In an era dominated by sequels, and films pre-loaded with a ready-made fan base, it was only a matter of time before a movie based on Monopoly advanced to “Go.”
Lionsgate Films and Hasbro announced this week that a live-action film based on the classic real-estate board game is officially in the works. Perhaps more intriguing, the studios also announced that Oscar-nominated screenwriter Andrew Niccol (The Truman Show) is working on the script for the movie.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, the film was described as follows:
In keeping with a game that has brought so many hours of joy to so many for so long, Monopoly will be a film for all ages, visually sumptuous, heartwarming, and full of action and adventure. The story centers on a boy from Baltic Avenue who uses both Chance and Community in a quest to make his fortune, taking him on a fun, adventure-filled journey. It’s about making your own luck, what makes you truly rich and, of course, avoiding Jail time!
One of the most popular board games ever created, Monopoly first hit shelves in 1930 and is now reportedly played by more than one billion people in 114 countries.
Nevertheless, a board game’s popularity doesn’t always translate to big-screen success. While the 1985 movie Clue is now regarded as a cult classic, it didn’t fare well in theaters when it was initially released. The 2012 film Battleship was also a major flop at the box office, barely covering its $209 million budget.
Last year’s horror film Ouija, however, earned more than $102 million worldwide with a production budget of only $5 million — making it one of the few box-office wins among the movies based on board games — though, admittedly, Ouija boards don’t exactly fit into the traditional board game category.
“Hasbro is a partner with incredible global reach, one of the most compelling brand portfolios in the world, and a signature brand in Monopoly that has multigenerational appeal,” said Lionsgate Motion Picture Group Co-President Erik Feig in a statement accompanying the announcement. “Andrew Niccol is the ultimate world creator responsible for such disparate and imaginative films as The Truman Show, Gattaca, and The Terminal. He is an inspired choice to develop this timeless property into a big, crowd-pleasing event film that will appeal to kids, families and anyone who has ever played the Monopoly game.”
There’s currently no timetable for the start of production (or expected premiere date) for the Monopoly movie.