Producers Marc Turtletaub and Peter Saraf, the team behind quirky mid-oughts hit Little Miss Sunshine, have put a film adaptation of Mary Pilon’s popular non-fiction Monopoly book, The Monopolists, on their creative docket.
The book covers the interesting story of a 1970s lawsuit over the famous Parker Brothers’ game, in which the company sued S.F. State economist Ralph Anspach, who made his own unlicensed version, called Anti-Monopoly.
In his research for the legal battle with the board game behemoth, Anspach discovered that Monopoly actually began as anti-slumlord board game The Landlords, invented by Elizabeth Magie in 1903. Ironically, the original version of Monopoly had two ways to win — one for an individual who created a monopoly, the other when everyone evenly created wealth.
The original game was later sold to the Parker Brothers in 1930 by Charles Darrow, who — in true Monopoly form — got rich off the game despite having very little to do with its’ creation; he had helped revise a version of the game, decades after the original invention.
Oddly enough, this is the second Monopoly-related project to be announced by a film studio this year. Lionsgate is brewing their own live-action version of Monopoly, with a script written by award-winning writer Androw Niccol (The Truman Show). That film will be a family-friendly take, and will center on the pro-capitalist story of a boy who goes on an adventure and gets rich in the process.
Though only time will tell whose picture turns out more compelling at the box office, it’s hard to believe it will be the Lionsgate version; Turtletaub and Saraf’s production house Big Beach has a history of picking good on-screen projects, and writer Howard A. Rodman, who happens to be the president of the Screenwriters Guild of America, is set to pen the screenplay.
Neither Monopoly film has a set release date, but both should hit the big screen by the end of 2017.