Game for the big screen
The barnstorming success of this year’s Lego movie demonstrated that small children’s games are big movie business. Yet as the painful legacy of 80s film adaption Super Mario Bros should remind us, when it comes to capitalising on nostalgia, it’s easy to flop as to fly. Here’s our pick of the upcoming childhood toy and games adaptations: whether they’ll rise to the financial heights of the Transformers franchise, or sink like Battleship, only time will tell.
Tetris may be one of the most popular computer games in existence, but while Lego and Transformers both have at least a modicum of inherent narrative, it’s hard to see what story beyond, ‘blocks of various shapes and colours fall from sky’ could be spun out of this classic 80s game. Larry Kasanoff, CEO of the film’s producers, Threshold Entertainment, is confident however, saying, "What everyone doesn't know yet is this epic sci‐fi story that we're going to tell. That's what's really exciting." We’ll see…
Adam Sandler is set to collaborate with Robert Smigel (You Don’t Mess with the Zohan) to write and then star in a filmic world of peppermint forests and gumdrop mountains for Columbia Pictures’ adaption of the 1940s board game Candy Land. Kevin Lima of Enchanted is on board as director to steer this project through the sticky terrain.
While Legendary Pictures acquired the film rights from Mattel in 2011, the idea of a Hot Wheels movie had been bouncing around at Warner Bros and Columbia Pictures for years before that. Second unit director on World War Z and Quantum of Solace, Simon Crane is set to direct , while screenwriter/executive producer (House), Paul Attanasio, is re-writing the script, which features a washed-up Illinois State Trooper, and of course, the odd car or two.
The Angry Birds franchise has already grown beyond the wildly popular mobile game to encompass everything from soft drinks to theme parks and recipe books - so if anyone can make a financial success of a film adaptation it will be the owners, Rovio Entertainment. With Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph and Peter Dinklage making up an all-star voice cast this one might actually be able to stretch its appeal beyond hyped-up five-year-olds.
In keeping with the wholesome family friendliness of the original board game, director Ridley Scott has suggested that his take on Monopoly will focus on the power of greed, and the game’s ability to turn even the sweetest person into a monster of avarice. A sort of Wolf of Wall Street with top hats and moustaches if you will. It remains to be seen just how dark a turn Hasbro are prepared to let things take..
What childhood toys and games do you think are ripe for the big screen treatment?