Like board games? Like movies? If you answered “yes” to both these questions, you’ll still be flabbergasted to find out that Universal has decided to greenlight a film adaptation of “America’s Favorite Boardgame,” Monopoly. Are movies based on Disney World rides just too bougie for some people’s taste? Variety reports that Ridley Scott (yes, Oscar-winning director Ridley Scott) will direct, hoping to give the movie a “futuristic sheen along the lines of Blade Runner.” While it’s true that “dystopian society” is usually the first word that springs to mind when landing on Ventnor Avenue or B&O Railroad, I’m still in awe of most major studios’ willingness (nay, compulsion) to pander to the lowest common denominator. Is this culture? Perhaps appropriately for Scott, we seem to be closing in on Brave New World territory here; the day “Animals Close-Up With a Wide-Angle Lens” wins the Oscar doesn’t seem far away.
Not all hope is lost. Last week Columbia Pictures reported a live-action adaptation of Preacher (one of the best comic books like, EVER) to be directed by Sam Mendes. The movie will be based on what’s known in the industry as a “story” (not to be confused with “colored board spaces”) and should appeal to audiences not five-years old and/or illiterate. Of course, we should probably view projects like Preacher as an aberration. American film seems destined to keep spiraling into abject mediocrity, and we’d do well to accept the situation for what it is. With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few synopses of other board game adaptations I found online.
In a Village loft, Brady Tremain wakes up with a brutal hangover to discover condom wrappers and half-eaten Tootsie Pops all over his floor. Unsure of what (or whom) he may have done the night before, Tremain grabs Sugar Daddy, his trannie neighbor and best friend, and sets out to retrace his steps. What begins as a diverting Saturday quickly morphs into a psycho-sexual odyssey. Who wants candy? Only by shedding his wrapper and embracing the sweetness of his body will Brady find what he’s looking for. Directed by John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch). Opens 12/25 in New York and LA.
Don’t Wake Daddy
“My Father… was a strict man.” So begins Francis Morton’s harrowing, heartbreaking memoir of child abuse, soon to be made into a feature-length film by writer-director Devon Clarkson. “It’s rough stuff, for sure,” says Clarkson, who admitted he was only able to read the book in short spurts to avoid “overdosing on nightmare images.” “There are parts of Morton’s memoir… that I can’t in good conscience recreate on screen. Even for a seasoned actor like Tim [Robbins], it’s too much.” How, then, to translate to film? “What I want is to get at this story – this monstrous story – from a unique psychological perspective. Surrealism… dreamscapes… there’s a way to tell it that doesn’t involve sheer physicality.” While committed to making the film as independently as possible, Clarkson is already feeling pressure from Sony Pictures Classics to increase mainstream appeal. “They showed me a preliminary one-sheet design that says ‘Daddy Wakes Up, Spring 2009’ and I nearly vomited. This picture can’t be released to John and Jane Multiplex.”
Be sure to check out IMDB’s pages on Battleship and Chutes and Ladders (and their intended sequels), too!