Hollywood is weird. It’s at a point now where it’s basically adapted every viable form of pre-existing intellectual property out there, and so it’s now either diving into reboots or the bargain bin. And what’s better to pull out of the bargain bin than a board game that no one’s played in decades? At least, that’s what the rationale for 2012’s “Battleship” was. Somehow, not learning the lesson of that disaster of a disaster movie, Hollywood is now pursuing adaptations of other oddly non-narrative properties, such as Minecraft and Tetris. That’s right…Tetris. So if Hollywood’s going to do that, then it’s only fair that I get to jump in and offer my pitches for a few other popular board games that, at this point, might as well be movies, because fuck it–why not?
Did you ever see “Speed Racer”? Most people didn’t like it, because they weren’t prepared for the type of movie that was delivered to them. But the tone of that movie totally works for Monopoly. You set it in a weird, hyper-real version of the 1920s in Atlantic City (or some clever proxy city name) and make it about four friends who start out wanting to become successful, but slowly start to drift apart as they buy up all the surrounding property and begin engaging in gang warfare against each other. It’s like Baz Luhrmann’s “Great Gatsby” got into a threesome with the Wachowskis and “Boardwalk Empire,” all under the guise of a family board game. Dope.
Basically, the only goal of the game is to draw stuff that other people can recognize. How do you make a narrative film out of this? Well, let’s see. How about a young teenager who has this incredible ability to draw, but everything else in his life sucks? Like, his dad left when he was a kid, he gets bullied at school by stereotypical guys with backward hats, and the girl he likes doesn’t even know he exists. But then he comes into contact with this magic fucking pencil, right? And it can, like, create whatever he wants, just by him drawing it. At first, he uses it for the normal kid-type stuff, like drawing himself a bike, cool clothes, and gets him out of a few sticky situations by drawing doors where there aren’t supposed to be doors. But then he gets greedy with the power. He uses it to draw a mansion for himself and his mom, and he draws servants and shit, and THAT’S when he gets the attention of the villain, who is either a megalomaniacal businessman, or he lives in an alternate, totally animated world, and we get a new Roger Rabbit-type thing. There’s probably a wizard who comes along and becomes a mentor, too. I haven’t totally figured that out yet.
No, I have no fucking clue what a game with little pucks that jump over each other will be as a movie, but if Tetris can be a damn movie, so can Checkers.
All the rest of these are pretty tame by comparison. I mean, my version of Monopoly is kind of dark, but it’s only PG-13 dark. I think if you’re going to do Candyland, which is, like, the sweetest, nicest game in existence, you go all the fucking way with it. I’m talking the most fucked up, twisted version of Candyland possible. Hostel-level violence. Can you imagine if a group of college students hiking in Russia looking for the remains of some lost civilization somehow get teleported to this crazy alternate reality, where Gumdrop Mountains and Lollipop Woods are terrifying nightmare traps full of bloodthirsty creatures, all serving under the rule of the evil King Kandy? It’d be crazy and awesome. Oh, and no plot, please. The whole point of the actual game Candyland is that there’s no strategy or skill–everything is determined by the cards you draw. So the movie is basically this colorful, saccharine world in which your fate is completely out of your hands, and everyone dies a uniquely brutal and unfair death. I don’t like gore-fests, but I’d watch the shit out of that movie..