In an interview over on Collider, Frosty spoke with Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner at a G.I. Joe screening and he covered the movies that the company has in development. In many ways it mirrored what our own Jessica Barnes wrote about back in March. Hasbro clearly isn't content to sit back and dive into the coffers filled with money from the Transformers movies, which will likely swell even further when G.I. Joe is released this weekend. They aren't just licensing their toys for film development (Stretch Armstrong is slated to be a movie in 2011), it now looks like they'll be tossing their entire board game range into the mix.
You've probably heard that Ridley Scott is developing Monopoly into a movie, as hard as that is to believe, but according to Goldner that will be joined by Candy Land and Battleship. Battleship!? Really? A movie based around Battleship? As much as I strained my brain to try and figure out how Ridley Scott could make Monopoly into a compelling film, Battleship just makes my grey matter give up abandon ship. You might as well make Connect Four into a movie. Everyone would be on the edge of their seats waiting for the "Pretty sneaky, sis." line.
If they're going to continue down this road, I wish they'd license things like NERF into a film. There's probably a good movie that could come out of that. What about Play-Doh: The Movie? Spirograph: The Series? Tinkertoys vs. Transformers? At what point do you draw a line over the strip-mining of childhood and imagination? Just because something is a successful game doesn't mean it will translate to the screen. 1985's Clue proved that fairly well.
One look at Hasbro's holdings makes you wonder why the government isn't looking at them as an actual monopoly on the game market. Since 1984, Hasbro has acquired rival companies like Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, and Avalon Hill. They expanded to pick up Wizards of the Coast, makers of the ultra-popular collectible card game Magic: The Gathering, and the Cranium brand. Chances are if you've ever played a board game in your life, Hasbro now owns the rights to it.
And that's just scratching the surface. They'd be the largest toy and game company in the world if not for Mattel's runaway Barbie brand. Will everything you played with as a kid or even as an adult eventually become a movie? If Hasbro has their way, it looks like the answer is yes. If we can't stop the inevitable march forward, then maybe they'll consider some of the board game movie ideas I wrote about on Spout last year. I still think that Fireball Island (which Hasbro now owns) would make a good movie, if I do say so myself.
But, NO! I'm drawing the line. Hollywood needs more original ideas, and we need to stop cramming popcorn in our mouths while toys come to life in horribly written stories onscreen. That is, unless the Tonka movie manages to cross boundaries and make grown men and women cry.