, the temptation of Candyland and its malevolent dark side keeps them on their toes.
Director: Tim Burton
In the style of: The Nightmare Before Christmas
Broad idea: After an industrial accident that by all rights should have killed him, Stretch Armstrong is gifted with the ability to stretch his limbs indefinitely… in a world where most heroes have gifts like flight, invisibility, and super strength. He feels like he’s been cursed, but as he finds himself repeatedly able to save people and solve problems using his gift, he comes to learn that even seemingly-silly stretchiness has its place in the world of heroes.